Perimeter Institute Mourns Mandela's Passing

The world has lost an icon of intelligent humanity with the passing of Nelson Mandela.

Perimeter joins all people in remembering a champion of peaceful progress, education, and optimism for a brighter future.

We share the grief of our partners at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), to whom Mandela remains an inspiration and a hero.

Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok, a South Africa native whose parents were jailed alongside Mandela for their anti-apartheid efforts, reflects on Mandela:  

“For me, Mr. Mandela’s greatest legacy won’t be his strength of character, or his capacity for forgiveness, or his towering intellect, or his passion for our homeland,” writes Turok in this article. “What was most striking about him was his passion for education. He said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’”

Stephen Hawking, a Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at Perimeter Institute, met with Mandela in 2008 at AIMS in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Upon hearing of Mandela's passing, Hawking reflected:

"I greatly admired Nelson Mandela for finding a peaceful solution to a situation that seemed doomed to disaster.  It was one of the greatest achievements of the last hundred years."

Let us all strive to keep Mandela’s passion and positive vision alive for generations to come.

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

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“When people are determined they can overcome anything.”

- Nelson Mandela, 2006