76 PCMA CONVENE SEPTEMBER 2014 PCMA.ORG
Denmark, Sweden, the United States, Switzerland, and Germany — and 400 physicians
attended the first meeting. Within two years,
students began to attend.
Since then, the meetings have continued despite
wars, international crises, and shifting political
alliances among the nations that the laureates and
scientists call home. In the early, immediate post–
World War II history of the program, some laureates, or combinations of laureates, were considered
too politically sensitive to be invited, according to
Wolfgang Huang, director of the executive secretariat of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings —
such as certain Jewish and German laureates, or
those involved in atomic-bomb research.
“Those times are actually over, fortunately,” said
Huang, speaking with Convene over coffee during
this year’s meeting at Inselhalle, the conference
center on the north end of the island that hosts the
program. Conflicts, of course, still exist — between
Israel and Palestine, China and Taiwan, India and
‘A Treasurable Experience’ Top, U. S. Nobel laureate Thomas A. Steitz,
a professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University, takes a photo of picturesque Lindau. Bottom, Nobel laureate and
astrophysicist Brian Schmidt talks to young scientists at the Inselhalle
conference center in Lindau.