As ICTP is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2024, so is the ICTP Associates Programme, created by ICTP founder and Nobel laureate Abdus Salam in the very early days of the Centre.
Being born in Pakistan and having spent most of his career in the UK, Salam was convinced that the brain drain affecting developing countries could be solved by tackling the scientific isolation that scientists working in the global south often experience due to the scarcity of resources and possibilities for local collaborations.
The ICTP Associates Programme was then created to provide these researchers with the opportunity to develop and cultivate an international network of collaborations so that they no longer needed to choose between living in their home country and carrying out well-supported cutting-edge research elsewhere. The Programme has been very successful and continues to receive a large number of applications every year. A total of 3000 associates have come to ICTP from 90 different countries since the start of the Programme, many of whom have become research leaders in their country.
An important event taking place from 1 to 3 July 2024 at ICTP will mark the ICTP Associates Programme’s 60th anniversary. As the celebrations are approaching, ICTP is pleased to release the video series “Science is Our Common Language”, featuring some of the current associates.
In the first episode of the series, we are meeting Luis Foa Torres, a professor of physics at the University of Chile, working on condensed matter problems related to quantum transport, two-dimensional materials, topological insulators and the physics of driven systems.
Foa Torres was born in Argentina, where he did both his undergraduate studies and his PhD in physics. After doing a postdoc at ICTP, he also worked as a researcher in France and in Germany before going back to Argentina. There, he worked as professor at the National University of Córdoba with a joint appointment as a research scientist at Argentina’s National Council for Science and Technology. Then he moved to Chile, where he has been a professor at the University of Chile since 2016. Over the years, he has returned to ICTP several times, first as a Junior Associate, then as a Simons Associate in the Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics (CMSP) section. In 2018, he was awarded the ICTP Prize “for his important contributions to our understanding of topological insulators, graphene and two-dimensional materials and nanotubes, including quantum transport and optoelectronics.”
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