The Lindau Mediatheque


Meetings and the lectures given by the Nobel Laureates have been carefully documented since they first began in 1951. Up until just a few years ago, audio recordings were taken of almost all lectures and panel discussions; video recordings have been made since 2005. 

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Annual Reports


Every year the Council and the Foundation publish an Annual Report which provides an in-depth overview of all activities. Read more...

A Brief History of the Lindau Meetings

Part III: From 2000 to 2012

Globalisation and new dynamics


"50th Meeting: the first interdisciplinary Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau"


Nobel Laureates and young scientific talents in physiology or medicine, chemistry and physics converged in Lindau for the first interdisciplinary exchange.


"Establishment of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings"


The Foundation was established upon the initiative of 50 Nobel Laureates, the Bernadotte family and the Council. Under Chairman Professor Wolfgang Schürer, the meetings have over the ensuing years developed to a new level in terms of both concept and content as the Foundation has secured their financial basis for the future.

The Founders Assembly of the Foundation has expanded over time to include more than 270 Nobel Laureates by 2014. The Honorary Senate serves as a consultative body to the Board of the Foundation and brings together well-known personalities from science, business and politics, among them the EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Henning Kagermann (acatech), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker (Human Frontier Science Program) and William H. Gates III (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).


Founders' Assembly


Foundation Board


Honorary Senate


"1st Meeting on Economic Sciences"


Laureates in economic sciences have been taking part in the Lindau Meetings at irregular intervals ever since 1971. By setting up the first meeting on economic sciences in 2004, the Council and the Foundation created their own forum for a dialogue among the elite in economic sciences in a globally networked world. Since then, the meetings on Economic Science have been held in 2006, 2008 and most recently in 2011 - in addition to the meetings on natural sciences. The next economists‘ meeting organised by the Council and the Foundation will be held in 2014.


"New application process for attendees to the meetings simplifies the selection process"


By creating a database for the entire international selection process, a stringent method for nominations and applications has been introduced. Previously, young scientists sent their registration application for the meetings by fax. Thanks to the newly introduced database, a selection process based on scientific quality criteria is now in place.


"Count Lennart Bernadotte passes away on 21st December"


Through his deep commitment and enormous efforts, Count Lennart Bernadotte, „spiritus rector“ of the meetings, made a decisive contribution to assure that an ambitious idea developed into an internationally unique series of events fostering a scientific dialogue among generations and cultures. Furthermore, he set important accents early on with the topics of sustainability and environmental protection and collaborated actively to continually develop further the Lindau Meetings.


"Nobel Peace Laureate Yunus shows alternatives to unregulated capitalism"


After Albert Schweitzer (1954) and Willy Brandt (1972), another Nobel Peace Laureate took part in the Lindau Meetings: Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate in 2006, gave a lecture at the 3rd Meeting on Economic Sciences in which he pleaded for a reinterpretation of the capitalist system. Instead of one-dimensional profit maximisation, the social aspect of economic actions came to the fore in Yunus’ multi-dimensional definition of entrepreneurship: "Social Business is the Solution.“


"Social Business is the Solution" - Lecture held by Muhammad Yunus (Peace, 2006) during the 3rd Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in 2008.


"Countess Sonja Bernadotte dies on 21st October. Countess Bettina Bernadotte takes over as new President of the Council."


In her 20 years heading the Meetings, Countess Sonja gave the Meetings their unmistakable character. Over the decades, Countess Sonja was hostess to generations of young people from all over the world in both Lindau and on Mainau Island.


"Commemoration of the 100th birthday of Count Lennart Bernadotte"


In memory of Count Lennart Bernadotte, who during his lifetime committed himself to fostering science and to maintaining and protecting the environment, the Council and the Foundation organised the exhibition "Discoveries: Water“ on Mainau Island. The kick-off event which was backed by Germany‘s Federal Ministry for Education and Research, showed in the form of a series of three exhibitions how science and research significantly contribute to the sustainable dealing with water resources. In 2010 the exhibition "Discoveries: Energy“ followed by "Research for our health“ in 2011 concluded the three years exhibition series.


"First panel discussion on Mainau Island"


For the first time a panel discussion, on the topic of "Global Warming and Sustainability“, took place on Mainau Island. Besides Mainau being the official place where participants depart after attending the Lindau Meetings, the  venue has over the years become the place for the exchange of opinions on current debates on important topics on sustainability: Global warming (2009), Energy (2010) and issues of Health Research (2011) tied directly to the exhibition “Discoveries” which ran parallel and was a memorial to the work of the Lindaus Meetings´ “spiritus rector”,  Count Lennart Bernadotte. 

Panel Discussion on sustainability at the 59th Lindau Meeting 2009



"60th Meeting – record number of participants: 59 Nobel Laureates, 650 young scientists from 68 countries"


The 60th Nobel Laureate Meeting was again a platform for an intensive dialogue between Nobel Laureates and highly gifted young researchers on the urgent issues facing our world: from world population growth to securing world peace, from bioethics to biodiversity, from environmental pollution to climate change. This dialogue was even more intensive and interdisciplinary: More than 650 young researchers from almost 70 countries met 59 Nobel Laureates from physiology or medicine, physics and chemistry during this unique week.



Countess Bettina Bernadotte together with participating young researchers and Nobel Laureates before the opening ceremony of the 60th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (2010).



“The most international Lindau Meeting ever”


Together with 23 Nobel Laureates and the International President of the Nobel Peace Prize winning organisation “Médecins Sans Frontìères” (1999), Unni Karunakara, 566 highly talented young researchers from 78 countries attended the 61st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting making it by far the most international Lindau Meeting ever. One of the focal topics of this Lindau Meeting on Physiology or Medicine was Global Health. During the panel discussion at the opening ceremony William H. Gates III, founder of Microsoft and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, urged young researchers to take on responsibility for their scientific findings. “As I congratulate you on your progress so far, I ask you to consider the needs of the poorest in the work that you do.”


In his much acclaimed and very moving lecture on “The Future of Life” at the 61st Lindau Meeting Nobel Laureate Christian de Duve (Physiology or Medicine 1974) called for the younger generation to take on responsibility for their actions: “My generation has made a mess of things. It’s up to you to do better. The future is in your hands. Good luck.”


"'The politics of brinkmanship has reached its limits’ – President Wulff calls for fairness and solidarity in a social market economy”


Against the backdrop of the continuing global financial crisis the 4th Meeting of the Winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences with 17 attending Laureates provided the forum for lively and controversial debates between generations of economists. In his speech at the opening ceremony the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Wulff, called for a shift towards the principles of fairness and solidarity in a social market economy, and encouraged the search for a new definition for individual and common well-being. His words spurred lively discussions and were noted not only by experts but also by the media worldwide.


The Foundation organised several exhibitions in 2011. “Nobels”, portraits of Nobel Laureates by Peter Badge, were on display in Paris and Madrid. The project to depict all Nobel Laureates has been initiated in 2000 and features snapshots of the Laureates as people beyond their research work.



“The Higgs excitement”


The participants of the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting had the chance to share in the excitement of the discovery of the Higgs boson with three of the Nobel Laureates who helped to make it happen. This triumph for the particle physics discovered at the CERN in Geneva was transmitted live to the excited audience in Lindau on 4 July.


“We’d been expecting something like this to turn up for the past 30 years. It is a wonderful triumph of theory.” Nobel Laureate and co-architect of the theory David Gross (Physics 2004) commented on the discovery of the Higgs boson at the panel discussion on the latest findings at CERN.

“A call for dialogue on peace”


From time to time during its long and diverse history the Lindau Meetings had the honour to welcome Nobel Peace Laureates. In autumn 2012 the former President of Timor-Leste and Nobel Peace Laureate in 1996, José Ramos-Horta, came to visit the city at Lake Constance. In his speech “The Role of Education and Health for Peace” Ramos-Horta called upon the Lindau Meetings to pay more attention to peace and to integrate this demanding debate in the Lindau Dialogue. The council and the foundation promised to take up this challenge in the future.


“Launch of the new Lindau Mediatheque”


To reach a broader audience and to extend Lindau’s “Mission Education” the new Lindau Mediatheque was set up in 2012. After launching a basic test version in 2008 the Mediatheque has over the years developed into a unique treasure trove, which encompasses a century of scientific history in modern media form, available online, free of charge. It comprises Laureate lectures from more than 60 years in audio or video files, so-called Mini Lectures and Topic Clusters – educational videos on selected scientific topics – profiles of all Nobel Laureates and much more. It is both a multimedia archive as well as an inspiring tool for everybody interested in science and in sharing the enthusiasm for science.



Return to Part II: From the 1960s to the 1990s


Return to Part I: The Beginnings in the 1950s


The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings transcend the boundaries between cultures, disciplines and generations and encourage networks of scientific excellence.
Annette Schavan, Former Federal Minister for Education and Research

The Nobel laureates and young researchers who met in Lindau in 2012 came from all over the world, but they had one thing in common: physics. Nature filmed five debates on issues that matter to the current generation of researchers. Is dark matter real? How can we solve the looming energy crisis? How is physics perceived by the public? Watch the trailer for a taste of the discussions and disagreements that emerged.

"Introducing the 4th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences" presented by Palgrave Macmillan and Nature Video.