German Federal minister challenges researchers
GERMAN Federal minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan has challenged countries to take financial and structural measures to pave way for research and science. Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting in Lake Constance, Schavan said climate change, energy supply, the fight against poverty and health care are the major challenges facing researchers and policy makers. “We need sustainable solutions to these challenges,” she said adding that in Germany, politicians are deeply convinced “that research can help change our thinking, our actions to improve lives of generations to come.” “I am delighted to see political representatives from several countries here. That sends out an important signal. International cooperation is developing a clear profile,” she said.
Schavan said education and science are key to development of societies to democracy, freedom and social security. “Science cannot perform miracles. But science can create solid foundation for the future of our societies,” the minister said. The meeting, which is dedicated to physics, is being attended by 27 Nobel Laureates and 592 young researchers from 69 countries including Kenya.
In her opening remarks, Countess Bettina Bernadotte, the President of the Council for Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings said the topics to be discussed during the week-long meetings include particle physics, cosmology as well as energy and climate change. She encouraged participants to experience “The spirit of Lindau’, a shared enthusiasm for science and a shared desire to address challenges facing the world. You will discuss research questions and relevant issues just as generations of laureates and young scientists have done since 1951.”
Germany, she said, aims to phase out nuclear energy to renewable energy. “In this way, Germany wants to make an effective contribution to fighting climate change," she said. Lars Heikensten, the executive director of the Nobel Laureate in Stockholm also addressed the opening ceremony. The President of Singapore Tony Tan and Ferdinand K Piech, the chairman of the supervisory board of Volkswagen AG were inducted to the honorary senate of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Prize Winners Meetings in Lindau. President Tan was recognised for his devotion to science and education and his dedication to social and charitable initiatives while Piech was recognised for his innovation and excellence.