The 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting has opened its doors: Scientists from 89 countries meet with 39 Nobel Laureates
The spotlight was on the young scientists at the grand opening of the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Sunday in Lindau’s Inselhalle. The speakers called on the next generation of scientists to play an active role in shaping societal developments. A record 89 countries are represented at this year’s Lindau Meeting, where 580 young scientists will meet with 39 Nobel Laureates until 5 July. Following the topic cycle, this year’s programme is dedicated to physics. Laser physics is a core topic, in keeping with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. Other topics include dark matter and gravitational waves, which were first detected in 2016.
The host, Countess Bettina Bernadotte, President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, picked up on an appeal made by Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn in 2018 in Lindau, in which she urged science to adopt a global, sustainable and open approach. “Together with Liz Blackburn, we have developed a draft for a ‘Lindau Declaration’,” Bernadotte announced to the gathered scientists. “Share your vision with us and become involved!” She explained that the Lindau Meeting was conceived for exactly this purpose: as a forum for dialogue and exchange.
The meeting, which is held on the banks of Lake Constance until Friday, 5 July, offers ample opportunity for the participating Nobel Laureates and young scientists to engage in extensive discussions. A variety of programme formats will facilitate face-to-face dialogue, such as the Agora Talks, Laureate Lunches and Science Walks.
The German Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek emphasised the special nature of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings: “They represent an international and globally unique forum at which scientists come together from every corner of the earth. This is why the event is held in increasingly high regard, both in Germany and abroad. Not only will important bridges be built in Lindau between nations and cultures, but networks will be established that go on to last generations. Where else can young scientists engage so directly with Nobel Laureates? Only Lindau can offer that.” The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is among the Lindau Meetings’ largest supporters.
In his keynote address, Australian Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt encouraged young scientists to play a greater role in tackling societal challenges. “There’s a multitude of problems out there,” he said. “We scientists are the ones who must confront them. Let’s talk them out!”
The scientific programme will get underway on Monday, 1 July, with a lecture from physicist Donna Strickland; last year, she became just the third woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Her co-laureate from 2018, Gérard Mourou, will also be in attendance in Lindau. He is one of ten Nobel Laureates participating in the Lindau Meeting for the first time. Yemen’s Tawakkol Karman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, complements the array of scientists. She will speak about her experiences as a human rights activist on the last day of the meeting on Mainau Island.
A ceremony on Thursday, 4 July, will give all 39 participating Nobel Laureates the opportunity to find their names on the new Lindau Nobel Laureate Pier. The structure honours the 400 Laureates who have attended a Lindau Meeting since 1951 and will be opened in the presence of the Bavarian State Minister for Science and the Arts, Bernd Sibler.
The host country of this year’s Lindau Meeting, South Africa, presents itself on the International Day – traditionally held on the Monday of the meeting – as a research-focused nation.