The Inselhalle: a digital cave, few people, a lot of cables, cameras, screens - a virile control room of the cyber world. Anything but the beehive of clever minds, which is bathed in the still, constant water of Lake Constance. It is the place where Germany usually presents itself as the center of the enlightened world at this time of year: lively and thought-provoking, but also with a youthful lightness that emanates from the few hundred young researchers who have traveled from all continents and meet dozens of Nobel Prize winners here - usually. At least that's how it was before the pandemic. And so the anniversary would have been celebrated in Lindau with the participants from the three scientific Nobel disciplines of physics, chemistry and medicine or physiology:Seventy years of Nobel Laureate Meeting with 74 invited laureates and a good seven hundred young top researchers. This was prevented by the contact restrictions. And so it was true for the online June Tree Week what the unforgettable Lindau protagonist Rita Levi-Montalcini once remarked with a wise sense of life: “Don't be afraid of difficult moments. The best comes from them. "
Editor in the features section, responsible for the “Nature and Science” section.
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The Nobel Prize laureate in medicine, who died eight and a half years ago, embodied the "spirit of Lindau" that the hostess Bettina Countess Bernadotte conjured up this time via fiber optic connection in the virtual Lindau cosmos. You could even say: He was alive especially during the crisis. The medicine laureate Harvey Alter reported at his Lindau premiere, almost exuberantly at his panel discussion, that he has never seen so much science in the public eye as in these days. In fact, Corona has become a touchstone for science - not only professionally with regard to research, but also socially and by politics it has not always been brought onto the big stage cheaply. One of the highlights of the virtual meeting was therefore the publication of the "Lindau Guidelines",a guideline with ten goals for an open, collaborative science. In 2018, medicine award winner Elizabeth Blackburn started the initiative for transparent basic research. After many hours of joint discussion in the Lindau district, the guideline now expresses a scientific ethos that can also be understood as an answer to a mistrust of science that is sometimes expressed loudly in the pandemic. More than three dozen of the Nobel Prize winners had signed the paper, when the declaration was less than seventy hours old. So should someone say that the old people do not care about the will to progress and worry about the future. The young generation is at the heart of the Lindau idea, but all the less scrap iron clichés apply here.This has been shown time and time again - whether it was about the early warning of nuclear armament or the “Mainau Declaration” signed by 72 laureates before the Paris climate summit. The charismatic Levi-Montalcini was the inspiration for the “Lindau Guidelines”. In 1993 she gave the outlines of her “Magna Carta of Duties” in a legendary lecture at Lake Constance, which was presented to the United Nations as a legacy of responsibility and ethics under the title “Declaration of Human Duties”.which was presented to the United Nations as a legacy of ethical responsibility under the title “Declaration of Human Duties”.which was presented to the United Nations as a legacy of ethical responsibility under the title “Declaration of Human Duties”.
This year it was a long-time friend who remembered the “great lady”: Edmond Fischer, 101 years old, the oldest living Nobel Prize winner, insisted on raving about the empathic Italian with powerful headphones on. The most important thing: With all the pressure, may the fun of research never be forgotten. Fischer was asked by a young woman in the virtual room whether it might not be a burden to be a Nobel Prize winner and, so to speak, a rock star. Yes, yes, he said, with the award the claims would rise to the sky. "After that, you have to be as careful as hell what you publish." Which corona researcher could not sign that who has already seen the limelight?