At the beginning of July this year, I had the privilege of not just attending the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting, but also the amazing opportunity to speak on behalf of the young scientists at the closing ceremony. Here is the thank you I wrote to thank the Nobel Laureates, organizing committee and the young scientists for an incredible week in Lindau.
Nobel laureates, young scientists, distinguished guests.
We began our journey this week as strangers - each of us arrived in Lindau from all over the world, each with our own unique story and perspectives, eager to learn. Now, at the culmination of a vibrant scientific and social program, we leave not just as friends, but as members of the same family - the Lindau Alumni family - and as part of one another’s story forever.
On behalf of the young scientists, I wish to thank the organisers, the council, and Countess Bernadotte for their hospitality and tireless efforts to make the 69th Lindau Nobel laureates Meeting such a wonderful experience for all the attendees.
I also wish to thank this year’s international host country, South Africa, for bringing us together in a celebration of music and dance at the international dinner. I am sure this is a memory we will all treasure for a long time to come.
I have asked the young scientists to do the impossible: to sum up in a single word their experience this week. The words I have heard again and again are enlightening, empowering, inspiring, wild, humbling, amazing.
This week, we have heard inspirational stories of resilience, determination, creativity, passion, and the discovery of the unexpected.
Isaac Newton once said, ‘if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’. This week, we have been fortunate enough to be invited to stand alongside the Nobel laureates, and to see further through their own eyes.
On behalf of the young scientists, I thank you for generously giving your time to share with us your personal journeys of discovery, your unique perspectives of our world, and for inspiring every person here.
As we all leave Lindau, all of the young scientists here will take the lessons we have learned with us in Lindau - to move forward together, united by our curiosity about our wondrous universe, not divided by fear of the unknown.
I am proud to stand here to represent not just the young scientists, but the Lindau Aussies, and also my home, New Zealand.
I would like to leave you with a thought from my home country
he aha te mea nui o te Ao?
he tangata, he tangata, he tangata
what is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people, it is people.
This for me is the essence of the success of the Lindau meeting: it is people, each and every one of you.
This week, we have learned to build bridges, not borders, between us. A better world for all people is within our grasp, if we work together to break down barriers, defy expectations, and to write our own stories, daring to take a leap into the unknown.