I’m running for LMS Council again — last time

LMS Council members are allowed to serve for at most six consecutive years. I am now running for re-election for years five and six of my maximum term of service. LMS members should be getting their ballots soon. You can see the slate of candidates: here.

Please vote. In recent elections, I don’t think even 20% of the membership has voted. Yet, I know that many more members than this care about the society, its activities, and the contribution it can make to UK mathematics and mathematical research more broadly.

If my goals for the LMS are close enough to yours, please vote for me, Burt Totaro. This year, in addition to the standardized list of facts about each candidate, the LMS has asked for short personal election statements. My submitted statement follows. The LMS has limited statements to 200 words, so I didn’t have room to say that I also think it’s important for the LMS to have a serious drive to attract more members, to broaden its membership criteria, and to make the mechanics of joining the LMS less bothersome.

Burt Totaro: Election Statement 2011, LMS Council
According to the LMS’s 2011 survey, the UK maths community thinks that the most important purposes of the LMS are: influencing national policy on mathematics; improving university mathematics, both teaching and research; and awarding grants to support mathematics. I agree. It is the LMS’s responsibility to promote and defend research mathematics. I want LMS Council to focus on this priority and avoid distractions, however worthy or well intentioned. Of course it is desirable for UK school mathematics to improve, for example, but the LMS should play a supporting role to other organizations such as the Mathematical Association.

In July 2011, EPSRC announced that in the mathematical sciences, it would fund fellowships only in statistics and applied probability. I am helping to organize opposition to EPSRC’s move. EPSRC’s decision did not come out of nowhere, however. Mathematics is central to science and the modern economy, but mathematicians have not succeeded in getting that message across to politicians and the public. The LMS does not have the luxury of shifting its focus away from its responsibility to promote research mathematics.

Burt Totaro: List of facts
Burt James Totaro, Lowndean Professor of Astronomy and Geometry, University of Cambridge.
Email: b.totaro@dpmms.cam.ac.uk
Home page: http://www.dpmms.cam.ac.uk/~bt219/
PhD: University of California, Berkeley 1989.
Previous appointments: Member, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley 1989-90; Dickson Instructor, University of Chicago 1990-93; Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton 1994-95; Assistant Professor, University of Chicago 1993-98; University Lecturer, University of Cambridge, 1999-2000; Eisenbud Professor, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, 2009.
Research interests: Algebraic Geometry, Topology, Lie Groups.
LMS service: Council, 2008-; Programme Committee, 2008-; Editor, Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, 2003-2008; Editorial advisory board member, 2001-03.
Additional relevant information: FRS 2009; Prix Franco-Britannique, British Council 2001; Whitehead Prize 2000; Editor, Compositio Mathematica, 2008-.



Filed under EPSRC, LMS

4 responses to “I’m running for LMS Council again — last time

  1. Pingback: LMS ballots have been sent; ballots due 10-Nov-2011 | Geometry Bulletin Board

  2. Dear Burt
    I shall be honoured to vote for you, if I can find the LMS ballot among all the papers in my office! I remember your distinguished predecessor Frank Adams telling me about an expedition he made to Michael Barratt’s office in Manchester (approximately 45 years ago), when Michael was away. Frank had been asked by the LMS to retrieve a manuscript sent to Michael to referee. Frank never did find it, but found another LMS manuscript in a collection carefully filed as “Unopened correspondence”.
    Good luck in the election all the same

  3. My vote is in the mail. If the LMS had an online voting system (like the AMS does) it would have saved me the unseemly scrabble to find the ballot papers on my desk, and I would have been able to write that “my vote is in the cloud”, along the lines of http://www.cartoonbank.com/october-3-2011/the-check-is-in-the-cloud/invt/137385/

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