The Friends of Cargèse 2020
We are reaching out for your help for this very unusual crowd-funding campaign. It concerns the next biannual session of the Cargèse Summer School on high energy physics and quantum gravity ( https://www.lpthe.jussieu.fr/cargese/index.shtml ), scheduled for June 15-27, 2020 in the famous Cargèse Institute (IESC), Corsica, France. If successful, this crowd-funding campaign will allow us to provide support to all the students that have been selected to attend but have no access to alternative funding. This event is part of an excellent series of biannual Summer Schools in the domain of high energy physics, fundamental interactions and quantum gravity. Our series of Summer Schools has been recognised as one of the pillars of a solid scientific education and its role is stronger than ever at a time when the communication is too often dematerialised. It is clear that the importance of this series of Cargèse Summer Schools has not faded away with time. This session will happen at a very special occasion since 2020 will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Cargèse Institute by Maurice Levy, following a remarkable pioneering route, which started with the very new concept of Summer Schools in advanced domains of Science, the interest of which is increasing worldwide. As a matter of fact, this campaign is part of a broader effort to secure the future of the Cargèse Summer Schools of Theoretical Physics, which have played an important role in the training of an entire generation of young scientists. Presentation of the series of Summer School The biannual Cargèse sessions are a mix of lectures delivered by top lecturers at the edge of the latest discoveries in their own domain and of informal discussions between them and the participants, in a unique site that was designed for the best possible intellectual interactions by the founders of the Cargèse Institute. The reputation of the Cargèse Schools has been built on a simple recipy: (1) Invite world-leading scientists to lecture on the most exciting latest developements in Theoretical Physics, without any narrowly thematic strings attached, and (2) select sixty five students and postdocs purely on the basis of merit and promise, without consideration of financial ressources. This mode of operation has become unfortunately in tension with the present-day policies of institutional funding agencies, which tend to favour focussed events, organized by project-oriented groups with scientific agendas set well in advance. We believe that such focussed events complement, but do not replace schools like Cargèse. The content of each one of the successive Schools was constantly renewed by offering high-level training by internationally renowned lecturers, always combining cutting edge theoretical progress and discoveries in the many facets of quantum field theory with a discussion of important experimental discoveries of the affiliated domains. The Schools have in fact witnessed students flourishing into leaders of our field and returning as lecturers. Many former participants have often expressed their vivid memories of the session they participated in and the fact that it was a unique opportunity for them to establish longstanding friendly and scientific relationship with their future colleagues. This is one of the best measures of the success of our Series of Schools. Great discoveries were first exposed to the younger generations during past sessions of the School. There are even famous cases when important discoveries were triggered from the interaction of young participants with some more senior scientists lecturing in Cargèse. For instance, history was made when, following the Cargèse lectures by Ben Lee and Kurt Szymanzik in 1970, the attendant Gerard t'Hooft developed the principles of gauge theory renormalization for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1999. In the 1973 session, Kenneth Wilson lectured on the renormalization group and the formulation of gauge theories on the lattice for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1982. The 1979 session saw a spectacular rapprochement between Physics and Mathematics with attendants including Professors Atiyah, Singer, Bott, Witten, t'Hooft and Parisi among many others.. Giorgio Parisi, interacting with the mathematician Raoul Bott, developed the description of replica-symmetry breaking that has revolutionized the theory of glasses. One of the topics of the 1987 session gravitated around the construction of Topological Field Theories, which was fully developed some months after by Edward Witten and which plays an important role in the description of exotic phases of matter. The 1991 session, organized by Professors Frohlich, t'Hooft, Jae, Mack, Mitter and Stora, was crowned by a remarkable Gerard t'Hooft lecture on black holes diffusion amplitudes, a subject of intense activity nowadays. What happened in these sessions have become landmarks in the history of Science. Many most important developments such as matrix models, holographic dualities, conformal field theories, or quantum information and black holes, have all been covered at an early stage in the more recent Cargèse School sessions. Most of the lectures in Cargèse have been systematically at the frontier of the knowledge at the time of each session. About 1200 participants have attended the Cargèse sessions since 1993. A proof of the quality of the School, and of the dedication and motivation of the participants, is that more than sixty percent of them went on to occupy permanent academic positions later in their life. The funding problem We have made a significant effort over the years to find support for ensuring a recurrent funding and allowing the organisers to prepare the next session in a constructive atmosphere. Several large European institutes have offered in the past their generous support allowing the School to run without interruption for half a century. However, time has passed, the way Science is funded has evolved and the academic systems and financial support methods have deeply changed. Sharp twists in the funding politics of scientific institutions have occurred and many barriers have been created. In recent years, the way that Science is funded has drastically evolved, leaving less breathing space for broad and not short term project-oriented Schools like those of Cargèse. Despite of all its success, the existence of our series of Schools has become endangered. A real turning point has emerged for this 2020 session and we are facing at this moment significant financial challenges. This is why we are reaching out for your financial support. How to help the Cargèse series program, in particular the next 2020 session? This crowdfunding is aimed to reach a global amount of 25k$ for the 2020 session, targeted to the University of Corsica through the King Baudoin Foundation United States. The amount collected will be of particular importance to reduce the fees of the session and to allow some of the excellent but with insufficient resources selected applicants to participate. As a donor, and depending on your wish, your name will appear on a list of donors, on a dedicated website devoted to this very new way to enable the continuation of this great concept of Summer Schools of Excellence. Besides helping out the participants of the upcoming session, the solidarity shown by your contributions will hopefully send a strong signal to our scientific-policy makers and funding agencies about the importance of sustaining such unique forums of frontline training and research like the Cargèse Summer Schools.