Location and Structures

The «Ettore Majorana» Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture is
named after an outstanding Italian physicist. Born in Sicily in 1906,
Ettore Majorana’s breadth of vision and exceptional contributions to
theoretical nuclear physics moved Enrico Fermi to the following
statement: «There are many categories of scientists, people of second
and third rank, who do their best, but do not go very far. There are
also people of first-class rank, who make great discoveries,
fundamental to the development of science. But then there are the
geniuses, like Galilei and Newton. Well, Ettore Majorana was one of
them». Every year since 1963, authors of new discoveries and
inventions come to Erice; 76 of them were awarded the Nobel Prize
after their participation to the Ettore Majorana Schools and 49 were
already Nobel laureates when they started to take part in the Centre
activities. These scientific world leaders teach to students from all
over the world who are eager to receive the latest knowledge directly
from the mouths of its authors.

Embracing 123 Schools, covering all branches of Science, the Centre is
situated in the old pre-mediaeval city of Erice where four restored
monasteries (one of which was the residence of the Viceroy of Sicily
during the XIV and XV Centuries) provide an appropriate setting for
high intellectual endeavour. These ancient buildings are now named
after great scientists and strong supporters of the ‘Ettore Majorana’
Centre. The San Francesco Monastery (former Viceroy’s residence) is
now the Eugene P. Wigner Institute with the ‘Enrico Fermi’ Lecture
Hall. The San Domenico Monastery is now the Patrick M.S. Blackett
Institute with the ‘Paul A.M. Dirac’ Lecture Hall. The San Rocco
Monastery is now the Isidor I. Rabi Institute with the ‘Richard P.
Feynman’ Lecture Hall, the Directorate and the main Secretariat of the
Centre. The ‘Ciclope’ is now the Victor F. Weisskopf Institute with
the ‘John S. Bell’ and ‘Richard H. Dalitz’ Lecture Halls. There are
living quarters in all four Institutes for people attending the
Courses at the Centre. The Polo Sismico, the first worldwide Network
of Seismological Detectors (1981), is located in the I.I. Rabi
Institute. The ‘Paul A.M. Dirac’ and the ‘Daniel Chalonge’ Museums are
situated at the Patrick M.S. Blackett Institute.