The Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES) was created in 1958 at the instigation of Léon Motchane. A businessman with a love of mathematics, his ambition was to create a research centre that would become the European counterpart of the famous Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, United States.
Since its creation, the Institute has developed in line with the vision of its founder. It has become a reference point for the international scientific community and achieved undeniable success in mathematics and theoretical physics. The atmosphere of free discussion among scientists, whatever their specialty or background, has also become one of the characteristics that make it so attractive.
IHES as an institution has had the legal status of a foundation in the public interest since 1981.
“Art. 1: The aim of the Foundation known as ‘Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques’ is to enable and encourage theoretical scientific research in the following fields: Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, Methodology of Human Sciences and any other related theoretical discipline”
“Art. 2: The Foundation’s activity consists mainly in providing the Institute’s professors and researchers, both permanent and invited, with the resources required to undertake disinterested research: a centre comprising offices, meeting rooms, a library, a conference centre and a housing residence for visiting researchers.”
(Extract from the IHES statutes, 1958)