The following text has been agreed unanimously by all those who attended the meeting held on 3 July 2017, which was organized by the Paris ICM 2022 bid committee. The meeting brought together the main partners and supporters of the French application to host ICM 2022.
The application to host ICM 2022 in Paris was submitted in November 2016. It includes letters of support and engagement signed by France’s President and Minister of Higher Education and Research, the President of the Région Île-de-France, the Mayor of Paris, the President of the MEDEF (confederation of French employers). It is being sponsored by a high-level international committee and officially supported by most European learned societies.
In March 2017, in accordance with IMU statutes, a Site Visiting Committee comprising three members of the IMU Executive Committee traveled in March 2017 to Paris and then to Saint Petersburg, which is the other candidate city.
In April 2017, following an internal report of the Site Visiting Committee, the IMU Executive Committee communicated its preference for the Saint Petersburg application to both teams. In its message, the IMU Secretary stated that both applications were considered to be excellent, the main arguments in favor of the Russian bid being as follows: “If France were to host the ICM 2022, it would be an unprecedented fourth time that a country hosts the ICM. On the other hand, Russia/USSR has only hosted the ICM once in 1966. Furthermore, it was the opinion of the Site Visiting Committee that it would have a great positive impact on Russian mathematics if St. Petersburg hosts the ICM 2022”.
A tradition seems to have been tacitly established over the past twenty years whereby the applications not preferred by the Executive Committee withdraw before the following General Assembly. However, the Executive Committee’s recommendation in no way prejudges the final selection of the site since, as set out in the statutes, this choice is the exclusive prerogative of the General Assembly of IMU national delegates to be held in July 2008 in Sao Paulo – and the latter’s view of the applications may be very different to that of the Site Visiting Committee and of the Executive Committee.
The Paris bid committee has explained why it wishes to see this project through to its conclusion by submitting the Paris application to the General Assembly.
In the first place, in no way does this imply a criticism of the vision, the work and the selection criteria of the Site Visiting Committee and of the Executive Committee, who have examined both applications thoroughly and impartially. Nor does it go against IMU operating procedures since the submission of several applications to the General Assembly is entirely in keeping with IMU statutes and with the democratic principles which underlie them.
The Paris bid, available on http://www.icm2022.org/, was prepared on the basis of the following key principles and core values:
- a congress that reaches out to the entire world, to a range of scientific fields at the interface with mathematics, to the general public, to different cultures;
- a showcase for the great variety of new interactions with mathematics, for instance in biology, physics, environmental sciences;
- a place where academic researchers meet those researchers and engineers who work in the world of industry and new technologies;
- a real opportunity for mathematicians from rich countries to welcome their colleagues from emerging countries, especially from Africa;
- a time when mathematicians can interact with very different communities who are interested in what mathematics can contribute to reasoning, the arts, education.
Paris has always been a major crossroads for innovative mathematical theories, ideas, scientific and human achievements. As such, it is a place that truly embodies the above principles, which certain aspects of the bid illustrate particularly well:
- the budget proposed has deliberately been kept to a reasonable level, in order to avoid a bidding war which may deter certain countries from applying in the future;
- registration fees are to remain moderate and significantly lower than at recent ICMs, so that as many participants as possible are able to afford them;
- financial support will be granted to at least 400 participants from emerging countries;
- in addition to the traditional congress satellite conferences, Summer Schools will be organized for doctoral students and young researchers just before the ICM, to prepare them for the invited sessions ;
- executives from major groups as well as from SMEs will not only act as sponsors but will also contribute to the organization of the congress and of peripheral activities;
- the general public will be extensively associated with the congress, with specific events being organized, as well as exhibitions on topics linked to mathematics and joint projects with students;
- the support, financial and otherwise, from CNRS, Inria and the first major sponsors represents strong commitment to this bid.
We remain convinced of the legitimacy of the Paris bid committee’s approach and support it, while at the same time asking it to address the following:
- improving the application by taking into account the comments and suggestions made in real time by the Site Visiting Committee in March;
- moving away from a working in a small committee, which was justified up until March given the confidentiality of the application, to a close collaboration with all the players involved in the project: learned societies, representatives from the Ministry of Research, business leaders, foundations etc.
- implementing a communication program, in a spirit of healthy competition and restraint, that aims to win the approval of the General Assembly in Sao Paulo and to give the national and international mathematical communities the best perception of the Paris bid’s scientific and organizational ambitions.
Signatories (who attended the meeting):
- Pascal Auscher (Representing Insmi)
- Hajer Bahouri (Labex Bézout Deputy Director)
- Gérard Biau (SFdS President)
- Stéphane Cordier (Amies Director)
- Thierry Horsin (SMAI President)
- Pierre Pansu (FMJH Director)
- Antoine Petit (Inria President)
- Stéphane Seuret (SMF President)
- Emmanuel Trélat (FSMP Director)
Bid committee members who attended the meeting: Sylvie Benzoni-Gavage, Stéphane Cordier, Maria J. Esteban, Etienne Gouin, François Loeser, Ariane Mézard, Bertrand Rémy, Denis Talay, Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel also attended the meeting.
Apologies for absence: Jean-François Le Gall (Académie des Sciences Mathematics Section Delegate), Anne Philippe (Bid Committee Member), Fabrice Planchon (Bid Committee Member), Cédric Villani (Labex Carmin Coordinator).