Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Galileo Violini
Director Emeritus, Centro Internacional de Física , Bogota, Colombia


"For establishing programs in physics education and research in Latin America and the Caribbean that increased regional scientific capacity, for promoting international scientific cooperation across continents and regions of the world, and for creating the Centro Internacional de Física in Colombia."


Galileo Violini is a theoretical physicist who graduated from the University of Rome (now La Sapienza University). He has held various academic positions, including professorships at the Universities of Rome and Calabria in Italy, the University of Los Andes in Colombia, and Chimborazo Polytechnic School, ESPOCH, Ecuador. Furthermore, he is a co-founder, along with Eduardo Posada, and the former director (now Emeritus) of the International Physics Center (IPC) in Bogota, Colombia. Fellow of the American Physical Society, ‘for the broad contribution to Physics, the development of new international programs and the promotion of international cooperation between advanced and developing countries’, since 2001. Former Member-at-large of the Executive Committee of the APS Forum International Physics (2007-2009). Honorary member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences (2022). Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science (2023). John Wheatley Award of the American Physical Society, “for the creation and direction of CIF” (1995), Abdus Salam Spirit Award of the International Center for Theoretical Physics "Abdus Salam" (ICTP), “for his extensive work founding and leading the growth of the Centro Internacional de Fisica (CIF) in Colombia, following closely the steps of Abdus Salam” (2016). Outstanding Salvadorean Recognition from the Government of El Salvador, “for his contribution and support to the development of Science and Technology in El Salvador” (2018). Doctor Honoris Causa of the Ricardo Palma University, of Lima (2007). Former Director of a European Union program for the Faculty of Sciences of the University of El Salvador. Former UNESCO Representative to Islamic Republic of Iran and to the Economic Cooperation Organization and Director of Tehran Office, then a cluster office formally competent also for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. Consultant to the Governments of Guatemala and Dominican Republic and to UNESCO, to the Higher University Council of Central America (CSUCA), to ICTP, to Italian-Latin American Institute (IILA) and other national and international organizations. Co-proposer of a Synchrotron Light Source in the Greater Caribbean and Co-chair of the Interim Executive Committee of the Great Caribbean Light Source Initiative. Author of almost four hundred publications on topics ranging from Theoretical Physics (82 and one book), Epidemiology (50), Science Education (23 and three books), History of Physics (2), Science Policy (100), Social, Historical and Political Issues (107). Editor of 14 Proceedings. Organizer of more than two hundred scientific events, mostly, but not uniquely, at IPC, with the participation of some 7000 scientists. As delegate of the University of Calabria rector, Gianni Latorre, with competence for the international relations, he set the basis of an internationalization program which currently is one of the most important of that university. This program also included two visionary actions for Africa, that unfortunately, being perhaps not yet mature, it was impossible to realize, a program, in collaboration with UNESCO, of grants for girls from Sub-Saharan Africa, and the creation of an international University in the region of the Great Lakes. His main scientific contributions are in High-Energy Physics phenomenology, and include the first determination of the NΣK coupling constant, and the understanding of the relation between CMSR, a phenomenological research tool popular some fifty years ago, and FESR. Author with N. M. Queen of the book "Dispersion theory in High-Energy Physics". Some minor side interest led to research on Nuclear Physics, Fluid dynamics and Mathematical Physics. During the recent pandemic, as many physicists did, he studied problems of epidemiology with a special interest on political problems, having strongly advocated for a stronger UN intervention for patent liberalization and attention to less developed countries. For what concerns his contribution to scientific development, the main result has been the creation of the Centro Internacional de Física in Bogota, Colombia. When directing a program, mainly of reconstruction, after the Chapultepec agreement that ended the civil war, of the Faculty of Science of the University of El Salvador, in collaboration with the ISU Institute of Theoretical and Applied Physics and with James Vary he participated in plans of development of Science in Center America and Africa. When director of the UNESCO Tehran´s Office, he was instrumental to favor the participation of Iran in CERN. After that, as a member-at-large of the APS Forum on International Physics, he was an active promoter of the collaboration between American Physical Society and Latin America. Collaborating with Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria, Carlos Ordóñez and Fernando Quevedo, he played a major role for the promotion of regional doctorates in Physics and Mathematics in Central America. More recently, one can mention his leadership in the proposal of establishing a Latin American Synchrotron in the Great Caribbean region. For what concerns Science Policy actions of national impact, one can mention consultancies with Guatemala and Dominican Republic. Since the 2010 Haiti earthquake he has strongly advocated for a vigorous policy of scientific development in that country, having ICTP support. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the following problems in the country have, for the moment being, paralyzed this action. Promoter of interregional cooperation between Latin America and Africa, he is currently involved in a possible project with Equatorial Guinea, in collaboration with Pedro Fernández de Córdoba, from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Among his visionary proposals that have not (hopefully yet) materialized, a few deserve mention, such as the creation of CACESCO, an UNESCO or ISESCO-like organization for the Caribbean and Central America, the creation of an Andean Center of Science, natural partner of those ICTP has promoted in Mexico and Brazil, and, last, but not least, his dream of making reality the proposal of Avivi Yavin and Reyad Sawafta of a Middle East Center of Science. For this, together with James and Hildegard Vary he made a mission for UNESCO to Israel, Gaza and Egypt and presented proposal at a meeting on Science for Peace, in Jerusalem.