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The 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Opens

- Countess Bettina Bernadotte has opened the meeting - 27 Nobel Laureates and 592 young researchers from 69 countries participate - Tony Tan, President of Singapore, and Ferdinand K. Piech, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, have been inducted to the Honorary Senate of the Lindau Foundation - German Minister Annette Schavan and the Director of the Nobel Foundation, Lars Heikensten, spoke at the opening ceremony

The 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, dedicated to physics, has been opened in Lindau today by Countess Bettina Bernadotte, President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Until Friday 6 July, 27 Nobel Laureates and 592 young researchers from 69 countries will have the opportunity to learn, gain inspiration and establish valuable new contacts and networks. The numerous lectures, discussion sessions, panel discussions and science master classes during the meeting week serve the dialogue across and among generations of scientists. The topics include particle physics, cosmology, as well as energy and climate change issues.

Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, gave a welcome address. German Federal Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan attended the opening ceremony in company of several ministers and senior officials of the Carnegie Group and welcomed the audience.

In her opening speech, Countess Bernadotte encouraged the participants to experience "the spirit of Lindau", "a shared enthusiasm for science and a shared desire to address challenges facing the world. You will discuss research questions and relevant issues, just as generations of Laureates and excellent young scientists have done since 1951", she said. As President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, she expressed her gratitude to the Nobel Laureates for their commitment to the aims and concerns of the Lindau Meetings - their "Mission Education" - and also thanked the multitude of partners and supporters from all around the world. "While staying true to their roots, the dynamics of the Lindau dialogue are ongoing", the countess pointed out, and referred to the continuous enhancement of the scientific programme of the meetings and to various activities and projects implemented beyond the annual meetings to connect science and the society. Projects like the exhibition "Sketches of Sciences", the "Nobel Labs 360" and the new Lindau Mediatheque all form part of the "Mission Education" of the council and the foundation.

As a token of appreciation for their life-long dedication to science and education as well as their support of the Lindau Mission Education, Wolfgang Schürer, Vice-President of the Council and Chairman of the Board of the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance, inducted Tony Tan, President of the Republic of Singapore, and Ferdinand K. Piech, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, to the Honorary Senate of the foundation. "Dr. Tony Tan serves as a role model far beyond Singapore. His particular devotion to science and education and his dedication to social and charitable initiatives have borne many a valuable fruit. He has embraced the Lindau Mission Education by encouraging and enabling young scientists from Singapore to engage in the Lindau dialogue." "Innovation and excellence are the hallmarks of Professor Ferdinand K. Piech's lifetime achievements. His devotion to advancements in engineering has even exceeded the tradition of his family and has created a legacy of his own. He serves as an inspiration for generations of engineers", Schürer stated in the laudations.

Annette Schavan, German Federal Minister of Education and Research, and member of the Honorary Senate of the foundation herself, attended the opening ceremony accompanied by several fellow ministers and senior officials of the Carnegie Group. Her ministry is among the principal supporters of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and has committed itself to the funding of the Lindau Mediatheque. The mediatheque is a treasure trove containing Lindau lectures from six decades and science history spanning more than one hundred years. This includes video and audio recordings of the lectures held in Lindau, abstracts with background information, profiles with short CVs of Nobel Laureates, and pictures. The mediatheque offers a unique opportunity to connect text and context, providing valuable information about the Nobel Laureates, their work, and the impact, they have created. All contents of the mediatheque related to the two major topics of this year's meeting, cosmology and particle physics, have been cross-linked to create topic clusters that ease the search of information.

Following the official opening ceremony, participants of the 2012 Lindau Meeting were invited by the Federal Republic of Austria to attend a concert of an ensemble of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Lindau. The Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research, Karlheinz Töchterle, and Countess Bettina Bernadotte welcomed the international audience at the Lindau municipal theatre for this special performance.

The scientific programme of the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, also available in the mediatheque, comprises 26 lectures and discussios, as well as 4 science master classes. A panel discussion on the latest developments at the CERN laboratories in Geneva, scheduled on Wednesday, 4 July, involves the Nobel Laureates David J. Gross, Carlo Rubbia, George F. Smoot and Martinus Veltman. They will be linked-up live to the CERN. A second panel discussion on Mainau Island on Friday, 6 July, deals with "The Future of Energy Supply and Storage" and involves the Nobel Laureates Robert B. Laughlin and Carlo Rubbia, as well as German State Secretary Georg Schütte (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and Martin Keilhacker of the Germany Physical Society.

Further Information

The programme of the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, background information on the participating Nobel Laureates, and abstracts of their lectures are available in the Lindau Mediatheque. The video recordings of the lectures and the panel discussions held in Lindau from 1 to 6 July will be uploaded to the mediatheque shortly after they are held: <www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org/#/Meeting?id=284>.

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Since 1951, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have been bringing together the most esteemed scientists of their times with outstanding young scientists from all over the world annually. The meetings focus alternately on medicine and physiology, physics, chemistry, and economic sciences. Each year, Nobel Laureates of the relevant discipline and approximately 550 young scientists from round about 70 countries meet in Lindau for one week - to learn from each other, to exchange knowledge, ideas, and experience, to share their enthusiasm for science, and to make valuable new contacts. The young participants have passed a multi-step international selection process. They stand at the beginnings of their careers and strive for excellence in their specialist fields. Lectures, discussion sessions, panels, and science master classes account for the major part of each meeting's programme. But the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings deliberately leave room for inspiration and reflections, for personal encounters and intense talks - in that they distinguish themselves from common scientific conferences. Alongside cutting-edge research, universally important issues like sustainability or the responsibilities of scientists in and for society are of utmost significance for the meetings.

They are organised by the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings established in 1954 and the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance established in 2000. However they originate from an initiative of the two Lindau city councilors and physicians Franz Karl Hein and Gustav Wilhelm Parade, and Count Lennart Bernadotte, a member of the Swedish royal family and landlord of Mainau Island in Lake Constance. The first meeting in 1951 - a congress of physicians attended by 7 Nobel Laureates from Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, and Germany - provided a significant impulse to the reestablishment of contacts between scientists after World War II. Ever since, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have evolved into an international forum for scientific debates on issues of global importance, and have gained many friends and supporters from all around the world. The leitmotif "Educate. Inspire. Connect." not only applies to the meetings, it also determines the social commitment of the council and the foundation, their Mission Education. Numerous projects convey the fascination of science and research, provide food for thought and stimulate public debates.

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idw :: 01.07.2012