Taking inspiration from Nobel Laureates
PhD students from the two Max Planck Institutes in Mainz will be attending the Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau between June 26 and July
The Meeting will be held in Lindau for the 71st time at the end of June. Having been forced to switch to a digital format for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Nobel Laureates and junior scientists, including PhD candidates Clara Nussbaumer of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Tilmann Herberger as well as Shoupeng Cao of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, will once again be able to meet in person this year.
The Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau is an international exchange forum, where around 40 Nobel Laureates and several hundred junior researchers from all over the world get together at Lake Constance to discuss scientific matters. This year, the thematic focus will be on chemistry, which is why last year's Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, Prof. Benjamin List of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung and Prof. David MacMillan of Princeton University, will also be taking part.
The central idea as put forward by the founding fathers in 1950 – two physicians from Lindau and Count Lennart Bernadotte – namely to facilitate and promote dialog between generations and cultures, is more relevant today than ever before. Participants can look forward to a varied program of lectures by Nobel Laureates, as well as roundtable discussions, workshops, and one-on-one encounters.
From Mainz to Lindau
The three Mainz-based junior scientists passed the multi-stage application and selection process, successfully meeting such prerequisites as outstanding academic performance, letters of recommendation, fluency in English and not having previously attended a Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau.
Atmospheric chemist Clara Nussbaumer from the MPI for Chemistry is excited about participating in this year's conference: "I can’t wait to get to know the real people behind the familiar names,” she says: “I was even allowed to choose a meeting with one of the Nobel Laureates myself and will be having lunch with Prof. Stefan Hell, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014. Almost every day,” she continues, “there will be more opportunities to chat with Nobel Laureates. “I am hoping to meet Prof. Richard Schrock – I studied Schrock catalysts for olefin metathesis during my chemistry degree,” she remembers: “I would also be excited to meet Prof. Randy Schekman from the University of California, Berkeley, where I spent several months working on various projects in the field of atmospheric chemistry."
Tilmann Herberger of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research will also be traveling to Lindau and is particularly excited about the so-called Science Walks. "What happens,” Herberger explains, “is that a Nobel Laureate and ten junior scientists head out on a long walk together. I’m looking forward to doing a Science Walk with Prof. Hartmut Michel of the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1988. I’m really keen to discuss his work on membrane proteins with him,” he continues, “because my doctoral project involves the production of polymer membranes with the same thickness as cell membranes in which proteins could be embedded, which could equip them with biological properties.” But Herberger is also looking forward to meeting other renowned researchers who he knows about through his work as a polymer scientist: "It would be a privilege to meet such people as Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn, Sir Prof. J. Fraser Stoddart, and Prof. Ben L. Feringa, all of whom will be in attendance this year."
Also Shoupeng Cao of the Max Planck Institut for Polymer Research will travel to Lindau: "I am very glad and honored to have the opportunity to join the Lindau meeting and meet the Nobel Laureates & Young scientists. Meeting and discussing with knowledgeable scientists will not only enlighten me in various prospects but also broaden my scientific vision as well as cultivate new scientific and technological ideas. Especially I very much looking forward to talking to Prof. Ben Feringa who is an expert in the field of catalytic chemistry and molecular motors. As an early-stage chemistry researcher, I very much enjoy reading research papers from Feringa's lab, and I was always inspired by their fascinating and pioneering work."
The Nobel Laureates Meeting will take place between June 26 and July 1, 2022. Apart from the opportunity to exchange scientific ideas, there will also be plenty of time for getting to know one another at events such as at the international get-together organized by the UK or the Bavarian evening, which will be hosted by the Free State of Bavaria.