SINGAPORE has made its mark on the scientific world stage again, with President Tony Tan Keng Yam receiving top honours at the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.
Dr Tan was yesterday inducted into the Honorary Senate of the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance, becoming the first Singaporean – and the third Asian – to receive the honour.
The honorary senate assembles top thinkers from the worlds of academia, business and politics, in recognition of their contributions to education, their commitment towards scientific excellence and their promotion of young researchers.
At present, honorary senate members include Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The 25-member senate advises the foundation’s board of directors at the annual meetings.
Now into its 62nd year, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting serves as a platform for Nobel laureates to meet and inspire young scientific talents in the Nobel disciplines of physiology or medicine, chemistry and physics.
Noting Dr Tan’s “particular devotion to science and education”, foundation chairman Wolfgang Schül;rer said that he has been a “quiet but tireless force in the rise of the Republic as a global hub of science and education in Asia”.
“His intellectual charisma and deep understanding of the global research landscape distinguish him as a highly respected ambassador vis-a-vis Europe and the world,” added Dr Schül;rer.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Tan expressed his deep appreciation to the foundation for “this great honour accorded to (him) and to Singapore”.
Dr Tan’s induction this year is especially fitting given his background as a physicist, because 2012′s meeting is dedicated to the discipline of physics.
It is being held from July 1 to July 6 here in Lindau, a town in the southern German federal state of Bavaria.
The conference has brought together 27 Nobel laureates and over 580 young researchers from 68 countries – including eight scientists from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Today, Singapore plays host on Day Two of the meeting, also known as International Day.
The event will see Singapore playing a key role in this year’s meeting, and offers an unparalleled opportunity for the city-state to showcase its research and development (R&D) achievements.
Francis Yeoh, chief executive officer of the National Research Foundation, noted that Singapore’s hosting of International Day would reap far-reaching benefits for the Republic, such as the promotion of Singapore as an R&D site of choice among young international researchers.
“This bunch of people are selected from all over the world because they are good in (their fields) – so it is really a very focused and targeted audience. We need a lot of good scientists to come to Singapore to participate in the research environment that we have . . . So this is very good ground to reach out to such bright young scientists.”
By Kelly Tay, in Lindau, Germany, BT Premuim
Link : Top German honour for Tony Tan
Acceptance Speech at the Official Opening Ceremony of the 62nd Nobel Laureates Meeting
Countess Bettina Bernadotte
Council for Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
Professor Wolfgang Schuerer
Chairman of the Foundation Lindau
Members of the Foundation
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am deeply honoured to accept this invitation to become a member of the Lindau Honorary Senate and I thank the Lindau Foundation for the opportunity to attend the Lindau meetings this year. I was fortunate to have attended the Lindau meetings two years ago in 2010, and welcomed another chance to visit this beautiful town at this gathering of the best scientific minds from all over the world.
The Lindau meetings have a long and illustrious history, and have played a vital role in nurturing generations of young scientific talent. This assembly of brilliant scientific minds allows the scientific elite of today to educate, connect with and inspire the up and coming young talent of tomorrow. The dialogue that takes place across generations, disciplines and cultures will certainly provide a source of inspiration for the young researchers and, I believe, possibly also for the laureates themselves.
The future of research lies in international and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Emerging global challenges such as the depletion of non-renewable resources, disruption of ecosystems and transmission of infectious diseases are becoming increasingly connected and complex. To effectively address these challenges, scientific communities and academia must work together with one another and with industries and governments through partnerships spanning across countries and disciplines.
In this regard, Singapore has established research collaborations with universities from different parts of the world. One example of this is an initiative from the Singapore National Research Foundation called the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE). CREATE houses in one location interdisciplinary research centres from some of the world’s best research universities, including MIT and Berkeley from the US, TUM from Germany, ETH Zurich from Switzerland and Technion from Israel. Scientists from diverse disciplines and cultures at these centres carry out research in areas of high scientific and societal impact in close collaboration with Singapore’s own research community.
Singapore universities have also established significant international partnerships for greater education and research impact. For example, the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical school, a collaboration between Duke University from the US and the National University of Singapore (NUS) from Singapore, has since its establishment in 2005, published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, registered patents and inventions, and are actively collaborating with several local agencies and international entities. Another example is the Singapore University of Technology and Design, (SUTD), which was set up by Singapore in collaboration with MIT from the US and the Zhejiang University from China. SUTD takes an integrated, multi-disciplinary and international approach in education and research that embraces both technology and design to advance knowledge and bring innovative solutions to market.
Singapore is grateful to the Lindau Foundation for inviting us to host International Day at this year’s meetings. I hope all of you will be able to join us tomorrow evening back here in this hall, to learn more about Singapore. Besides Singapore’s vibrant scientific environment and R&D strategies, we also hope to share with you the sights and sounds, the diverse and colourful culture of our island nation and yes, perhaps most importantly, the taste of Singapore food, which, in my biased opinion is the best in the world!
In closing, I would like to register my appreciation to the Lindau Foundation for this great honour given to myself and to Singapore.