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Lindau: Marketplace for the Sciences

From June 29th through July 4th, 25 Nobel laureates and over 550 young scientists from all over the world are gathering in Lindau, Germany, at the 58th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. This year’s meeting is dedicated to physics.

Beatrice Lugger, managing editor of ScienceBlogs.de, is in Lindau and will be sending her impressions of the meeting daily through July 4.

ScienceBlogs.de is also undertaking a German-language blog covering the meetings, here. Additionally, keep an eye out for short video interviews, in English, of Nobelists at Lindau on the ScienceBlogs homepage. Here’s the first daily dispatch.

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It was a sunny day and we only saw happy people in Lindau.
Here in the Inselhalle Congress Center, Countess Sonja Bernadotte started the Meeting with an opening ceremony. Personalities from the worlds of science, politics and industry took part as well.

Here are our first impressions:

Sunshine for the Start
In the foyer hangs a huge poster, inviting everybody to write comments in our blog. And there are twenty computers in a tent for the use of the young researchers, that have the homepage of our Lindau blog as a start site.

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Strawberries and Pretzels for the Princess

The princess of Thailand only got strawberries and pretzels this afternoon—and we got NOTHING. We are hungry.

First Pictures of the Opening Ceremony
A blog post showing, in order: Countess Bernadette, the audience, and two physicists sharing family pictures.

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Women in Physics, on the Advisory board, as Ministers

Among the young scientists in attendance there are many more women than we expected to see.

Impressions

The Lindau meeting will have—so its organizers hope—a single leitmotif, namely the issue of the fundamental qualifications for training to be a researcher and the essential prerequisites for becoming a successful scientist. Although only two lectures on Thursday will be about science education, the topic will be covered heavily during the countless conversations between the Laureates and the young scientists of tomorrow. The young researchers are also invited to talk with the Laureates about their thoughts on personal experiences, policy, religion and private life.

These inspiring and motivating meetings have taken place in Lindau since 1951. This year, young scientists from 67 countries have come to the meeting. They have been nominated by universities, foundations or international research institutes, before passing through a multi-stage international selection procedure.

The aim of the meeting is to build bridges between the scientific elite of today and tomorrow, between nations and cultures, and between scientific disciplines. Young scientists should get a chance to get into networks of cutting-edge scientific research at an early stage.

And the organizers have one more hope. They’d like the young researchers and laureates to talk about sustainability in a globalized world and hope for some kind of domino effect through generations and professions. So no wonder, climate change is one of the four topics of the 58th meeting of Nobel laureates. Five laureates will therefore be taking part in a panel discussion on “Climate Changes and Energy Challenges” on Tuesday. The other topics are: Practical consequences of quantum physics (Monday and Thursday), A passion for precision—the laser (Monday and Wednesday), and Perspectives of astrophysics (Wednesday).

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