Institute for Advanced Study
The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) is one of the world’s leading centers for curiosity-driven basic research. Since 1930, it has served as a model for protecting and promoting independent inquiry, prompting the establishment of similar institutes around the world, and underscoring the importance of academic freedom worldwide. Current philanthropic support and a reliable stream of endowment-generated revenue allow its permanent faculty and visiting researchers (known as members) to freely determine the course of their study. Each year, the institute welcomes more than 200 of the world’s most promising researchers and scholars who are selected and mentored by a permanent faculty, each of whom are preeminent leaders in their fields. Among its present and past faculty and members are 35 Nobel Laureates, 42 of the 60 Fields Medalists and 19 of the 22 Abel Prize Laureates, as well as many MacArthur Fellows and Wolf Prize winners.
On October 6, 2020, Honorary Gala Chairs Charles Simonyi, Microsoft Corporation and IAS board chair, and Jim Simons, Simons Foundation and IAS trustee emeritus, hosted the annual IAS Einstein Gala. The virtual gala honored Sir James Wolfensohn, IAS’s longest-serving board chair (1986–2007), former President of the World Bank and former Chairman of Wolfensohn & Company. Sadly Wolfensohn passed away on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. During his leadership, Wolfensohn led the Institute into the twenty-first century, greatly expanded the institution’s financial resources, affirmed the importance of the arts to science and scholarship, and furthered global outreach and broad recognition of the IAS as one of the world’s leading centers for intellectual inquiry. At the gala, Wolfensohn was presented with the IAS Bamberger Medal, the institute’s highest honor, in recognition of his visionary support of the institute’s pioneering research. The medal is named in honor of Caroline Bamberger Fuld and Louis Bamberger, the sister-and-brother philanthropists who provided the founding $5 million gift to establish IAS as envisioned by the education reformer Abraham Flexner, the institute’s founding director.