Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

Des mathématiciens et des guerres

 | 
Antonin Durand
, 
Laurent Mazliak
, 
Rossana Tazzioli

Cold War geopolitics and French mathematicians: The Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine (1957-1985)

Antoni Malet

Texte intégral

Introduction

1The Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine was born in Nice, 12-19 September 1957, in the first Réunion des mathématiciens d’expression latine. Many more meetings were to gather scores of mathematicians linked together by their use of “Latin languages”. While the rationale behind the “Union of Latin Mathematicians” is to say the least surprising for nowadays networks of international cooperation, however the first Réunions des Mathématiciens d’Expression Latine were outstanding scientific events. In fact, and that is what makes them politically relevant, they congregated the finest and most influential mathematicians not only from France, Belgium and Italy, but also from Poland and other central European countries fallen under Russian influence after WWII.

  • 2 Judt T., Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, New York, Penguin Press, 2005, p. 114-117, 243-6 (...)
  • 3 Judt T., Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, op. cit., p. 217-225; Past Imperfect: French Int (...)
  • 4 Lundestad G., “Empire” by Integration. The United States and European Integration, 1945-1997, Oxfo (...)

2I will argue here that the organization of the Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine, essentially a French initiative, was a consequence of French geopolitics during the long decade of the post-WWII Fourth Republic (1945-1958). In those years, French political and intellectual elites were still playing the game of pre-WWII Europe and looking at Germany and its central European hinterland with suspicion and distrust.2 After 1945, to a deeply rooted anti-German feeling they added intense misgivings towards Anglophone cultural imperialism.3 Even if in the early 1960s De Gaulle started the Franco-German construction of the European Union, France was still trying to preserve a super-power status and a prominent position for French as an international language of science.4 In my interpretation, the creation of and continuing support for the Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine in the 1950s and early 60s is a politically motivated move that was part of a strategy aiming at the preservation of a French sphere of cultural and political influence in Europe. The strategy was meant to isolate Germany and to counter American influence by strengthening the role of the French language and French speaking institutions.

The birth of the Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine

3On September 12-19, 1957 took place in Nice the I Réunion des mathématiciens d’expression latine (First Meeting of Mathematicians using Romance Languages). The official title words were in fact misleading, if account is taken that the meeting gathered mathematicians not only from France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Romania, and Portugal, countries all having official Romance languages, but also from Poland, Yugoslavia, Canada, Iran, and Israel. For the latter countries, the official reason for being part of the meeting was the use of French as language of international communication.

4The origins of these meetings might be better understood if ever the correspondence during the early fifties between Arnaud Denjoy (1884-1974) and Julio Rey Pastor (1888-1962) becomes fully available. As the matter stands now, we must rely only on tantalizing but scanty evidence from secondary sources.

  • 5 Letho O., Mathematics Without Borders. A History of the International Mathematical Union (New York (...)

5As is well known, the first International Mathematical Union (IMU), founded in 1920, fell victim to the angry disputes that shadowed most facets of international cooperation in the convulsed interwar years. Eventually, its General Assembly held in Zurich in 1932 voted the self-dissolution of IMU. International politics in general and the question of Germany’s exclusion from IMU in particular loomed large in the short life, crisis and final demise of IMU in the early 1930s.5

6The political scenario in Europe after WWII was of great complexity. There was an imperious need for denazifying Germany and stabilizing a new, democratic German state. It was an open question how and when it might be readmitted as a normal player in international politics. Moreover, the growing tensions of the Cold War, played in each country according to the strength of local political forces sympathizing with the Soviet Union or the United States soon engulfed Europe. Some of these problems and the fluidity of the international situation we find reflected in the relations between mathematicians. Around 1950 and in the context of setting up anew the IMU there was talk of a Unión Latina de Matemáticos, the aims and structure of which are unknown. We find references to it in letters addressed to and by Rey Pastor.

  • 6 Choquet G., “Denjoy, Arnaud”, in Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Retrieved June (...)
  • 7 Letho O., Mathematics Without Borders, op. cit., p. 311.
  • 8 On E. Corominas, see Malet A., Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer (1912-1967), Barcelona, IEC, 1995, p. 129- (...)
  • 9 On J. Rey Pastor, see Español L. (ed.) Actas I Simposio sobre Julio Rey Pastor, Logroño, Instituto (...)
  • 10 On Ernest Corominas and Rey Pastor’s assistance upon his return to Spain, see Malet A., Ferran Sun (...)

7In 1954, Arnaud Denjoy wrote to Rey Pastor asking his political collaboration to redress the balance of power within the reborn International Mathematical Union. Denjoy, member of the French Académie des sciences since 1942 (and other international learned societies), was an influential mathematician, disciple of André Baire, author of deep original results in real function theory, and doctoral advisor of another highly influential mathematician, Gustave Choquet. A confessed atheist and a man with wide interests in philosophy, psychology and politics, Denjoy had been very active within the Radical-Socialist Party in the interwar years.6 In 1954, he was appointed First Vice-president of IMU for the years 1955-1958.7 The last of Denjoy’s five doctoral students was the Catalan, Ernest Corominas (1913-1992), who had fought the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) in the trenches as an officer of the Spanish Republican Army and then in 1939 went to political exile first in Argentina and then in France.8 Denjoy asked Corominas’s help to contact Rey Pastor, an influential figure both in Argentina and Spain, where he simultaneously kept regular permanent positions for most years since 1921 to his death. Rey Pastor’s political views and stance in the conflict that led to the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist dictatorship (1939-1975) have been a matter of heated debate on which no consensus seems at hand yet.9 Nonetheless, it is well attested that Rey Pastor generously helped very many Republican exiles to settle and find positions in Argentina after 1939. The same is true of Rey Pastor’s help to exiles who decided to return to Spain in the 1950s. Ernest Corominas, like Pedro Pi Calleja and other mathematicians, had profited from Rey Pastor’s good offices in both countries. Corominas returned to Spain in 1952 and Rey Pastor was instrumental in getting him a research position in the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the huge research institution set up by the Franco regime in 1939. However, it is revealing of Rey Pastor’s dubious status within the Franco regime that he never managed to obtain a permanent full-time position for Corominas who, poorly paid and marginalized within the CSIC, left Spain in 1960 to die a French citizen and emeritus professor of the Université de Lyon.10

  • 11 Letho O., Mathematics Without Borders, op. cit., p. 45.

8In 1954, Denjoy used Corominas as an intermediary for a matter that was politically sensitive. In 1950 IMU had been redesigned on a provisory basis in a meeting of mathematical personalities held at the University of Columbia with USA diplomatic support.11 The statutes, by-laws and official activities of the reborn IMU had been inaugurated in the General Assembly held in Rome in 1952, in which 22 countries were counted official members. In the new IMU membership could come in five categories or groups, I to V, each one having different number of votes, from 1 to 5 votes respectively; the annual subscription each country paid to the new IMU was also dictated by the group to which the country belonged. The only official language of the new IMU was English. In 1954, as Denjoy duly pointed out, the “communist countries” and the Latino-American countries had not yet joined IMU. Consequently, IMU was dominated by “Anglo-Saxon influence”. To counterbalance it, Denjoy wanted Rey Pastor’s help in “mobilizing” Latino-American mathematicians so that Latino-American countries became members of IMU. Not surprisingly, Denjoy suggested that Rey Pastor was the most suitable unofficial speaker for those countries. We know Denjoy’s letter to Rey Pastor (by way of Corominas) in the first months of 1954 only through the Spanish version Corominas sent to Rey Pastor, the key passages of which read thus:

  • 12 «Sí está Rey Pastor en España ¿podría Vd. pedirle su colaboración sobre el punto siguiente? La Uni (...)

“If Rey Pastor is in Spain, could you ask his collaboration about the following: the International Mathematical Union, initially created in 1950 just before the Congress in Harvard, and in fact founded at the General Assembly in Rome in 1952 will hold its second General Assembly in The Hague from August 21st to September 1st [1954]… It would be interesting to counterbalance the Anglo-Saxon influence in the Union, since the English-speaking countries or their sympathizers already trust mathematical talent. In that purpose, it would be necessary to involve Latin-American countries, but they are reluctant. The Latin countries, in case Latin American countries join massively, could get influence in the Union, in particular if they register in group 2 (or even group 3 for Brazil). Rey Pastor would be a perfect spokesman.”12

9Rey Pastor agreed with Denjoy on the need to counterbalance what they saw as USA’s overwhelming influence within IMU, yet his answer pointed out reasons of two kinds to be skeptical about Denjoy’s strategy. Latino-American republics were weak, corrupt nations from which no decided, consistent, steady scientific policy was to be expected. They could not be counted upon to get involved in international science organizations whose membership required large amounts of money. Secondly, the ever-growing prestige of the USA among the young Latino-Americans, and particularly among mathematicians, made Rey Pastor doubt that Denjoy’s plan could effectively work as protection against “the overwhelming hegemony of the American colossus” (aplastante hegemonía del coloso de América). Rey Pastor’s suggestion was to recover an idea that had already circulated in 1950, when the first preparatory conversations about IMU took place in New York. The idea was to set up a Union of “Latin” Mathematicians (Unión Latina de Matemáticos) the core of which should be France, Italy and Belgium:

  • 13 «¿No cree Vd. que este sería el momento adecuado para resucitar el viejo proyecto de la Unión Lati (...)

“Don’t you think it would be the right time to bring back the old project of the Latin Mathematical Union which had been given up because of the constitution of the International Union? If the French agree as well (the Italians and the Belgians already do), we could draft a new project, simpler than the one I had written in 1950, in order to submit it to our colleagues during the Amsterdam meeting that I intend to attend.”13

The meetings ofLatin” Mathematicians, 1957-1985

  • 14 Marchaud A., “Avant-Propos”, Bulletin de la Société mathématique de France, 86 (1958), p. 253-255 (...)

10Accounts published by André Marchaud, the President of the First meeting of “Latin” mathematicians, and by Giovanni Sansone, the first President of the Groupement des Mathématiciens d’expression latine, agree on the essentials of the Denjoy-Rey Pastor correspondence and also on the fact that in 1955 mathematicians from France, Italy and Belgium representing their mathematical national societies decided to materialize some sort of union for the “Latin” countries of Europe.14 Sansone mentions the names of A. Denjoy, L. Godeaux, E. Bompiani, Julio Rey Pastor, and himself as taking part in an informal meeting at Harvard in 1950, during the first post WWII International Congress of Mathematicians, in which there was talk of a Union of “Latin” mathematicians.

11In October 1955, at the Pavia meeting of the Italian Mathematical Union, by agreement of representatives from the Italian Union, the French Sociéte mathématique and the Centre belge des recherches mathématiques there took shape the organization in 1957 of a first Réunion des Mathématiciens d’expression latine. The representatives included A. Marchaud, A. Lichnerowicz, L. Godeaux, E. Bompiani, and G. Sansone. A Comité international d’organization, chaired by André Marchaud, was set up to organize the 1957 Réunion, which eventually took place in Nice. During the Nice meeting the statutes of a new formal, permanent organization, the Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine were voted and approved by unanimity.

12Its main task was to organize every four years meetings of mathématiciens d’expression latine, and this was to be done so as not to interfere with the IMU inspired International Congresses of Mathematicians.

  • 15 Quotation from Marchaud A., “Avant-Propos”, op. cit., p. 254; see also the official list of partic (...)
  • 16 Marchaud A., “Avant-Propos”, op. cit., p. 254.

13A close look at the 1957 Nice Réunion reveals the main features of the first meetings of mathematicians of “Latin” expression. It gathered between 140 and 150 mathematicians coming not only “from all Latin countries” (toute la latinité) but also from “friendly countries wherein Latin languages are still honored by scientists”–In total, they come from 14 countries, including Poland, Yugoslavia, Israel, Switzerland and Canada; only Mexico was represented among the Latino-American countries, although Brazil showed political support for it. The French delegation was the strongest one in quantity (53 people) as well as by the distinguished mathematicians it included–among them, G. Choquet, P. Montel, G. Julia, A. Lichnerowicz, and H. Cartan.15 The Italian delegation, with 43 mathematicians, was also noticeable. Honorary invitations were sent to D. Kurepa, C. de La Vallée-Poussin, J.-L. Massera, H. Hopf, and L. Santaló. The meeting was supported by the French Foreign Office (Ministère des Affaires Étrangères) and patronized by distinguished institutions, including the Haut Patronage of the Presidency of the Republic. As A. Marchaud put it, the meeting was “riche des parrainages officiels les plus flatteurs”.16

  • 17 The following French mathematicians were members of the committee that set up the first activities (...)
  • 18 See “Conférences de la réunion des mathématiciens d’expression latine”, Bulletin de la Société Mat (...)

14French mathematicians played an important role first in the organization of the Nice meeting and then in setting up the Groupement and making it work.17 They also were for obvious reasons the natural leaders in most of the mathematical fields and discussions held in the meetings. French was the lingua franca of the meetings and of the Groupement, and the language in which most of the papers discussed in the first three meetings (held in Nice, Florence-Bologna (1961), and Namur (1965)) were published.18 The very structure of these meetings highlighted the presence of distinguished mathematicians (mostly from France but also from Poland and Switzerland, Italy and Belgium) whose presentations were given pride of place. There were few talks by distinguished mathematicians, and formally discussed by previously appointed commentators. With very few exceptions, participants come from Europe, with France (and Italy and Belgium in second and third positions) providing most of the participants, always more than 65% of the total numbers and sometimes even more than 80 per cent. By their participation, their structure, their speakers, and their patrons, the first meetings as well as the Groupement of “Latin” mathematicians were a political platform to call the international attention and to build up an international mathematical community under French leadership.

  • 19 Data derived from Groupement des mathématicians d’expression latine, Actualités mathématiques: Act (...)
  • 20 Personal communication from Professor Manuel Castellet, member of the last Executive Committee of (...)

15This state of affairs, however, was to change dramatically from the late 1960s on. By 1981, the sixth meeting (which was then called the VIe Congrès) held in Luxembourg, had the structure of any standard international congress, with some invited lectures but with a program mostly filled up by short non-invited talks. Participants came mostly from Spain (49 out of a total of 185). Out of a total of 74 talks, Spaniards gave 25. France (17 participants), had a similar presence as Italy (19), Belgium (17), Luxembourg (23), Mexico (13), and francophone Africa (14). The numbers of talks given by French and Italian mathematicians were modest, 5 and 9 respectively, and they did not come from prestigious mathematicians. The French language had lost its privileged status, as many talks were given in the national languages of the participants, including Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan.19 The meetings and the Groupement of “Latin” Mathematicians had evidently lost their raison d’être. The last meeting was held in Coimbra in 1985. The Groupement voted its self-dissolution shortly afterwards.20

French Mathematicians in political context

16The whole enterprise of trying to set up permanent academic and institutional relationships among mathematicians coming from so widely separate countries on the pretext of the Romance or Latin languages is hard to understand now. As suggested above, it is only to be understood by analyzing the complex political context prevailing in Europe between the end of WWII and the stabilization in the 1960s of a new political order around the institutions of the European Common Market, which first adumbrated the aim of European integration.

17Among the Spanish elites, French was by far the most widely known foreign language, and it was to remain so until the 1970s. As such, it was the usual channel of access to science and thought. Moreover, and perhaps even more crucially, Francoist Spain was in the 1950s desperately seeking ways to consolidate its international status among the Western nations and to left behind the pariah status it had endured in the 1940s because of its complicity and cooperation with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Joining any European forum that was willing to receive it was a political priority for Spain–and more so if it was led by France and cost nothing or very little. Although Italy was a far more cultivated nation than Spain, and although its historical contributions to mathematical knowledge put the two countries in different categories, yet they had in common the historical prevalence of French as the most important language of access to high international culture. Moreover, for Italy to back democratic France internationally was a way to make amends for its close alliance with Nazi Germany and the Vichy regime.

18The most important clues behind the 1950s efforts to set up the foundations of a mathematical community of “Latin” mathematicians are nonetheless to be found in France, in the anti-American feelings present in many and influential parts of its society, in its fractured scientific communities, in the difficult political role France was unexpectedly required to play in the new European scenario dominated by Cold War tensions.

19As is well known, the end of WWII ushered in years of political confusion and economic scarcity, as the winners hesitated on the best way to proceed with Germany. At first radical restrictions on its economy and particularly on its industrial production were set, while the country was left without political autonomy. In 1946, the country was producing less than one quarter of its 1938 industrial output. Most of its carbon and steel was going to France for free. Its people were subsisting on a diet of 1 200 calories per day. With the German economic giant crippled and France devastated, the continent could only subsist on USA aid, an unsustainable situation after the onset of the Cold War. The Marshall plan and its accompanying measures of setting up NATO and a new democratic German state by unifying the three (USA-, UK-, France-) occupied zones were implemented between 1947 and 1949. However, all these measures met with very strong opposition in France.

20How to integrate Germany into Western Europe to isolate it from its own past and from any temptation to fall under Soviet influence was the paramount problem nobody apparently was able to solve. The USA was pushing for a federal Europe, one in which Germany was supervised and tied up to its Western European neighbors. Yet, the UK was against Western European federalism and instead favored a loose Atlantic integration of the NATO kind. The idea of a (purely) European Army (European Defense Community, EDC) to collaborate with NATO was put in circulation by the French, to drop it in 1954 when the USA used the idea to push for a supranational integration of Western Europe. Any talk of supranationality (and there was something of that going around between 1945 and 1955) aroused strong opposition both in the UK and in France. Keeping NATO and setting up the European Economic Community (EEC), of which the UK did not want to be a member, finally broke the impasse. The 1957 Rome treaties that created EURATOM and the EEC were the first effective steps towards a political arrangement that might solve the German (and in fact the Western European) question. Taking advantage of the UK’s mistake of not joining the EEC from the beginning, France vetoed its membership first in 1961 and then all along during the de Gaulle’s years (1958-1969). That effectively gave France the political leadership of the EEC, which it combined (to the great dismay of the USA) with a diplomatic aperture to the Soviet Union.

  • 21 Judt T., Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956, op. cit., particularly p. 187-204.
  • 22 Kuisel R.F., Seducing the French: the dilemma of Americanization, Berkeley, University of Californ (...)
  • 23 Kuisel R.F., Seducing the French, op. cit., p. 21, 24.

21This political background highlights France’s ambivalent attitude towards its WWII allies and liberators. In fact Anti-Americanism was a prevalent feature of French society up through the 1960s, particularly among its intellectual and cultural elites–not even counting the big quota of anti-Americanism manufactured by the Communist Party and its intellectuals.21 While anti-Americanism had its roots in the interwar years, France in the first decade or so after WWII saw what has been called an “outburst of anti-Americanism”. Many strands came together in it. American products of mass consumption (from Coca-Cola to movies) were seen as attacking French identity. Businessmen and labor unions saw American pressures to low tariffs and American methods of mass-production and marketing as a menace. USA pressure at shaping the big questions of European politics was resented by politicians. The Catholic Church attacked “American materialism” and consumerism.22 As the prominent Gaullist politician, Jacques Soustelle, put it, France was a sort of golden average between two superpowers, both of which were equally dangerous. In his words, France was caught between “two colossi, one of which has no heart and the other has no head”.23

  • 24 Krige J., American hegemony and the postwar reconstruction of science in Europe, Cambridge, Mass. (...)

22Geopolitics and the need to preserve as much as possible of its former influence made France maneuver to reassert its solitary leadership on the continent. From this perspective, the bet of French mathematicians for the Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine makes more sense. It was a way to marginalize German mathematics, to fortify the international role of French mathematics, to boost the French language as a tool for international scientific communication. In particular, it was a strategy to mark France’s own space vis-à-vis “Anglo-Saxon imperialism” and its subtle attempts to sway the French scientific communities out of their traditional ways. After WWII, no money for European science was coming from the USA administration, but large amounts came from private foundations–in France, from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations in particular. As shown by John Krige (on the evidence of archival material from the late 1940s and early 1950 from the Rockefeller and Ford foundations), French scientists overall were perceived by their American colleagues as somewhat provincial, insular, and self-satisfied. This was particularly so for the scientists who had remained in France through the war years. Those who spend the war in the UK or the USA, on the contrary, had learned to speak English and had in a general way had “eye-opening experiences” teaching them the value of international cooperation and communication. The important point to draw here is not one about the truth of these clearly biased American views, but the evidence they provide of the prevailing image of the French scientific communities in those years. The Rockefeller Foundation provided two generous grants to the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique late in 1946. One of them was a “conference” grant specifically aimed at encouraging the celebration of conferences and exchanges with foreign colleagues. As J. Krige puts it, the people running the Rockefeller Foundation “wanted to take advantage of the fluid situation in France to change the [scientific] community’s attitudes and values, to transform it from being inward-looking and parochial into a full-fledged participant in the international scientific enterprise.”24

  • 25 Ibid., p. 81-86, 90-95, 108-113.

23The money the private foundations were giving to French science also aimed at healing the scars of scientific communities deeply fractured by the war. There were two main divides, one between those who collaborated or meekly accommodated to the German occupation and the Vichy regime, the other between those who remained in the country and those who fled. To minimize the tensions of the second kind, so that people who had been most exposed to USA and UK influences could regain its positions and status in France, was essential for the strategic aim of making French scientific communities less French centered and more open to international–that is to say, English-speaking–communities. Therefore, it was a strategic aim the US private foundations assumed.25

24French intellectuals, scholars and scientists deeply resented these pressures. This background helps us to make sense of French mathematicians’preferences for international relations that allowed them to keep their academic leadership without questioning the status of French as a central language of international communication. Mathematics was a field in which France around 1950 was second to no one, and one in which no laboratory equipment and heavy financial investment were needed. If there was a field in which French scientists could stand on their own, it was mathematics. The steps French mathematicians took towards the consolidation of the Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine are therefore to be understood in the political context of the first decade after WWII, when the future of Western Europe was still to be defined, French anti-Americanism was rampant, and France was not willing to accept the new scientific hegemony of the USA.

Notes

2 Judt T., Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, New York, Penguin Press, 2005, p. 114-117, 243-6; Judt T., Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956, Berkeley, etc., University of California Press, 1992, p. 45-98.

3 Judt T., Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, op. cit., p. 217-225; Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956, op. cit., p. 187-204.

4 Lundestad G., “Empire” by Integration. The United States and European Integration, 1945-1997, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998, p. 58-82. Judt T., Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, op. cit., p. 284-303, 351-353.

5 Letho O., Mathematics Without Borders. A History of the International Mathematical Union (New York, etc.: Springer, 1998), p. 50-58.

6 Choquet G., “Denjoy, Arnaud”, in Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2012 from Encyclopedia. com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2830905083.html.

7 Letho O., Mathematics Without Borders, op. cit., p. 311.

8 On E. Corominas, see Malet A., Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer (1912-1967), Barcelona, IEC, 1995, p. 129-158; Pouzet M., “Ernest Corominas”, Order, 9, 1992, 1-3; P. Tió, “En record d’Ernest Coromines”, Revista de Catalunya, 74, May 1993, p. 62-64.

9 On J. Rey Pastor, see Español L. (ed.) Actas I Simposio sobre Julio Rey Pastor, Logroño, Instituto de Estudios Riojanos, 1985); Español L. (ed.), Estudios sobre Julio Rey Pastor, Logroño, Instituto de Estudios Riojanos, 1990; Ríos S., Santaló L., Balanzat M., Julio Rey Pastor matemático, Madrid, Instituto de España, 1979.

10 On Ernest Corominas and Rey Pastor’s assistance upon his return to Spain, see Malet A., Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer, p. 115, 139-140.

11 Letho O., Mathematics Without Borders, op. cit., p. 45.

12 «Sí está Rey Pastor en España ¿podría Vd. pedirle su colaboración sobre el punto siguiente? La Unión Matemática Internacional, creada en principio en 1950 poco antes del Congreso de Harvard, y fundada efectivamente en la Asamblea general de Roma en 1952, tendrá su segunda Asamblea general en la Haya los días de 21 de agosto y 1 de septiembre [de 1954]… Seria interesante contrabalancear la influencia anglosajona en la Unión, ya que los países de lengua inglesa o simpatizantes no monopolizan el talento matemático. Pero para esto sería necesario que entraran los países de América Latina, y éstos son reticentes,… Los países latinos, si América Latina se adhiere en cantidad podría ejercer una influencia en la Unión, sobre todo sí se inscribe en el grupo 2 (o incluso 3 para el Brasil?). Rey Pastor sería su portavoz indicado» Quoted in García E., «Los últimos años de Rey Pastor», in Español L. (ed.), Estudios sobre Julio Rey Pastor, 19-39, p. 23.

13 «¿No cree Vd. que este sería el momento adecuado para resucitar el viejo proyecto de la Unión Latina de Matemáticos, que fue planteado con motivo de la constitución de la Unión Internacional,… Si también estuviesen de acuerdo los franceses (los italianos y los belgas ya lo están) se podría redactar un nuevo proyecto, mucho más simple que el escrito por mí en 1950, para someterlo a la discusión de varios colegas con ocasión de la reunión de Amsterdam [the second General Assembly of IMU, August 31-September 1, 1954] a la que pienso asistir», ibid., p. 25.

14 Marchaud A., “Avant-Propos”, Bulletin de la Société mathématique de France, 86 (1958), p. 253-255 (introduction to the special section of the Bulletin devoted to the 1957 Nice lectures); Sansone G., “Introduzione”, in Atti della II Riunione del Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine, Rome, Edizioni Cremonese, 1963, p. 13-14.

15 Quotation from Marchaud A., “Avant-Propos”, op. cit., p. 254; see also the official list of participants, a copy of which is preserved at the Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer Archive, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona ( http://ddd.uab.cat/collection/fsunyer).

16 Marchaud A., “Avant-Propos”, op. cit., p. 254.

17 The following French mathematicians were members of the committee that set up the first activities of the “Latin” mathematicians and wrote the statutes of the Groupement: A. Marchaud (President), Paul Belgodère, Paul Dubreil, André Lichnerowicz; also members were the Italians Giovanni Sansone (Vice president), Enrico Bompiani, Alessandro Terracini; the Belges Lucien Godeaux (Vice president) and Théodore Lepage; the Swiss Georges de Rham, and the Spaniard Germán Ancochea (Marchaud A., “Avant-Propos”, op. cit., p. 254). The first Executive Committee of the Groupement was composed of P. Montel (honorary member) and J. Adem, R. Conti, P. Dubreil, K. Kuratowski, M. L’Abbé, T. Lepage, A. Lichnerowicz, G. De Rham, J. Sebastiao e Silva, A. Signorini, S. Stoilow, A Terracini, R. San Juan, J. Teixidor, L. Santaló (see Atti della II Riunione del Groupement de mathématiciens d’expression latine, Roma, Edizioni Cremonese, 1963, n.p.).

18 See “Conférences de la réunion des mathématiciens d’expression latine”, Bulletin de la Société Mathématique de France, 86 (1958), p. 253-373; Atti della II Riunione del Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine, Rome, Edizioni Cremonese, 1963; Comptes Rendus de la IIIe Réunion du Groupement des mathématiciens d’expression latine, Louvaine, Librairie universitaire, 1966. On the whole, some 7 out of 10 papers were published in French, with most of the remaining papers being in Italian.

19 Data derived from Groupement des mathématicians d’expression latine, Actualités mathématiques: Actes du VIe Congrès, Luxembourg, 7-12 Septembre 1981, Paris, Gauthiers-Villars, 1982.

20 Personal communication from Professor Manuel Castellet, member of the last Executive Committee of the Groupement.

21 Judt T., Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956, op. cit., particularly p. 187-204.

22 Kuisel R.F., Seducing the French: the dilemma of Americanization, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1993, p. 15-69; Lundestadg, “Empire” by Integration, op. cit., p. 58-83; Pells R., Not like us: how Europeans have loved, hated and transformed American culture since World War II, New York, Basic Books, 1997; De Grazia V., “Changing Consumption Regimes in Europe, 1930-1970. Comparative Perspectives on the Distribution Problem”, in Strasser S., Mcgovern C. and Judt M. (eds), Getting and Spending: European and American Consumer Societies in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 59-83.

23 Kuisel R.F., Seducing the French, op. cit., p. 21, 24.

24 Krige J., American hegemony and the postwar reconstruction of science in Europe, Cambridge, Mass. [etc.], MIT, 2006), p. 79-113, particularly 108-113; quotation on p. 109.

25 Ibid., p. 81-86, 90-95, 108-113.

Auteur

Professeur d’histoire des sciences au département de sciences humaines de l’Université Pompeu Fabra de Barcelone. Ses travaux portent sur les sciences des xvie et xviie siècles, et sur l’influence du franquisme sur la vie scientifique.

© CNRS Éditions, 2013

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Lire

Freemium

open access

Offert par L’éditeur de ce site