Young chemist hopes for Nobel guidance – University of Copenhagen

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24 June 2015

Young chemist hopes for Nobel guidance

Lindau meeting

Few university students ever get the chance to tap Nobel laureates for career tips. But for Kasper Mackeprang, a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Chemistry, this is exactly the way he intends to kick off the summer of 2015. It is quite likely that his plans will come to fruition, because he has been invited to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. The legendary Lindau Meeting is a four-day gathering of Nobel laureates and younger researchers, an occasion for the greatest and most current scientific questions to be discussed.

Opportunity to meet 70 living laureates

Lindau is located on the bank of Lake Constance in southern Germany, a lake that also borders Austria and Switzerland. Since 1950, the city has hosted one of the most prestigious annual scientific meetings for young scientists. One of the conference’s major draws is its annual roster of Nobel laureates. This year's convening of great minds is particularly noteworthy, with no less than seventy Nobel laureates expected to be on hand.

Hoping to meet successful colleagues

Kasper Mackeprang’s research focuses on hydrogen-bonded complexes, a fundamental aspect of chemical compounds. While he plans on discussing his own research, his enthusiasm is squarely directed at interacting with colleagues who have made it all the way.

“For me, the big deal about this meeting is the presence of the Nobel laureates, and the occasion to hear about their lives and careers. To find out about what is required to advance, as they have with their research, and to hear about the amount of time in their lives that was devoted towards their accomplishments.”

Exclusive meeting for young science talents

Participation in the Lindau meeting is by invitation only. This year's list of invitees to the four days of lectures, panel discussions and workshops includes 672 PhD's and postdocs from 88 countries. That's an average of six participants per country. This year Denmark is sending just three, so mildly stated, it's an exclusive crowd to which Mackeprang is excited to belong.

“Needless to say, I was incredibly happy to be nominated for the meeting, and especially so when I found out that I was on the final list of invitees. I am really excited about being able to attend the meeting. It is definitely a unique opportunity,” says Kasper Mackeprang.

Representatives from all three natural science Nobel fields

The Lindau meeting is interdisciplinary and the young researchers and Nobel laureates are all active within one of three natural science fields encompassed by the Nobel Prize: physics, physiology and medicine, and chemistry.