The Fields Institute Turns Twenty-Five 170725 Final book with covers - Page 143

CHAPTER 21 An Anecdote Victor P. Snaith “I have found the Fields Institute the most co-operative and easy institute with which to arrange a program and its resulting conference proceedings.” I have always cherished a soft spot for the Fields Institute, dating from the pre-Fields decade when a committee of about ten of us, led by the late Jerry Marsden, strove to persuade the Ontario politicians to establish a mathematical sciences research institute. In fact, during my spell as chairman of that committee, I clocked up several mildly amusing, largely futile, encounters with politicians and civil servants. These ranged from subterranean meetings in Queen’s Park, which invariably commenced with the ritual exchanging of business cards and ended with mutual congratulations in praise of the status quo, to being called up to confront a bipartisan government committee on science during an Ottawa winter white-out and attended by a simultaneous translator who backslid gradually into a sort of bilingual stand-up comedy routine.