Italian physicist Paolo Budinich had a dream: making Trieste, Italy, a natural scientific hub where physicists and mathematicians from developing countries could conduct research and build their careers.
Budinich was born 26 August 1916 in Lussino, Croatia. To celebrate the centennial of his birth, TWAS is organizing a public event on Friday 2 September at Sala Veruda, Palazzo Costanzi in Trieste. The one-hour event begins at 18:00. Entrance is free.
Budinich's dream, nurtured along with his fellow physicist and future Nobel laureate Abdus Salam, paved the way to the establishment of two prestigious scientific institutions: the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). Both of these are cornerstone institutions in the so-called Trieste Science System of international science centres, which include – among others – also Area Science Park, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Elettra Synchrotron, and the United World College of the Adriatic.
Budinich served for many years as ICTP's deputy director. His influence, however, went well beyond ICTP and TWAS. He founded the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) and with his commitment to education and development fuelled the creation of the Trieste International Foundation for Progress and Freedom of Sciences (FIT), where he also served as president from 1990 to 2010. He died 14 November 2013.
TWAS's event is titled TWAS: Paolo Budinich and the dream of science in the South. It will offer a passionate portrait of Budinich's work and life through the words of two scientists, colleagues and friends: Sudanese mathematician Mohamed H.A. Hassan, TWAS's founding executive director, and Erio Tosatti, a leading condensed matter physicist and a professor at ICTP and SISSA, who served as ICTP vice director in 2002-2003.
During the 2 September event, two short documentaries will provide an overview on major achievements that scientists from the South have attained with TWAS's support.
The TWAS event is part of a month-long series of events celebrating the Budinich centennial organised by SISSA and Immaginario Scientifico, in collaboration with the University of Trieste, ICTP, the Fondazione Internazionale Trieste per il Progresso e la Libertà delle Scienze (FIT) and TWAS, with the support of the Comune di Trieste.
On 26 August a public ceremony kicked off the celebrations with a photographic exhibit titled "The archipelago of wonders". The exhibit will then be open daily until 25 September, at Sala Veruda, Palazzo Costanzi (Piazza Piccola, 2, Trieste).
As theoretical physicist Paolo Furlan said: "We are all Budinich's children. Without him we would all be in a provincial university."