New Horizons Prize

Pedro Vieira of ICTP-SAIFR among 2020 recipients
New Horizons Prize

Pedro Vieira, a researcher with the South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR), ICTP's partner institute in Brazil, has been awarded a prestigious New Horizons Prize for Early-Career Achievements in Physics.

The prize is awarded annually by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, which also awards its namesake prize given to the world's top scientists.

Vieira, who has a joint appointment with the Perimeter Institute (PI) in Canada, was cited for profound contributions to the understanding of quantum field theory. He shares the award with Simon Caron-Hoot of McGill University, Canada.

Vieira, whose research focus is on quantum field theory and quantum gravity, said he was honoured and surprised to receive the award. "It is great to see one's work recognized. I usually work with people as junior or more junior than myself and many (to name a few: Gromov, Penedones, Sever, Basso, Komatsu) would be as deserving of this prize as me for sure. So I was very fortunate as well, as I have been so many times in my career."

This is not the first time Vieira has received a prestigious science prize: in 2017, his work in quantum field theory received the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Physics, while in 2015 he was awarded a Sloan Fellowship as well as the European Physical Society's Gribov Medal.

Splitting his time between Canada and Brazil has given Vieira a unique global perspective on science collaboration. "I became a delocalized state, with one half in each continent. I love the different challenges at PI and at SAIFR, and I feel both complement each other very nicely. That back and forth brings plenty of refreshing ideas from both sides, science and otherwise, which I think are really helpful," he explained.

The two institutes frequently brainstorm to find ways to maximize their impact, according to Vieira, and that has already led to some positive outcomes. "Having plenty of collaborations is key in remaining maximally connected in a very global science world. Recently we established a very nice biophysics partnership with Princeton, for example, which I think should be very effective in years to come," he said.

As for his own research, Vieira indicated an interest in super symmetric Yang-Mill and in massless scattering in general theories. "Otherwise, hard to tell; I am always open to exciting opportunities." He added, jokingly,"I am mostly worried to make sure I book correctly all the coming flights between Sao Paulo and Toronto!"

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