Nobel Laureates meet: Students connect scientific questions to societal needs

A dream come true trip of Indian students to the Nobel laureates meet at Lindau helped students connect scientific questions to societal needs.

“The Lindau week was not only about answers, and scientific questions, but also about exploring the big questions for the society, ways in which science can change the world for human mankind betterment. The inspirations and the lessons that I learned during this meeting will motivate my research career for many years to come,” Sahil Goel, Ph.D. Research Scholar from Department of Physics and Astrophysics.

Twenty one young students travelled to Lindau, Germany to participate in the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting, with lots of hope, excitement and curiosity to know more about research and career from the heroes and pioneers of science.

The group of 21 students were spent a week in Lindau, interacted with about 40 Nobel Laureates in Physics and about 600 students / researchers from about 80 countries and shared their research experiences and utilized this avenue to explore opportunities for research and higher studies.

It was a dream comes true for Geetika Jain, Research scholar from University of Delhi to meet Nobel Laureates. “The casual format of the meeting helped me connect to the scientific thoughts of not just Nobel Laureates but also the young scientists from various fields of Physics,” said Geetika.

The Indian Students interacted with scientists like Professor Donna Strickland, University of Waterloo, Canada winner of Nobel Prize in 2018 in Physics about her method of generating high intensity, ultra short pulses. She is the only third women in history who received Nobel Prize in Physics.

“Such meetings provide boost to researchers like me to learnt how self motivation and team work can act as your base you want to achieve excel in your work,” Chhavi Joshi, a Research Scholar said. “We learnt psychology behind the balance between research and personal life,” another research student added.

Twenty one meritorious students like her from Masters, Doctoral and PhD levels from Universities, IITs and Research Laboratories across the country have been selected through a rigorous process by Department of Science and Technology (DST) and DHF.

For the year 2019, the theme is on Physics. Among the 21 students selected by DST and Lindau Foundation 7 are under Master category; 12 under Doctoral category and 2 under post-Doctoral category.

Under the DST-DFG cooperation, the selected students were also visited several prestigious German research and academic institutions like University of Konstanz, Heidelberg University, Johannes - Gutenberg University and Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research during 6th-12th July 2019.

These students exposed to the state of the art facilities in Germany and interacted with faculty / scientists on the recent developments in the field of physics and allied subjects and onsite lectures on the state of the art research facilities.

“We got opportunity to visit various top German research institutes. We had a great experience by looking at their research activity and various instrumentation facilities,” Mohammad Adnan, IIT Delhi said. “Luckily I found some research field of mine and possibly will look for post-doctoral opportunity in those institutes,” he explained.

For Megha Jain, Ph.D. Scholar, Department of Basic and Applied Sciences, Punjabi University it was a memorable and life changing experience to visit various premier research institutes in Germany.

“I made some new connects with the fellow researchers, which would definitely prove fruitful to me in terms of collaborative research and in getting resolutions to my own research issues,” she mentioned.

Sahil Goel from University of Delhi said that the various programs at Lindau meet covered different aspects of science, the challenges in research career and maintaining the balance between scientific research and real life scientific processes.

Lindau Foundation was established on the occasion of 50th Nobel Laureates meeting to enable and encourage dialogue and exchange between scientists with a goal of better International understanding. The meetings are organized since 1951 and would be attended by Nobel Winner in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine to discuss the major issues of importance in these fields. The meetings include lectures, round tables and interactive sessions among the young students and the scientists. India is sending the students in three categories viz., Masters, Doctoral and Post Doctoral levels since 2001 onwards.