What is the future of science? How can scientists better impact society? These are just two examples of the many profound questions that I had the opportunity to ponder and discuss at the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting that took place in July. The annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting is a gathering of Nobel Laureates and young scientists (undergrads, grads, and postdocs) from around the world with the purpose of engaging in an international and intergenerational science dialogue.
Every year, the meeting cycles through the following themes: chemistry, medicine, physics, and interdisciplinarity. Physics was the theme of the 69th Meeting, with key science topics on cosmology, laser physics, and gravitational waves. The mission of the Lindau Meetings can be described with the following motto: educate, inspire, connect. At the 69th Meeting, 580 young scientists from 89 countries met with 39 Nobel Laureates to engage in this mission and dialogue.Preetha Sarkar, Alex An, and I had the great honor of being selected to represent the University of Illinois as part of the 580 young scientists at this prestigious meeting.
The island of Lindau was very much suited for this event. One would be able to completely walk around the island within 30 minutes and would easily cross paths with either a fellow young scientist or Nobel Laureate. Lectures and more-in depth discussions with Nobel Laureates provided young scientists with a sense of what the future of science may be and what we as the future generation of scientists may look forward to. Nobel Laureates and young scientists were also quite excited and motivated to discuss how scientists better impact society with their scientific research and expertise. From this meeting, I myself have learned how I can better educate broader audiences, inspire future generations of scientists, and connect with fellow scientists.
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A. Miguel Holgado is a PhD student in the Astronomy Department and a DOE NNSA Stewardship Science Graduate Fellow. He researches gravitational waves and how they can be used to learn about how compact binaries form and merge. When out of the office, you may find him either at the rec center, traveling, or with his cat.