By Matin Durrani, Lindau, Germany
The harbour at Lindau
“Youth is wasted on the young” was one of the wisest sayings of the playwright Oscar Wilde.
I’m not sure it’s true though for the 675 students and postdocs who are holed up here on the shores of Lake Constance in southern Germany for the 60th Meeting of Nobel Laureates.
The young researchers, who include 198 physicists, have all been hand-picked from among 20,000 applicants to take part in this year’s shindig, which has “interdisciplinarity” as its theme.
It’s obvious that these young scientists are well aware of the value of hooking up with 59 different Nobel laureates such as Carlo Rubbia, George Smoot, Gerard ‘t Hooft, and Robert Laughlin, who are on hand giving talks, taking part in discussions, and holding court outside the main lecture hall.
The organizers claim this is the “most international Lindau meeting ever”, coming from a total of 68 different nations.
If you like, it’s the physics equivalent of a summer rock festival where hordes of students clamour to hear the best minds in their field. Either that or it’s just the world’s biggest freebie.
I’ll be blogging over the next day or two to report more on what’s going on – so stay tuned.