Progress in pure mathematics has its own tempo. Major questions may remain open for decades, even centuries, and once an answer has been found, it can take a collaborative effort of many mathematicians in the field to check that it is correct. The Isaac Newton Institute provides mathematicians with the opportunity to come together for prolonged periods of time, away from their day-to-day work, to consider the hardest problems in their field. The New Contexts for Stable Homotopy Theory programme (NST), held at the Institute, is a prime example of how this approach can benefit researchers and lead to landmark results.
As well as formal collaborations, participants particularly benefitted from the informal interactions that such a residential programme allows. The opportunity for informal professional and social interaction is one of the unique and significant benefits of Newton Institute programmes.