Come June the 26th, hundreds of scientists will travel to Lindau, a small German town and island near the Swiss border. Twenty five of these scientists have received one of the highest honours a scientist can get. They are winners of the Nobel Prize, in chemistry or medicine. For almost a week, they will share their knowledge, experiences and stories with young researchers during lectures, panel sessions, and special discussion in the afternoon sessions – hopefully also over some good glasses of Bavarian beer. I am lucky enough to attend one of these Nobel Laureate Meetings this year, as part of a great blogging team that will cover different aspects of the conference.
The conference program looks nothing but amazing, featuring an impressive list of 25 Nobel laureates. The one who discovered HIV will give a lecture (Luc Montagnier). As will the one who sequenced the first genome (Hamilton O. Smith). And the one who invented gel electrophoresis (Oliver Smithies). And the list goes on. You don’t need to hold a pipette every day to realize that these women and men have been immensely important for science. They have, one way or another, changed the way we think about ourselves and the world in which we live.
I’ve seen Nobel laureates give presentations before, so I know that they are no mythical beings. First and foremost they are all good scientists, many of which have a lifetime of science and discoveries behind them. While this is not a guarantee for a good lecture, it sure is a great ingredient. Maybe I even get the chance to talk to some Laureates, though I’m sure people will be swarming them at every opportunity.
I have not been to any scientific meetings since I’ve obtained my biology degree last year, this is another reason, why I really can’t wait for the conference to start. The congenial atmosphere of a scientific conference is certainly something that I’ve missed. Somehow, when you put hundreds of scientists together, everyone gets in a good mood and becomes excited to meet new people. Like an academic summer camp for kids who like science. A lot.
This is the first conference I’ll attend as a blogger. This is a great opportunity, and I’m thankful to everyone who made it possible. I’m really looking forward to covering my experiences both before and during the conference, and hope to bring you many interesting stories. Bring it on, laureates!