Friends of IHES Gala 2021

Women in Fundamental Research

Women in Fundamental Research

November 16, 2021

Honoree: Marilyn Simons

Important strides have been made in the field of women’s empowerment but women still remain largely underrepresented in science and mathematics, male-dominated domains. Much more must be done to ensure that female mathematicians and scientists are equally represented, not least at IHES, where 2021 marks the arrival of Laure Saint-Raymond as the first female permanent professor.

This edition of the Friends of IHES gala will take place on November 16, 2021. This year, we will take on a hybrid format, in respect to the ongoing health restrictions. If the health context allows, we will offer a small, exclusive in-person component combined with a virtual event, which will feature pre-recorded footage as well as live speeches.

Marilyn Simons

Through this gala, IHES intends to have a long-term impact on this issue and implement actions which will improve and foster a better representation of women at the Institute. During this event, we will celebrate women at IHES as well as prominent female figures in tech, finance and science. While paying homage to their achievements, we will learn from their experiences and insight as to how to make the technology, science and business sectors more inclusive.

This year’s gala honoree will be Marilyn Simons, the co-founder of the Simons Foundation, which exists to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Through her extraordinary commitment as a philanthropist and as President of the Simons Foundation (1994-2021), Marilyn Simons has contributed immensely to the development of science and technology over the past 25 years.

Gioia De Cari will be the 2021 Friends of IHES Gala Master of Ceremonies. She is an artist, women’s equality advocate and former mathematician. Gioia founded her own theater company, Unexpected Theatre, to explore women’s stories. The Unexpected Theatre’s first production, Truth Values, detailed De Cari’s personal story of her experiences in mathematics and went on to premier at the New York International Fringe Festival, winning an Overall Excellence Award.

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is excited to be associated with the gala.

Friends of IHES 2019 Gala Photo Gallery


  • Today, more Americans visit IHES for research than any other nationality.
  • The Institute offers its researchers an exceptional work environment and total freedom of research.
  • Basic research often leads to essential breakthroughs and IHES exists to keep it alive and thriving.
  • Theoretical sciences are a powerful tool to understanding the fundamental laws of the Universe. 
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