Last week Nobel Laureates from all around the world met in Lindau. With them were 600 carefully chosen young scientists. At the end of the week the state Baden Württemberg invited all of them to a trip on Lake Constance. I was invited as a blogger. It was a really great experience to talk to Nobel Laureates and students from all around the world. This is the first of four interviews.
I talked to Prof. Dan Shechtman. He was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for „the discovery of quasicrystals“
What was your highlight of the Nobel Laureates-meeting in Lindau?
It was not the one point. The whole meeting was a wonderful opportunity for the Nobel Laureates to meet young people and vice versa. I think we learned a lot from each other. We learned what they do, they learned what we do and what made us a Nobel Laureate. The name of the game of the Lindau-Meeting is communication. Communication between the young people and older guys like me. It’s a once-in-a-life-opportunity for the young people. But not only to meet us, but to meet themselves and to learn from people of other countries. It’s a selected group from all around the world, and they do really good work. So Lindau-Meeting is one of a kind in the world.
Have you talked about special projects with the young scientists?
Yes, of course. I talked to quite a few people. We had several workshops. My workshop was on the power electron microscopy and I had five young people from around the world presenting their work. It was quite interesting. They do advanced microscopy in different laboratories around the world. And we immediately saw the problem of brain drain. Three of these people come from developing-countries and they will probably stay in the west. And they will do so, because they don’t have facilities in their countries. But the countries want them back. They need to develop excellent universities and facilities to give them a chance to develop their career.
What do you think about the junior scientific staff? Are there enough talented young people in the world?
Absolutely. More and more so. And the facilities are fantastic. But only in the rich countries. The developing-countries cannot afford that or they don’t think it’s important. So young people leave the countries which is apeating. So it’s important that these young people of the Lindau-Meeting can be messengers and come back to the countries and talk to people, tell them about the Lindau-Experience and encourage them to be the next generation here. Young people can do a lot if they become promoters for science.
At last a quite personal question: What does that Nobel Prize mean for you personally?
For me the Nobel Prize means a license to do whatever I want. I aspire to inspire.
The 3rd interview with Nobel Laureate Serge Haroche: „The important thing is passion“[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]