Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting


On the train to Lindau… through the Swiss Alps from Geneva

During the first week of July, I had the privilege to attend the 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting in the historic town of Lindau, Germany.

This annual event is attended by 30-40 Nobel Laureates who deliver seminars over four days to a selective group of ~600 young scientists from over 50 different countries! It was brilliant. Lindau is a beautiful little island on an Alpine lake. I had the chance to chat with an inspiring range of scientific peers. Unlike most countries, the UK had no formal delegation, but I was well looked after by Andrew Holmes and the Australians. I even got to have dinner with a few different Nobel Laureates, including Rudolf Marcus (a scientific hero of mine, whose contributions to RRKM theory I utilize extensively), Harry Kroto, and John Walker. It was interesting to listen to these icons of science reflecting on scientific past, present, and future. Richard Ernst, one of the inventors of MRI, delivered a lecture which particularly sticks in my mind: he showed us his own MRI scans, and described how he now spends his free time using optical Raman spectroscopy to analyze Tibetan mandala paintings, uncovering details about their historical origins… I love it. My colleague Stephanie Harris interviewed Ernst. She’s graciously provided a draft, which is available here.

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