More than 170 people gathered at the fabulous Lotte New York Palace on November 16 for the 2021 Friends of IHES Gala celebrating Women in Fundamental Research.
Thanks to the generosity of gala sponsors and guests, over $500,000 were raised in both gifts and pledges, reaching a record in the history of Friends of IHES galas.
For the very first time this year’s edition took on a hybrid format: people who could not join in-person were given the possibility to attend a virtual event, including both pre-recorded footage and a live stream from the gala floor, featuring a fireside chat with guest of honor Marilyn Simons, and emcee Gioia De Cari.
Virtual and in-person gala highlights include a recorded message by President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde, a wonderful video giving a glimpse of Laure Saint-Raymond’s work with the Boltzmann equation, and the short film “Towards more women scientists at IHES”, which collects testimonies from former visitors to IHES.
The in-person gala was also the occasion to celebrate honored guest Marilyn Simons with a momentous ceremony that kick-started the evening and during which she was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French Ambassador to the US, Philippe Etienne. The prestigious award, which is France’s highest distinction, was given to Marilyn Simons in recognition of the incredible work she has done to support and advance fundamental research.
Keynote speaker, theoretical astrophysicist Janna Levin captivated the attention of all gala guests with a fascinating keynote speech on black holes. Her fantastic presentation on black holes and more videos will soon be available on our youtube channel.
Friends of IHES and IHES thank all the gala donors who made this exceptional event possible. Thank you in particular to gala underwriters Marilyn and Jim Simons & the Simons Foundation, to premier sponsor BNP Paribas, to gala chairs Barbara Amonson & Vincent Della Pietra, and Florence & David Faucon. Thank you also to the many sponsors that supported the gala: Benjamin Servenay & Kavita Shah, DLA Piper, Engie, Michael R. & Nina Douglas, Robert J. Zimmer, Chancellor of the University of Chicago, Ardian and Société Générale, Bloomberg as well as Facebook.
A very warm thank you to all the donors and supporters, whose contributions have made a direct impact on international scientific conversation and freedom of research.