08 Sep

Have you ever met a Nobel Laureate? Very few of us will ever have the opportunity to spend time with a winner of the international scientific community’s highest honour.

Thomas Loke, UniHaller and doctoral candidate in Physics, met not one but 65 Nobel Laureates, at the 65th Lindau Meeting held from 28 June to 3 July this year. First convened in 1951, the annual Lindau Meeting brings together Nobel Laureates to engage with the next generation of leading scientists, from undergraduates to postdoctoral researchers. This year’s interdisciplinary meeting brought together past winners from chemistry, physics and medicine or physiology, along with a handful of Literature and Peace laureates.

To attend Lindau as a PhD student is a rare honour: of the thousands of applications received, only 650 were invited to attend this year. Thomas was nominated by his PhD supervisor, and was selected to attend on the basis of a highly competitive, multi-stage process. With the support of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) and Australian Academy of Science (AAS), Thomas travelled to Lindau as part of the 13-strong Australian delegation of young scientists, including Tristan Clemons from UWA’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

For Thomas, whose doctoral research in the School of Physics’ quantum dynamics and computation research group intersects with Mathematics and Computer Science, the interdisciplinary of this year’s historic meeting was a real drawcard. The meeting was a unique opportunity for future scientific leaders such as Thomas to learn about what motivates Nobel Laureates, and to discuss the big questions: What is the role of science in the twenty-first century? What are the biggest challenges facing the world? What is worth working towards?

Thomas will share his experiences at Lindau at the inaugural University Hall Research Seminar series, to be held in late July.

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