Nobel laureates to conduct scientific, cultural exchanges

Business World, Wednesday March 21 2007

Nobel Prize winners are scheduled to visit Manila as part of a regional visit this November to conduct intel­lectual, scientific and cultural exchanges aimed at developing universities and related government institutions, Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein said.

Prince Alfred told reporters Monday afternoon that the Nobel laureates would have their first stop in Manila as part of the first regional event called "Bridges-Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace”

The Philippines would host the event through the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation. Prince Alfred is chairman of the foundation’s advisory board.

The Prince said Nobel lau­reates for Economics, Peace, Physics, Chemistry and Medi­cine would visit various parts of the country to conduct lectures, seminars, workshops and dia­logues in partnership with local governments and educational institutions.

International Peace foundation Chairman Uwe Morawetz said the visit seeks to foster relationships with insti­tutions that could lead to common research projects and other forms of cooperation.

“This is why ‘Bridges’ is not designed as a one-time event, but a continuing process of synergies to make the events a sustainable success for the Philippines,” Mr. Morawetz told reporters.

He said as much as 50 major events would take place in the Philippines from November this year until April next year.

The events will deal with the overall theme of “building a culture of peace and development in a globalized world,” bridging Filipino and foreign perspectives.

“The topics will cover a wide range of issues in the fields of politics, the economy, science, culture and the media and will especially highlight the challenges of both globalization and regionalism and its impact on development and international cooperation,” Mr. Morawetz said.

Nobel laureates confirmed to visit include 1999 Nobel Laureate for Economics professor Robert A. Mundell of the Department of Economics of Columbia University in New York. Mr. Mundell invented the analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes.

The other visiting Nobel Laureates are:

  • Finn E. Kydland (2004 Nobel Laureate for Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of California in Santa Barbara and at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg)
  • David J. Gross (2004 Nobel Laureate for Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California in Santa Barbara)
  • Aaron Ciechanover (2004 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa) and
  • David Baltimore (1975 Nobel Laureate for Medicine and President Emeritus of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena).

The Nobel Prize was named after Alfred B. Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. Mr. Nobel bequeathed $9 million, the interest of which to be distributed yearly to those who had most benefited mankind in physics, chemistry, medicine (physiology), literature and peace.

The Nobel Prize was first awarded in 1901. The Nobel Prize for economics was added starting 1969.

Mr. Morawetz said the International Peace Foundation would be working with local institutions for the Bridges project, including the Asian Institute of Management, Ateneo de Manila and de Davao Universities, De La Salle University, Mapua Institute of Technology, University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos and University of Santo Tomas

~ Jeffrey O. Valisno