I'm ready to meet great minds
June 23, 2010 | 1:29 PMTanya Petrossian
Video with professor Steven Clarke at UCLA, before departure for Germany.
It’s quite ironic that on this date just last year, I found myself standing on the second floor of the Stockholm City Hall. During the 17th Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology, the Stockholm City Hall held a welcome reception for the world’s top bioinformaticians.
The significance of the Stockholm City Hall to scientists extends well beyond its beauty. It holds the remnants of the footsteps from individuals who have forever impacted the fields of chemistry, physics, and psychology/medicine. It is the location where the great minds that discovered digital devices, HIV, and the structure of DNA have all gathered to be awarded one of the greatest honors of all: the Nobel Prize.
I remember being overwhelmed with thoughts about the individuals who have danced in the same room, celebrating their win of the coveted Nobel Prize. How did those scientists get to where they are today? How did they feel when they were awarded the Nobel Prize? Did they go through similar hardships that I have encountered through my graduate studies? Believe me, science is not easy! And what advice do they have to give to a young scientist like myself?
At the time, I thought those questions would remain unanswered, yet now, I am given the rare opportunity to ask these questions to 65 Nobel Prize winners at the 2010 Meeting of the Nobel Laureates! This meeting is held every year in Lindau, Germany, and gives young researchers like myself an opportunity to interact with Nobel Laureates to foster the transfer of knowledge between generations.
As a young child, I was a nationally ranked swimmer and had dreams of representing the United States in the Olympics. In fact, as an undergraduate, fellow students wanted to be my lab partner because they had seen my name in the swimming magazines. Since then, I have worked hard in my studies and now am honored to represent the United States in this meeting, the Olympics...of the minds. Yet, instead of competing, scientists gather together to work towards the same goal: great science.
The meeting begins in just 3 days and I can’t wait! My schedule is very packed in Germany; every day is filled with several Laureates giving lectures to an audience of nearly 700 international students. I am most excited for the small, informal seminars that provide the perfect forum to converse with the Laureates and ask any question that comes to mind. Questions relating to science, politics, religion, and personal ideology are all fair game! In addition, I am really looking forward to speaking with other young researchers from the United States as well as abroad.
My ultimate goal of the Lindau Meeting is to find out what makes these brilliant, revolutionary individuals tick. I hope to discover the characteristics that have made these individuals so admired and influential to humanity, and pass my observations and experiences onto others to enlighten, inspire, and encourage.
Joe Bruin says:
she's so brave. What a fearless scientist.