While looking for a paper of Faltings I stumbled across a fairly interesting book. It’s the Springer Lecture Notes in Math volume 1525, titled “*Mathematical Research Today and Tomorrow: Viewpoints of several Fields medalists*“. The volume contains the talks of several Fields medalists from the “*Symposium on the Current State and Prospects of Mathematics*“, which was held in June of 1991, as well as a transcription of a round-table discussion held at the end of the symposium. I particularly recommend the paper of Rene Thom, as well as the round-table note. Here is a taste from the round-table discussion:

Brown: Earlier Professor Connes referred to Watson and Crick, and in the television program on Watson and Crick, the young Watson said “Big questions get big answers; I want to know: What is life and how does it replicate itself?” Do you feel there can be, or there are, questions of a comparable type in mathematics?

Faltings: I give you an example. “What is motives?”

Brown is Ronald Brown from the University of Wales, Bangor. He was addressing a question to Fields medalist Gerd Faltings during an open question period at the end of the round-table debate. If you’ve got some spare time you may enjoy reading a bit of this volume!

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