The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) launched a publication on the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings – South African Alumni Narratives on 26 March 2021. This publication reflects on the journey and experiences of some of the Alumni that attended the life-changing Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in Lindau, Germany. The publication is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).
Ordinarily held in June/July each year, the Lindau Meetings serve to promote networking among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines, and have evolved into a unique international forum for scientific exchanges. About 30 to 50 Nobel Laureates attend the annual Meetings together with about 500 to 600 postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows and emerging researchers from all over the world.
In 2015, the DSI partnered with ASSAf to coordinate and oversee the activities associated with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Through this arrangement, the DSI funds a travel grant to enable young scientists to participate in these Meetings. ASSAf is the nominating partner. Since then, South Africa has sent groups of the next generation of scientists to the Lindau Meetings, in a more supported way, to enhance their contributions to the growth of South Africa’s science community and to advance networking opportunities for these scholars.
Danielle Douglas-Henry says that for a young scientist, to be selected to attend the Lindau Meeting is the equivalent of winning the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. “You are surrounded by hundreds of people who share your passion and on top of that you get to meet, interact with, and learn from the world’s best in your field,” he concluded.
According to Itumeleng Monageng, “the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting was an unreal experience that any young, emerging scientist ought to experience. Not just for the details of the scientific content, but for inspiration to change the world, however big (or small) the impact of the change is!”