ICM from the foundation to the suspension of the old IMU

IMU탄생에서 해체까지의 ICM

  • 김성숙 (배재대학교 전산수학과) ;
  • 강미경 (배재대학교 전산수학과)
  • Received : 2012.07.17
  • Accepted : 2012.08.18
  • Published : 2012.08.30


The Great War of 1914-1918 had dramatic consequences for all aspects of European society. Academia, and the field of mathematics, was no exception to the changes which occurred following the conflicts conclusion. After the First World War, which left Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bulgaria and Turkey defeated, the Treaty of Versailles imposed harsh revisions to the old order. Many new nations emerged and the map of Europe was redrawn. The victorious powers also created the International Research Council (IRC) in 1919, and the International Mathematical Union (IMU) was founded under the IRC' s umbrella in 1920. At that time Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria were excluded from participation and the IMU maintained an open anti-German policy. However, as time passed this policy became more sharply criticized and in 1928 ICM, the nonparticipants were invited to join. Having declined, controversy persisted until in 1931 the IRC was replaced by the International Council of Scientific Unions, and the IMU disappeared for over two decades until it was reestablished in 1951. During the time of the first tenure of the IMU it is argued by many that politics entered into the world of international mathematical cooperation. In this paper we study the real effects the Great War had on the international mathematical community and its mathematicians.


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