A recent study by Physics World - the flagship international magazine of the Institute of Physics - shows that more than 25% of all physics Nobel laureates are immigrants, a figure that reflects the importance of human migration in science. Scientists move country for many different reasons. Some are seeking better professional opportunities, while others move for family reasons. And unfortunately, some scientists are forced to leave their home countries to escape political, religious or other persecution.
This press talk at the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting is organized in partnership with Physics World. It will explore the impact of immigration on science through the personal experiences of Nobel laureates and early-career scientists, looking look at the pros and cons of having a highly mobile scientific workforce. The panel will be chaired by physicsworld.com editor Hamish Johnston, who is himself an immigrant from Canada to the United Kingdom. The panellists are:
Daniel Shechtman, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2011 for his work on quasicrystals. Shechtman spent much of his early career working in the US before returning to his native Israel. He is currently at Technion University in Haifa and spends some of his time at Iowa State University and the nearby Ames National Laboratory in the US.
Martin Karplus, who shared the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work in theoretical chemistry. Born into a Jewish family in Vienna, he fled Austria at the age of eight, just days after Germany annexed the country. The Karplus family travelled to the US and settled in Boston, where Karplus grew up and became an American citizen.
Winifred Ayinpogbilla Atiah, a PhD student in environmental/atmospheric physics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, where she is from. She experienced life as an immigrant in Senegal, where she studied for a Master's degree.
Ana Isabel Maldonado Cid, a postdoctoral researcher who did her PhD in condensed-matter physics in her native Spain, before embarking on a career that has taken her to Germany and the UK. She is currently working in France in the field of nanofabrication at the clean room of the Institut Neel, CNRS-Grenoble.