Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Bridges Generations of Scientists

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Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Bridges Generations of Scientists


Rachel Pritchett, Contributing Writer

 Christian Flemming, Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.

Nobel laureates are the rock stars of the physics world, often idolized by aspiring scientists. The Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings are an effort to bridge the gap between these honored scientists and promising young scientists with the ultimate networking event.

Each meeting brings together approximately 30 Nobel laureates and 500 young researchers for a week in Lindau, Germany, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not only do young physicists meet Nobel laureates, but also like-minded, motivated young researchers from across the world. This collective feeling of exuberance towards physics, often referred to as the “Lindau spirit,” is one of the things that sets this meeting apart from other top research conferences.

Much like other conferences, attendees participate in tours, small group discussions, panel discussions, poster sessions, and plenary talks. Unlike its counterparts, Lindau is open only to undergraduates, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers under the age of 35. The theme alternates between chemistry, physiology and medicine, and physics. The next physics Lindau meeting is happening in the summer of 2019, and this is the time to apply.

Biophysicist Charlotta Lorenz attended the meeting in 2016. She describes the meeting as the “most scientifically inspiring week of my life.”

According to Lorenz, talking science wasn’t the only life-changing aspect of the meeting; instead, personal conversations with Nobel laureates offered some of the most memorable moments of the week. At one of the dinners, Lorenz sat next to Johann Deisenhofer, winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and talked with him about life within and outside the realm of science. Lorenz encourages all young physicists to apply for Lindau 2019, because “you’ll get to know many Nobel laureates directly and can connect with other young inspiring scientists. It’s also a nice add-on for your resume.”

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings began in 1951 with the goal of fostering an exchange among scientists across different generations, cultures, and disciplines. The conference is organized by two organizations, the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings; together they plan, fund, and oversee the meetings. As a global event, the Lindau council and foundation partner with over 200 distinguished science and research institutions around the world. These academic partners are tasked with identifying the most qualified candidates from their country and nominating them to the second part of the application process.

If you’re interested in attending next year’s physics-focused meeting, the journey to Lindau starts with your country’s academic partners. For those in the United States this would be Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a nonprofit organization that promotes building relationships between different generations of scientists. Although the Lindau organization allows undergraduate participants, ORAU requires applicants to be enrolled in a graduate program. Qualified students should apply through ORAU’s website,, by the end of September. If nominated, you will then apply directly through the Lindau association at Interested people in other countries should visit the Lindau website at to find their country’s academic partner. The process is extremely competitive, so reviewers look for candidates that exhibit outstanding qualities or experiences, such as studying outside of the country.

The application process is involved, but attendees say that in the end, walking into a room with 530 of the brightest minds in the physics community is well worth the effort.

 Christian Flemming, Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.

AIP provides comprehensive coverage of the Nobel Prize in Physics announcements. Be sure to visit for 2018’s expected announcement on October 2!

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