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I’m curious, does anyone have further information about Jean Besse of Zürich, who is the namesake of our friend Arthur, a “geometer’s Bourbaki”? I can find only the 1938 paper cited by Berger et al, which is in the ETH archives here. No other information about this person has turned up; quite mysterious to pay homage to someone otherwise historically obscure. This obscurity is possibly behind the false explanation of the MO post here.
Sorry, what makes you say it’s false?
I say this because the MO post conflicts with Arthur’s explanation in the preface of Einstein Manifolds (that his namesake is Jean Besse of complex analysis acclaim), and because none of the meeting locations cited for the group are in the candidate communes of France, which seem to be Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise and Besse, Dordogne. The group acknowledges that they convened at Université Paris Diderot, Centre de mathématiques Laurent-Schwartz, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and Chambéry. So, something seems off, but of course I welcome correction.
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