- Dr Julian Bonello, Department of Physics
- Dr Jackson Levi Said, Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy
- Prof. Charles Sammut, Department of Physics
[Pictured: Delegates at the 2019 Lindau meeting. Credit: Julia Nimke]
The Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings have been taking place since 1951, when two leading physicists at the time convinced Count Lennart Bernadotte af Wisborg as a member of the Swedish royal family to bring together seven recent Nobel laureates to Lindau in southern Germany. The annual event has since grown to host over 40 Nobel laureates and 600 young researchers from across the world. The aim of these meetings is to bring together early-stage researchers from different generations and cultural backgrounds and to promote exchanges with Nobel laureates in their respective fields.
The meeting series runs over a five-year cycle in which the Nobel prize research themes of physiology and medicine, physics, chemistry, economics are covered, in addition to an interdisciplinary fifth year. Apart from the laureates themselves, the meetings feature an important contribution from world leaders such as Angela Merkel (2014), Bill Gates (2011), and others, who actively interact with the young research leaders.
Malta’s research profile has grown dramatically in recent years, with many research projects and researchers being based locally as well as a sharp surge in high impact publications involving local researchers. A by-product of this impressive progress, spearheaded by the University of Malta’s researchers, has translated into Malta being consistently included in this highly selective event which has led to wider international collaborations. In fact, out of the 600,000 applications only 600 participants are selected to take part in the Lindau Meeting.
The ongoing pandemic has unfortunately impacted all international events and forced the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings Series for 2020 to be postponed to this Summer. The event will now be hosted online, given the participation of so many countries in the week-long event, which will take place using new meeting specifically developed software. This has not dampened the enthusiasm of the participants and the Nobel laureates leading the event. Indeed, we are eager for Malta’s nominee for this year’s interdisciplinary event to participate in the various activities and events surrounding the Lindau meeting.
Dr Julian Bonello, a researcher in the Department of Physics, works at the interface between physics and biology, and will be representing Malta this year at the 2021 Lindau meeting. “Having just finished my PhD this is going to be a good opportunity to meet with and listen to people who are truly on the forefront of research. This year, 80 Noble Laureates from around the world will be contributing to the discussions which will be taking place. I also look forward to meeting upcoming young scientists who will play an important role in the science world of tomorrow. Finally, I believe that these opportunities will help our university to continue strengthening its links with the leading universities and research institutions from around the world.” (Julian Bonello, 2021).
This year marks a new turning point in Malta's participation for which the University of Malta has expanded the infrastructure to help each year's nominee by establishing a new Senate Committee featuring leading academics from across the spectrum of Nobel disciplines. Malta has precious few opportunities to take part in global academic events of this kind, a deeper and more meaningful commitment to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Series is essential for helping the next generation of local researchers acquire international recognition.