By Connes A.
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Additional resources for An interview with Alain Connes
In the University of Tehran long time ago most of the professors were educated in France, some before world war II and some after, but the system was not at all efficient. Nobody did anything. 33 MK but they didn’t do research for other reasons, like social and political instability. C You didn’t have CNRS. What is vital for research is CNRS. MK These people were the first generation of Iranians who had contact with modern mathematics and it was very hard to continue that in Iran back then. GBK If you adopt something like CNRS with no control no checking then nobody would do research.
They would reenter the CNRS and be given a permanent position only in this second stage where obviously the competition would be fierce. If they would not succeed in the second stage they would just stay at the university where they teach. This could improve the system in putting more emphasis on freedom for younger people and creating a second filter to diminish the number of people who stay in CNRS and don’t produce anything. They would be in universities and teach, which is fine. 36 GBK If you do alright in the first 6 years you go to universities and then reapply if you do moderately well.
GBK If you adopt something like CNRS with no control no checking then nobody would do research. MK But this is not clear. GBK France had the tradition of science for 5oo years. You go to Sorbone and you see all these big names. The CNRS system works there because there are some weighty bones in CNRS. 34 C Just creating an analogue of CNRS wont resolve the problem of course but clearly that type of system also succeeded in the Soviet Union; the system was similar to CNRS with large numbers of researchers and they were doing great things.