After the First World War, the exhausted French science is in lack of means and international contacts. It is in this context that the mathematicians Émile Borel in France and David Birkhoff in the United States persuade American (Rockefeller foundation) and French (Edmond de Rothschild) sponsors to finance the construction of a ship called to become a centre of lectures and international exchanges in mathematics and theoretical physics.
Born in 1928, the Henri Poincaré institute welcomes some of the biggest scientific names. Since its foundation, this place has promoted the intellectual excitement by positioning itself as a crossroads, and has witnessed the appearance of the first modern seminars of mathematics, an institute of statistics, the biology of the populations and a computer project, regrettably interrupted by the war.
After a history alternating splendours and harder times, the IHP now appears as one of the oldest and most dynamic international structures dedicated to mathematics and theoretical physics.
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