The 61st Meeting of Nobel Laureates opens/ Martin Engstroem and Bill Gates new to Honrary Senate

Countess Bettina Bernadotte, President of the Council for the Nobel Laureate Meetings, opened the 61st Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau on Sunday. From now until Friday (July 1), 23 Nobel Laureates, the International President of the Nobel Peace Prize winning organisation „Médecins Sans Frontières“, Unni Karunakara and 567 highly talented young researchers from 77 different countries come together for a week of personal encounters and an exchange of ideas about the future of medicine and society.

The new ways in drug development, global health and genomics are the major themes of this year’s Lindau Meeting dedicated to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Nobel Laureates from the disciplines Physiology or Medicine and Chemistry are attending to empower the young researchers who will lead us into the future of global medicine. The Lindau Meeting comprises an international network of almost 200 Academic Partners – academies of science, ministries of sciences, international foundations as well as prestigious universities – which nominates participants. More than 20,000 young researchers applied this year.

In her opening speech, Countess Bettina Bernadotte highlighted that the future of humanity will have to aim towards sustainability through science. Countess Bettina offered strong words of encouragement to the young researchers in attendance, and emphasized their role in the future of science. “Being here today and to learn from these scientific role models is not only an investment in your future, it is an empowerment for the benefit of society,” said the President of the Council, Countess Bettina Bernadotte.

Germany´s Federal Minister of Education and Research, Annette Schavan addressed key issues in health science and research that emphasized the importance of having meetings such as the Lindau Meeting. “Both science and politics need to face the global issues and problems of our time. The sovereignty of science and its incorruptible intellectuality make it one of the most valuable dialogue partners for policy-makers,” said Schavan. “Solving global problems requires scientific expertise and the creativity of elite researchers,” she added.

Countess Bettina Bernadotte awarded the Council’s highest honour, the Lennart-Bernadotte-Medal to Council member Hans Jörnvall. She graciously acknowledged the recipient of the Medal for his tireless efforts and his selfless service to the Council for the past 11 years.

As part of the opening ceremony, the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance inducted Martin T:son Engstroem and William H. Gates III into its Honorary Senate. It thereby recognises their sustained personal commitment to supporting and encouraging young talents by opening the door to future opportunities. The Honorary Senate is composed of representatives of the scientific, business and political communities, and plays a role in advising the Foundation Board of Directors.

For the first time, 17 teachers from Germany and one teacher from Austria are invited to a Meeting of Nobel Laureates. They have been selected for their strong engagement for teaching natural sciences at school and in extra-curricular activities. The new initiative of the Council and the Foundation builds a bridge between school education on the one side and the international science community on the other. For one day, these 18 teachers will experience the special atmosphere of the Meetings of Nobel Laureates in Lindau and get new inspiration for their profession. The German teachers association Deutscher Philologenverband (DPhV) supports the new teachers initiative which is funded by Vodafone Foundation Germany.

The 2011 Lindau Meeting is the most interactive ever: German, English, Chinese and Spanish Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube are coming together on a special platform at Young researchers from all over the world can suggest and vote for questions they would like to be put to the Nobel Laureates attending the Lindau Meeting.

The Meetings of Nobel Laureates in Lindau are organized by the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance for the scientific disciplines of Physics, Chemistry and Physiology or Medicine. Meetings of the Winners of The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel have been held since 2004, the next one will take place from August 23- 17, 2011. Lindau Meetings offer young researchers in the sciences an opportunity to delve in greater detail into topics relevant to their research fields in direct encounters with the authorities in their disciplines. In this way, they contribute to the establishment of international networks of scientists and inspire generations of researchers. For more information, please see:

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