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ICTP senior scientist honoured by national academies

Professor Erio Tosatti
Professor Erio Tosatti


Erio Tosatti, a co-founder of ICTP's Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics section and professor emeritus of the International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA), has received recognition for his achievements from two prestigious science academies: Italy's Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In a ceremony on 8 November, Tosatti was among a group of elite Italian scientists inducted as national members of Italy's Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. “It is a great honour for me, particularly in a time where the Accademia's President Giorgio Parisi has managed to reconcile the tradition of the most ancient academy of sciences with the need to rejuvenate the procedures and aims. I really hope it will be an opportunity to establish a more fruitful dialogue with the government and society,” said Tosatti, who was elected as a national member of the Class of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences following a complex evaluation process.

Tosatti's reputation and commitment have spread beyond national borders, as demonstrated by his recent appointment as foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), crowning a relationship of mutual esteem and collaboration. "In 1979, we welcomed the first delegation of Chinese to ICTP,” explained the physicist, adding, “Since then we have had many Chinese students and researchers, thanks to the great help of Chinese physicist Yu Lu, who headed ICTP's Condensed Matter Physics group from 1991 to 2002.”

Next June, Tosatti will take part in the 20th General Assembly in Beijing to receive the title officially. “China has tremendous, formidable, human and scientific potential; I always go there very willingly to spend time with the students of those who have been my students in Trieste,” said the physicist. “I hope that being a member of the CAS will allow us to facilitate the implementation of joint projects.”

As evidence of his diplomatic role, Tosatti will welcome the visit at ICTP of the grandson and daughter of Lung Chi Wei, one of the members of the first Chinese delegation to Trieste, as well as a collaborator and member of the Advisory Committee of the condensed matter group at the physics centre.

Erio Tosatti
Originally from Modena, Erio Tosatti moved to Trieste in 1977. In that year he was co-founder of the ICTP Condensed Matter Physics group and three years later founder of the SISSA Condensed States Theory Sector, which he later directed for more 30 years (from 1980 to 2014). He has held various positions, including that of Interim Director of ICTP (from 2002 to 2003). He is currently Professor Emeritus at SISSA and Coordinator of ICTP Scientific Programs. He has received numerous awards, such as the Enrico Fermi Prize of the Italian Physical Society (2018). Other honors include the prestigious Tate Medal of the American Institute of Physics (2005), also obtained by Abdus Salam, and his election as a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences (2011).

The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the oldest academy of sciences in the world, was founded in Rome in 1603 by the botanist Federico Cesi with the aim of promoting, coordinating, integrating and spreading scientific knowledge in its highest expressions within the framework of unity and the universality of culture. Since July 1992 it is the scientific and cultural consultant of the President of the Republic. It consists of two Classes for a total of 540 academics: the Class of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences and the Class of Moral, Historical and Philological Sciences. Each class includes 90 "national" ordinary members, 90 "foreign" ordinary members and 90 "corresponding" members. Among its first members is Galileo Galilei.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is the world's largest research organisation, comprising around 60,000 researchers working in 114 institutes. It functions as China's scientific think tank and academic governing body, providing advisory and appraisal services on issues ranging from the national economy, social development, and science and technology progress.