The 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting drew to a close today with a panel discussion on the future of scientific education. The traditional boat trip across Lake Constance was again hosted by the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. Countess Bettina Bernadotte af Wisborg, President of the Council, took farewell of the delegates from 80 countries. 30 Nobel Laureates and some 400 selected young scientists had spent the week in Lindau discussing central topics from the field of physics. Jürgen Kluge, chairman of the board of the Foundation, thanked all of the supporters and donors who enable this knowledge exchange from year to year. Swiss entrepreneur Thomas Schmidheiny was appointed to the Honorary Senate of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
"Any student, PhD candidate or postdoc who successfully masters the application process can only participate once, but at Lindau they become part of a network of dedicated scientists. As alumni, the young scientists then act as ambassadors for the concept of dialogue embodied by the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings," said Countess Bettina Bernadotte af Wisborg, president of the Council.
In view of the rapidly increasing demand for innovations in science and research, the final panel discussion addressed the issue of academic training of young scientists. How can we stimulate interest in more young people to study the STEM subjects science, technology, engineering and mathematics? Will new teaching methodologies contribute to a more contemporary and effective transfer of knowledge? How can we raise education standards in developing countries? These were among the questions discussed by the Nobel Laureates Brian P. Schmidt, Dan Shechtman and Carl E. Wieman, Tamás Álmos Vámi, a young scientist from Hungary, and Georg Schütte, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Many Nobel Laureates regularly take part in the Lindau Meetings to share their knowledge with outstanding scientists under the age of 35. Since their inception in 1951, the meetings have evolved into an international forum for dialogue between the generations. The Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings was founded in 2000 to secure their continued existence - to date, more than 300 Nobel Laureates constitute the Founders Assembly.
Swiss entrepreneur Thomas Schmidheiny was appointed to the Honorary Senate at the conclusion of this year's meeting. Jürgen Kluge, chairman of the board of directors, paid tribute to his philanthropic engagement and thanked him on behalf of the board for his support of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, extending back to the beginning of the Foundation's history. Thomas Schmidheiny is a shareholder and supervisory board member of building materials manufacturer LafargeHolcim.
The boat trip on the MS Sonnenkönigin and the picnic on the meadows surrounding Mainau castle provided the delegates with a good opportunity for networking. Both events were hosted by Baden-Württemberg's Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts. Minister Theresia Bauer, who had been a guest at the opening ceremony, was represented today by Ministry Director Simone Schwanitz.
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have been hosted on the banks of Lake Constance every year since 1951. The meeting traditionally ends with an excursion to Mainau Island, the seat of the Bernadotte af Wisborg family. Count Lennart Bernadotte af Wisborg was a co-founder of the meetings and long-time president of the Council.