More Arabs at next Lindau Laureate meeting

Published online 12 October 2010

Hichem Boumedjout

Nomination for young researchers to attend the 61st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, this year the theme will be to physiology or medicine, has opened.

From 26 June to 1 July 2011, around 550 young researchers from all over the world are expected to meet with 20 Nobel Laureates on the German island of Lindau to share their experiences and discuss their research projects.

The Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, which manages the selection process for the young scientists who will attend the meeting, have set up a multistep, international nomination process that involves universities, academies and foundations.

During the 60th meeting held earlier this summer, Arab participation was low, with only 10 young Arab researchers in attendance. Organizers hope they can change this next year.

"We are indeed very eager to increase the number of participants from the Arab world. Although we do not have a special programme for young researchers in this special case, we do have a wide range of academic partners who help us to find the best scientific talents from the Arab world," said Jan Keese, communication officer of the Lindau Meeting Secretariat.

These partners include Kind Saud University in Saudi Arabia, the Higher Colleges of Technologies in the United Arab Emirates, University of Monastir in Tunisia and the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Interested candidates cannot apply themselves, but are encouraged to approach the partners to ask for a nomination. These partners then send their selection to the meeting organizers who select attendees based on their selection criteria.

Omar Mahassneh, a young chemist from the Jordanian University of Science and Technology who attended the previous conference, believes the meetings are a life changing opportunity: "I learned a lot just from discussions with other science researchers from around the world. Meeting the Nobel Laureates themselves, however, was the most important thing for me. It gave me a great moral boost."