The 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting was officially opened at Lindau, Germany today. German Federal President Joachim Gauck gave a speech and welcomed the guests from almost 90 countries. 65 Nobel Laureates and more than 650 selected young scientists take part in the long-standing meeting until Friday. This year’s meeting is dedicated to all three scientific Nobel Prize disciplines: medicine, physics and chemistry. In the light of the increasingly interdisciplinary science sector, the programme addresses among other issues the question whether future breakthroughs in key areas can be expected from the interplay of different research branches.
Following Roman Herzog, Johannes Rau, Horst Köhler and Christian Wulff, Joachim Gauck is the fifth German Federal President to attend the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Former Federal President Horst Köhler was also among the other guests of honour, just like Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and other high-level representatives from Germany and abroad. The German Federal Government was represented by Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research, and Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Free State of Bavaria was represented by State Minister Beate Merk.
“To inspire and motivate young scientists and researchers is the key concern of this meeting,” said Countess Bettina Bernadotte af Wisborg, President of the Council. In her opening speech, she stressed that the dedicated and inquisitive young people were the main reason for the Nobel laureates to be this specially committed to the Lindau Meetings. Since the dialogue between cultures is just as central to the meeting, Countess Bernadotte was particularly pleased about the international participants. Hundreds of students, PhD candidates and post-doc researchers around the world had applied for participation in the meeting.
Bertrand Gros, Chairman of Rolex SA, and Ulrich Wilhelm, Director-General of the Bavarian broadcasting corporation Bayerischer Rundfunk were inducted into the Honorary Senate of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Both join the select circle of personalities like Angela Merkel, José Manuel Barroso, and Bill Gates, who are especially dedicated to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
Wolfgang Schürer, Chairman of the Foundation, lauded their outstanding achievements. Acting as chairman of a company owned by a foundation, Bertrand Gros’ compass in both business and philanthropy was excellence. Young talents on all continents would benefit from the company’s mentoring projects in the fields of education, art and environmental protection. Ulrich Wilhelm would address the need for science literacy, which constituted a precondition for citizens’ autonomy, especially in the digital age. His credo that freedom and responsibility were intrinsically connected, would extend beyond the field of journalism.
The opening ceremony ended with a presentation about the urban future of mankind by the popular Swedish economic thought leader Kjell A. Nordström. The economics professor, consultant and author of international bestseller management books is considered an influential initiator in the field of globalisation research.
Until Thursday, 2 July, the participating laureates and young scientists will have ample opportunity for an intensive exchange with each other. Numerous lectures, discussion sessions, master classes and panel discussions are on the agenda. The meeting will end on Friday, 3 July, with a boat trip on Lake Constance to Mainau Island at the invitation of the State of Baden-Württemberg. There, a panel discussion on the contribution of education and science for peace, featuring Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, marks the closure.