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For the past four decades, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, has played host to more than 80,000 visits from developing-world physicists who have benefited from immersing themselves in a first-class research and training environment.

But, in this article, Daniel Clery reports that some fear that the missionary zeal that established and nourishes the centre — which was originally set up to foster physics research in developing countries — may be fading.

Various ways forward are being proposed. Some suggest that the centre should seek official status as a UN field office devoted to promoting science in the developing world. Others, meanwhile, are proposing the creation of affiliate centres in countries such as India and Brazil, whose physicists have profited greatly from the ICTP experience and who could now support colleagues in poorer neighbouring countries.

Link to article in Science

Reference: Science 300, 241 (2003)

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