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Lindau Nobel Laureate 2011 – Coverage Roundup

Yesterday 500 young scientists and 23 Nobel Laureates gathered at the foot of the Alps on Lake Constance, prepared for a week of top scientific dialogue and debate. It can only mean one thing, the Lindau Nobel Laurette conference has begun!

The meeting started with an opening ceremony that included a talk from special guest Bill Gates, paving the way for a week of discussions between some of the best scientific minds in the world.

Blogging coverage so far

As explained in our previous post, Everything you need to know about Lindau, we will be regularly informing you of the latest news, views and reflections on this unique event.

In order for you to keep track of the happenings so far, here’s a roundup of the best posts from the beginning of the conference:

jcarlson.jpgJonathan Carlson tries to understand how HIV adapts when it is attacked

Yesterday’s opening ceremony ended with a panel session that featured Bill Gates, Nobel laureate Ada Yonath, Sandra Chisamba and Jonathan Carlson. In this post blogger Lucas Brouwer interviews panel member Jonathan Carlson, a computer scientist working for Microsoft:

This meeting is completely different. It really has nothing to do with any specific science per se. Rather, it’s about meta-science: learning from both those who have successfully gone before you and “peers” who come from completely different scientific and cultural backgrounds.

Jonathan studies how HIV adapts to its host. You can find out about Jonathan’s job and his expectations of the conference in his interview.

Laying down the global health gauntlet

The opening ceremony panel focused on global health, the broad theme for this year’s meeting. In this post, freelance science writer Christine Ottery summaries this special happening, revealing the important “take home messages”:

Bill Gates said that we must pay more attention to the ‘silent voices’ in poor countries, who don’t have their medical needs met by funding from their governments or companies.


This post is also mirrored on Scientific America’s guest blog: Lindau Nobel Meeting—Bearing the fruits of global health research.

When different fields collide

Freelance science writer Christine Ottery asks “How do you put a price on inspiration?” In her post she reveals why the Lindau conference is so inspirational:

How can being surrounded by 23 Nobel Laureates not be inspiring? And, I expect that the stimulus goes both ways – a panel of up-and-coming scientists that will be quizzed by the Nobel Laureates in a turn of the tables.

This post is also mirrored on Scientific America’s guest blog: Lindau Nobel Meeting—The Cross-Pollination of Ideas.

Nobel Laureate Ada E. Yonath: My Personal Experiences in the ‘Pastoral Nobel City’


In this post we discover how Nobel Laureate Ada E. Yonath will be spending her time at the Lindau conference, including her reflections from last year’s meeting:

As I have ample opportunities to meet my colleagues, the Laureates, I planned to use my time for discussions with the youngsters, and benefit from their fresh, still embryonic viewpoints.

Sandra_Chishimba_2011.1 (c) Masiliso Phiri.jpgSandra Chishimba and her fight against Malaria

The opening ceremony panel focused on global health and in this post blogger Beatrice Lugger, interviews Sandra Chishimba who was on the panel along with Bill Gates and Ada E. Yonath. You can find our more about Sandra’s scientific research, including how she became nominated for Lindau in her interview.

Here you might spend hours

Want to find out more about the new Mediatheque of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings? In this post blogger Beatrice Lugger unveils some of its new features that promise to make this tremendous video gallery a real experience. Find out more in her post, including links to the first video that is online now!

Sentences that win Nobel prizes

Blogger Lucas Brouwers, in his latest report on Lindau, picks out inspiring words from key scientific papers written by the attending Nobel Laureates. He asks:

“Does the Nobel prize-winning sentence exist?”

Researcher portrait: Madhurima Benekareddy

Christine Ottery picks the brain of research scientist Madhurima Benekareddy who is attending Lindau. You can find out more about Madhurima’s work researching the effects of trauma on the brain, as well as her reasons for attending the conference.

elizabeth.JPGTake control of your telomeres – Elizabeth Blackburn

A summary of Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn’s plenary talk, where she discusses her research on telomeres:

Speaking at the 61st Meeting of Nobel Laureates at Lindau, Elisabeth Blackburn compared the caps, called telomeres, to the tips on the end of a shoelace that prevent it from fraying. Telomeres protect DNA during cell division.

This post also includes a video of her talk.

Numbers and Stories behind the Lindau Meetings

You might already have noticed on several pages covering this year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting the attendance of 23 Nobel Laureates and 566 Young Reserachers from 80 countries. But did you also know, 170 journalists from 30 countries are also attending? And there are plenty more background stories you might not know till now – all is revealed in this post.

Infections that cause cancer – Harald zur Hausen


A summary of Nobel Laureate Harald zur Hausen’s plenary talk, where he discusses his research on infections that cause cancer:

At the 61st Lindau meeting, the Nobel laureate spoke about his current hypothesis about why beef causes colorectal cancer. He thinks it might contain a nasty pathogen that infects us that then causes the disease but the source hasn’t been discovered yet.

This post also includes a video of his talk.

Climbing the Everest with polar bears

A summary post of Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath’s plenary talk where she revealed her quest and determination to understand the structure of the ribosome, comparing this quest to that of climbing Mount Everest:

Time after time she thought that she had reached the peak, only to discover a taller summit. While her journey was long and arduous, Yonath eventually reached the top and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the ribosomal landscape.

You can watch snippets from her talk in this post.


Don’t forget we also have a German, Spanish and Chinese blog covering the event, so do check it out!

Finally if you want to get involved and are not at the conference, why not take this opportunity to ask a Nobel Laureate a question? Submit suggestions here.


  1. Report this comment

    Laura Wheeler said:

    Thanks Karthik, I am pleased you are enjoying the coverage so far!

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