The Fields Institute Turns Twenty-Five 170725 Final book with covers - Page 32

10 W.F. Shadwick called a snap provincial election and lost resoundingly to the New Democratic Party. I spoke with Tom shortly after the election to see if there were any possibility of our funding surviving the change of governments. He told me that, as Deputy Minister, it was his job to present the new Minister with a report on existing initiatives with some implicit ranking of their importance. Moreover, he said we could expect to be near the top of the list. The new Ontario Minister for Colleges and Universities was Richard Allen, MPP for Hamilton West (Hamilton was the birthplace of John Charles Fields). After consulting with his Deputy Minister and meeting with us, Allen decided to give us his support. We were on to the final phase. The Institute’s Scientific Advisory Panel At the IAS, the permanent Members steer the scientific activity, deciding upon the focus of the year’s program in the School of Mathematics to which visiting members are invited. An institute with no permanent members has to rely on volunteers to carry out this critical task. Our plans for the Fields Institute included a Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to be charged with this responsibility. From the outset, Jerry and I had the view that the Institute’s research programs should cover mathematical sciences, not simply mathematics. Our joint research interests covered a wide range of pure and applied mathematics, engineering, and theoretical physics, but we knew that was just the tip of the iceberg and were determined to have a Scientific Advisory Panel that could broaden our horizons further. Our hope was that, given a guarantee that scientific excellence would always be the criterion for decisions, serious people would be willing to volunteer their time to serve on the SAP.