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Ole to attend Nobel Laureate meeting

By Linnae Stole '10
June 7, 2010

In a few weeks, Nobel Laureates from around the globe will meet with hundreds of young researchers for a "transfer of knowledge" between generations of scientists — and Michael Marty '10 will be among them.

Michael Marty

Marty, a chemistry and math major, was selected to attend the 60th annual Meeting of Nobel Laureates this summer. This month he will join more than 650 other young researchers selected from around the world for a week of lectures, discussions, and social events with Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany.

The St. Olaf science faculty nominated Marty to apply for the conference after Peter Agre, Nobel Laureate and longtime friend of St. Olaf, approached the college about bringing a student with him to the conference. As Agre’s father taught in the chemistry department for many years, the science faculty deemed it appropriate to select a chemistry student to apply. Marty officially received word of his acceptance in late February.

“The conference is designed to be a transfer of knowledge from Nobel Laureates to young scientists through lectures and discussions,” Marty explains. “While it generally focuses on one specific area — chemistry, physiology, or physics — this year’s conference is interdisciplinary, bringing in scientists from all three disciplines.” Marty describes his role as a young researcher at the conference as a “two-way street, where the focus is on dialogue, not just lectures.”

While he and other young researchers from around the world are there to learn from the laureates, they are also there to ask questions and contribute to the discussion from their own knowledge. The conference also provides an opportunity for young scientists to participate in cross-cultural dialogue with their future peers in the field. “As most of the participants are not from the United States, it will be great to make connections and participate in discussions with people from so many different parts of the world," Marty says.

Marty, who is planning to attend graduate school this fall for analytical chemistry, hopes to some day teach and conduct research at the university level. However, after a January internship at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Chemistry Program, he also began to realize the importance of chemistry in shaping public policy. “I hope the conference gives me a broader perspective of the relationship between science and society and helps direct my research in the future to relevant and exciting areas,” he says.

The Nobel Laureate Meetings
The annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, held in Lindau, Germany, each summer since 1951, provide a globally recognized forum for the transfer of knowledge between generations of scientists. Nobel Laureate lectures reflect current scientific topics and present relevant fields of research of the future. In panel discussions, seminars, and during the various social events, young researchers nominated by a worldwide network of academic partners interact with Nobel Laureates.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or