Please find a selection of news and press releases on the current Lindau Meeting, on the activities of the council and the foundation, as well as on outreach projects here. Further information will be provided upon request.
Press Release, 28 June 2015
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Opened
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Opened
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 LaureateKailash Satyarthi, marks the closure.
Press Release, 26 June 2015
Changes in the foundation's board of directors
Jürgen Kluge and Reinhard Pöllath – new members of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
Wolfgang Schürer retires at the end of 2015 from the board of directors – a formal farewell during the 2016 Lindau Meeting
The Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings has two new board members; namely Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kluge and Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pöllath who were voted on to the board as of 1 January 2016. The new chairman of the Foundation Board shall be elected from the members of the incumbent board in January 2016. Both elected board members will participate in the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, 28 June to 3 July.
Professor Dr. Jürgen Kluge, former CEO of the international management consultancy McKinsey & Company and former CEO of the Duisburg Haniel Group, has been nominated as the new president. Professor Kluge studied physics at the University of Cologne and earned his doctorate degree at the University Duisburg-Essen. Today, among other positions, he is a senior advisor of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch and chairman of the supervisory board at Schmitz Cargobull AG. Since 2004 he has been an honorary professor at the TU Darmstadt. Jürgen Kluge has been committed to the sciences in many ways. Together with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek he developed the idea of the “Little Scientists’ House”. The largest federal educational initiative for the early childhood stage stems from this idea with more than 23,000 participants in all of Germany today. For years he has been a regular visitor to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and through his scientific education as well as his management positions he is involved at the intersecting point between science and the economy.
Professor Dr. Reinhand Pöllath is a founding partner in the law firm P + P Pöllath and Partners as well as chairman of the board at Beiersdorf AG and the maxingvest AG (the former Tchibo Holding AG) in Hamburg. He studied law in Regensburg, Munich and at Harvard and was a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation. In 1977 he received his license to practice law. In addition he is the spokesman of the board of the Max Planck Foundation, which he initiated together with the publisher Stefan von Holtzbrinck in 2006. Professor Pöllath has also attended the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings over the years. Through his occupation as a lawyer for family-owned enterprises as well as his honorary commitment, to among others, the Max Planck Society, he brings along valuable experience for the work on the board as well as the further development of the operation.
Professor Dr. Wolfgang Schürer, St. Gallen, Switzerland, chairman of the foundation board since the founding of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in the summer of 2000, is retiring as of year’s end from the foundation board as previously announced. Professor Schürer has significantly shaped the development of the Lindau Meetings, especially with regard to their international orientation. Numerous strategic developments and innovations can be contributed to him. Thanks to his commitment, the foundation has a solid base to work with and to look forward into the future. Wolfgang Schürer’s official farewell and honoring of his outstanding achievements for the Lindau Meetings founded in 1951 by Count Lennart Bernadotte together with the Lindau doctors, Hein and Parade, is planned after completion of his term and during the 2016 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.
The Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings is supported by numerous Maecenates and Benefactors. 293 Nobel Laureates are members of the Founders’ Assembly.
As of January 1st 2016, there are the following members of the Foundation Board:
Countess Bettina Bernadotte af Wisborg, Mainau Island
(Member of the Foundation Board since 2008)
Thomas Ellerbeck, Berlin
(Member of the Foundation Board since its founding in 2000)
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kluge, Düsseldorf
(Member of the Foundation Board as of 1 January 2016)
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pöllath, Munich
(Member of the Foundation Board as of 1 January 2016)
Nikolaus Turner, Munich
(Managing Member of the Foundation Board since its founding in 2000)
Press Release, 16 June 2015
Strong commitment to young African scientists – Horst Köhler is patron of the new fellowship programme
Thanks to continuous efforts to attract more international participants, the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting will see far more young African scientists attending than ever before. More than 650 outstanding students and post docs are expected at Lake Constance from 28 June, 35 from the African continent. Former German Federal President Horst Köhler is the patron of the newly created Africa programme for the Lindau Meetings: the “Horst Köhler Fellowship Programme” enables excellent African scientists to participate. The programme is funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation and will be substantially expanded in the coming years with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“Africa is so much more than the stereotypes that many of us still have in our heads. It is a dynamic, creative and diverse continent with an enormous and rapidly growing young population that is hungry for change. This is why I am grateful and excited that the Lindau Meetings have invited young fellows from Africa; some of the brightest minds from the continent. I am sure that not only will they learn a lot from the Nobel Laureates but also that we all will gain from their creativity and persistence,” said Horst Köhler. He had spoken up for the interests of Africa during his term of office as Federal President and set a number of key impulses in motion.
Horst Köhler will attend the opening ceremony of the Lindau Meeting on 28 June. He will then meet the Horst Köhler Fellows at a breakfast the following Monday, 29 June. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the French Nobel Laureate in Medicine and discoverer of the HI virus, will also be in attendance. She is strongly involved in efforts to improve research conditions in Africa.
Of the 35 African students to have made it through the several stages of the selection process, nine come from South Africa, four are from Egypt and Cameroon respectively, three from Ghana and three from Mauritius, and two from Botswana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe respectively, along with one each from Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda.
The Lindau Meetings’ existing network of academic partners was also involved in nominating the young African scientists. As in previous years, nominations were received from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Department of Science and Technology South Africa and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). Nobel Laureate Peter Agre, long a champion of malaria research, also proposed one African scientist for participation.
There will be 65 laureates taking part in the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The interdisciplinary meeting will take place between 28 June and 3 July and serves as a forum for exchange, networking and inspiration. The Lindau Meetings have been held every year since 1951 in Lindau on Lake Constance.
News, 8 June 2015
Three Press Talks offered at #LiNo15
At the 65th Lindau Meeting, accredited journalists are invited to the three press talks held one each from Monday 29 June to Wednesday 1 July. These special sessions are not part of the official meeting programme; they are open to journalists only without prior registration. The panellists invited will each give a brief comment on the topic of the session, then take questions from the audience and engage in discussions.
Human genetic alteration: does the pause have a purpose?
Monday, 29 June, 13.30-14.30 hrs., Forum am See
Novel DNA-editing techniques, most prominently the CRISPR/Cas 9 system, offer new and more precise routes to genetic modification, including changing human DNA. There has been a call for a moratorium on use of the techniques in human embryos – and the US National Institutes of Health have blocked funding for such studies. Is the moratorium needed? Can it work? And how should we decide which research in this area is permissible, which best left alone? Panellists: Nobel laureates Elizabeth Blackburn, J. Michael Bishop, and Richard Roberts, young scientist Simon Elsässer (Karolinska Institutet, SE).
African science: today and tomorrow
Tuesday, 30 June, 13.30-14.30 hrs., Inselhalle, room Bayern
How will Africa take its place in a global knowledge economy? Scientific development is crucial for this vast continent. Young scientists from diverse African countries are attending Lindau. Some of them will join senior researchers with experience on the ground to give us a view of scientific prospects there. What are Africa’s scientific strengths and weaknesses? How can research in African countries be enhanced, and exploited for local benefit? What role may pan-African initiatives like the recent launch of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) have? Panellists: Nobel laureates Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Peter Agre, young scientists Melinda Barkhuizen (North-West University, ZA), Prosper Ngabonziza (University of Twente, NL), and Serge Fobofou (Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, DE)
Life sciences in the next 50 years: the big questions
Wednesday, 1 July, 13.30-14.30 hrs., Inselhalle, room Bayern
Our Laureates have had sparkling scientific careers. But suppose they were starting over? What question do they cherish, which they think could be answered in fifty years? How could it be tackled? And, while the details are unknowable, what is their personal best guess about the answer? Join us for an hour of informed speculation about the future of science, raising questions our young delegates may decide to tackle! Panellists: Nobel laureates Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Jack Szostak, and Arieh Warshel, young scientist John Schell (University of Utah, USA)
News, 7 June 2015
German Federal President to attend 65th Lindau Meeting
Federal President Joachim Gauck will attend the opening ceremony of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on 28 June 2015. Following Roman Herzog, Johannes Rau, Horst Köhler, and Christian Wulff, Joachim Gauck is the fifth German Federal President to visit the annual gathering of leading scientists from different generations and cultures. The president will deliver a speech at the ceremony.
Press Release, 24 March 2015
Women scientists gaining ground: High proportion of female participants at the 65th Lindau Meeting
An exceptionally high number of young female scientists will be taking part in the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with the proportion of women amongst the 672 young scientists standing at 42%. According to data from UNESCO, only 30% of all researchers worldwide are female. The percentage of women amongst the Nobel Laureates is significantly lower still – 814 men, but just 46 women have received the award since 1901. This ratio is also reflected at the Lindau Meeting. A record number of almost 70 laureates are attending but just three are female. This year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting is interdisciplinary and will take place from 28 June to 3 July in Lindau on Lake Constance. The list of participants has now been announced.
“The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings are future-oriented. This is indicated not least by the large number of young female scientists taking part. Their presence also sends out a strong message to their home countries to attract and retain more talented women in science,” remarks Helga Nowotny, co-founder and President of the European Research Council (ERC) from 2010 to 2013 and Vice-President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
Burkhard Fricke, also a member of the Council, emphasises that no female quota was used in the selection of the young scientists: “The young participants were evaluated purely on the basis of specialist criteria. The quality of the applications has once again risen significantly which made selecting the best of the many candidates extremely challenging.” Students, doctoral students and postdocs from a total of 88 countries were accepted. They are conducting research in the Nobel Prize disciplines of medicine, physics or chemistry.
The three female Nobel Laureates who will be coming to Lindau this year are the Frenchwoman Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2008), the Australian Elizabeth Blackburn (Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009) and Ada Yonath from Israel who became only the fourth woman in the history of the Nobel Prize to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009.
During a panel on “Women in Science” at the 2014 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Elizabeth Blackburn remarked that there was now a pleasingly high proportion of women amongst science students but this was not replicated in lecturing and cutting-edge research. She called upon academic institutions to redouble their efforts to increase opportunities for women in these Areas.
Press Release, 4 March 2015
70 Nobel laureates and 672 young scientists expected at Lindau
70 laureates and 672 young scientists from 88 countries will participate in the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The young participants, all of whom are excellent students, PhD candidates, and post-docs aged up to 35, have their research focus in the fields of medicine, physics, or chemistry. They had successfully passed a multi-step international selection process, the results of which have now been published. Conceived as an interdisciplinary forum, the meeting will be held from 28 June to 3 July. Its cause is to foster exchange and networking, and to provide inspiration. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have taken place in the Southern German town of Lindau at Lake Constance annually ever since 1951.
Among the 70 participating laureates are three of last year’s award-winning researchers: Germany’s Stefan Hell as well as the US-Americans Eric Betzig and William E. Moerner. They shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Many of the other laureates are regular guests at Lindau and have participated in the meetings many times. For instance, it will be the 27th meeting already for Swiss microbiologist and geneticist Werner Arber, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of 1978.
As is the case every five years, the 65th meeting of its kind will bring together scientist of all three natural sciences that are Nobel Prize disciplines. “The scientific landscape of the future will be significantly more interdisciplinarily organised than today because this is the only way we can succeed in dealing with the pending big challenges of mankind. With our interdisciplinary meetings we want to make a contribution to educating the next generation of leading researchers working at the interface of the classical scientific disciplines“, says Wolfgang Lubitz, director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and Vice-President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
A six-day programme abundant with lectures and panel discussions is in store for the 672 selected young participants. Many consider presenting in one of the master classes a special opportunity. Exchange, networking, and inspiration have been at the core of the Lindau Meetings ever since their establishment in 1951.
The attendance steadily became more international as part of the continuous expansion of the network of academic partner institutions. This year’s participants represent 88 countries, including great research nations like the US, the United Kingdom, Japan, Israel, and Germany just as developing countries like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe. About 200 academies of science, universities, foundations, and researching enterprises of more than 50 countries played an active part in the course of the selection process for young scientists.
“Compared to previous years the quality of the applications has once more increased significantly,” says Burkhard Fricke, professor emeritus for theoretical physics, member of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and coordinator of the selection process. “Never before have we seen such an interdisciplinary attendance representing such a broad range of fields like in 2015. A PhD candidate who applies physical-technical methods and uses chemical means to tackle medical questions is not at all an isolated case“.