Wolf prize money donated to Birzeit University

The algebraic geometer David Mumford, one of the three winners of the Wolf prize this year, is donating his share of the prize money to Birzeit University — a Palestinian university, and Gisha — an organisation that promotes Palestinian freedom of movement. From the Haaretz article:

“I decided to donate my share of the Wolf Prize to enable the academic community in occupied Palestine to survive and thrive,” Mumford told Haaretz. “I am very grateful for the prize, but I believe that Palestinian students should have an opportunity to go elsewhere to acquire an education. Students in the West Bank and Gaza today do not have an opportunity to do that.”

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“The achievements I accomplished in mathematics were made possible thanks to my being able to move freely and exchange ideas with other scholars,” he said. “It would not have been possible without an international consensus on an exchange of ideas. Mathematics works best when people can move and get together. That’s its elixir of life. But the people of occupied Palestine don’t have an opportunity to do that. The school system is fighting for its life, and mobility is very limited.”