61st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Physiology and Medicine 2011Educate – Inspire – ConnectBy Silke Müller
On the last day, we were invited on a boat trip across the Lake Constance to the beautiful island of Mainau, where Countess Bettina Bernadotte (who is President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings) said her farewell to us, reminding us that she hopes some of us will return to the meeting as Laureates one day!
For me, it was a truly inspiring experience, reminding me why I went into science and research in the first place. During the Laureates talks, one could really feel their energy and curiosity that has been motivating and propelling them to where they are today. Coming from the very special field of gravitational biology/ immunology, I got very kind and positive responses towards my research. Most people thought I had the coolest PhD thesis project and were impressed by the fact that I am working at the German Aerospace Center. I guess that is also one reason why I have been interviewed for the meeting’s newspaper “the week”.
I was deeply impressed by the talk of 86-year old Olivier Smithies (Nobel prize in 2007), who still spends most of his Saturdays in the lab just because he has so much fun and enjoys trying out new ideas. That’s also how he “accidentally” invented gel electrophoresis. The most overwhelming lecture was by 93-year-old Christian de Duve (Nobel Prize in 1974 for the discovery of the lysosome and the peroxisome), using his walking stick as a pointer and talking about his view of the problems we have to face on Earth today. He said: My generation made a mess of things. You are the future, good luck! He received standing ovations after his talk.
- do what you truly enjoy, but at the same time also something you can live on
- try to find important problems that give maximum payoff/ minimum pain
- learn to make lemonade from lemons, stay persistent
- find the right collaborators and exploit them kindly for mutual benefit
But everyone admitted that also a huge portion of luck made them stand where they are today.
The most important advice was: Never stop being curious and asking questions!!
-> Interview with the SpaceLife Doctoral Candidate Silke Müller at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2011
-> Silke Müller studies blood cells. In space.:
Article in 'the week - Newspaper for the 61st Meeting of the Nobel Laureates at Lindau' :
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