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From the Chemistry Department

Jeffrey Dick Attends Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany

By Jeffrey E. Dick, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Prof. Allen Bard's Lab.  


The 65th Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany was a week to remember, rife with intellectual conversation, passionate debates, and copious amounts of German beer, sauerkraut, and sausage. 651 students from 88 different countries gathered with 64 Nobel laureates from Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, Peace, and Literature on the island of Lindau to trade ideas, discuss science, and, most importantly, inspire we young scientists to make a difference in the world.


Each day was filled with lectures from different laureates – lecture topics ranging from Nobel Prize winning work, current scientific interests, and even a lecture or two outlining the importance of dispensing scientific knowledge to society as a whole.


One particular lecture caught my attention, instilling in me an admiration for these laureate’s pure love of scientific inquiry and discovering new truths of nature. When Oliver Smithies, 2007 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, began talking about his current research interests, a passionate spark lit up his face. He told us an amazing story of his interest in nanoparticles, and the crowd was quite impressed when he flashed a 2014 first author publication in the journal Langmuir – mind you, Dr. Smithies just turned 90! He was happy to tell us that he did all of the experiments himself –in the mornings – on Saturdays.


Personally, the meeting fortified my love of making discoveries and solving scientific problems. Science and academia are wonderful and beautiful entities, and we as students may be on the cusp of uncharted realms of human knowledge, forging our way to learn just a little bit more about the universe in which we live. What more could one ask for in an occupation? Despite the politics and bureaucracy that muddies the water for most scientists, we cannot lose sight on why we love science and the creative pursuit of new knowledge.


Scientific discoveries are ours for the taking, and, as young scientists, it is our duty to form opinions and make decisions based on data and facts, proceed with academic integrity, incorporate the general public in all of our pursuits, and have a little fun as we go along.


Additionally, Jeffrey wrote about this trip for his weekly science column that appears in Indiana's Herald Bulletin.

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