Congratulations to the first class of admitted students at AIMS Senegal, the newest AIMS center and the latest achievement from cosmologist and TED Prize winner Neil Turok and his NextEinstein Initiative.
In 2008 Turok wished for the TED community to help “unlock and nurture scientific talent across Africa, so that within our lifetimes we are celebrating an African Einstein.” This proposal is known as the NextEinstein Initiative, Turok’s vision to expand his groundbreaking postgrad program, the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), founded in South Africa in 2003, to a network of 15 centers across Africa. In Turok’s recent talk from Google Zeitgeist, he tells us about his vision for AIMS: “There are plenty of spaces for much more innovative educational centers in the world, and frankly that’s where I think the future will go. It willl go to enterprise. Enterprise should be attached to education and science.”
Since Turok’s 2008 talk AIMS-NEI has made tremendous strides. The second AIMS program launched in Abuja, Nigeria in July 2008, and last month AIMS Senegal welcomed its first class. In the next two years AIMS-NEI anticipates the addition of two new centers in Ghana and Ethiopia. By 2013 all five centers will be fully operating, and the world will be on its way to meeting its first African Einstein.