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Representing Indonesia To Meet Nobel Laurates

Friday, 02 August 2013

During a weeklong (30/06-05-07), I was invited by the Board Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings to represent Indonesia in the annual meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany. For young researcher, participation in this event was a competition based on their achievements and also a lifetime opportunity. In this 63th meeting, 626 researchers from 77 countries were involved.

This annual meeting of Nobel laureates in Lindau was opened by Countess Bettina Bernadotte as the president of Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Council, and attended by 34 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry. The meeting was an effort to raise awareness of the world about the impact of basic research on the technology. The focus topic of this year was the energy crisis and the role of chemistry in the innovation efforts of renewable energy sources. Morever, the contribution of chemistry in the innovation for medical drugs were also discussed through the presentation of the findings of the protein structure.

This year's meeting was also attended by Jose Ramos-Horta, East Timor's former president and receiver of Nobel peace in 1996, and Gunnar Stalsett, Bishop emeritus of Oslo who was a member of the Nobel peace committee.

In the meeting, I had the opportunity to draw lessons from the Nobel laureate knowledge through lectures and discussions personally. Important notes from the discussion:

  1. The importance of basic research that became solid foundation to technology applications. This was showed by the rapid growth of medicinal drugs after the discovery of the structure of the protein receptor (GPCR), ribosome, and so on, and also the development of the Internet and electronic technology due to the invention of the laser and fiber optic cables.
  2. The importance of consistency, focus and the critical attitude in conducting the research.
  3. The importance of adequate infrastructure and equipment for research and produce products that can compete internationally.
  4. The importance of collaboration between the researchers and with the continuing research support fund.
  5. Chemistry has been the foundation of scientific medicine such as medical, food, and also industry.

The challenge ahead was to develop the role of the chemistry of renewable energy sources through solar cell innovation and catalysts, as well as in the field of health food and crop development.

With Brian Kobilka (Stanford University), 2012 Nobel Prize Winner for research in G-Protein Coupled Recptor (GPCR) that open the gate in modern drug innovation

With Akira Suzuki, 2010 Nobel prize winner for invention in cross-coupling reaction in organic chemistry synthesis that open the gate for innovation in plastic product, synthesis drugs and electronic parts

With Steven Chu (Stanford University and former USA Secretary of Energy) 1997 nobel prize winner for invention in laser development

With Countess Bettina Bernandotte, Board President of Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings