Field of Science

Wine, wisdom and wish-fulfillment at Lindau

This cannot get any better. There's everything here; the opportunity to interact with dozens of Nobel prizewinners in a very informal setting, spectacular views of the alps bordered by three countries (Germany, Switzerland and Austria), nice bicycle rides, a charming hotel to stay in, polonaises to dance to, great banquets with varied food and drink and a festive atmosphere, really nice people to interact with (my co-bloggers are super-friendly and helpful) and dinner with small groups of students and Nobel laureates. I could not have asked for anything more. Here's me with my wunderbar fellow bloggers. I also ran into Bora and PZ Myers and had a nice walk with them around town. Both of them are attending and vigorously blogging as usual and Bora was also part of a panel discussion on open science access.

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This year India is a partner country and has sent the third-largest delegation of students, about 43. Guests included the minister for human resources Kapil Sibal and the minister for science and technology S. E. Chavan. As a partner country India hosted a wonderful banquet yesterday with lots of Indian food, followed by an Indian dance performance. This was followed by a Lindau tradition; a polonaise in which the ladies and the gentlemen form lines and ascend the stage from both sides. The gentlemen pick up a flower and present it to whichever lady happens to be in front of them in the center of the stage. The polonaise then breaks into a waltz, and the dancing continues late into the night. There is purportedly ghastly photographic evidence of a certain individual trying to waltz.

Most importantly, you cannot help but be taken in by the picture of hundreds of students from every possible country interacting so enthusiastically with each other, underscoring the global nature and brotherhood of science. Indians interact with Belorussians, Americans interact with Poles, Chinese interact with Russians, Zambians interact with Germans. And Nobel Prize winners participate in the dances and interact with everyone else. The atmosphere is truly international and sparkles with verve.

Today I had the opportunity to conduct an informal interview with Prof. Peter Agre whom I had also met last year. But this year it was one-on-one for 40 mins and was truly enjoyable since Prof. Agre is an exceptionally witty and nice person. You can read about the interview here.You can find the rest at the official Lindau blog, including all my posts (my name is right below each). Updating will continue all week long. Keep watching that spot for more!


  1. If you get the chance I can recommend a visit to Insel Mainau, especially if the weather is fine.

  2. Indeed! We are visiting Mainau on Friday


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