Nobel Laureate Ada E. Yonath: My Personal Experiences in the "Pastoral Nobel City"

24. June 2011, 09:20 by Attendees

Last year, I had my first opportunity to participate in the yearly scholar's festival that takes place in Lindau, the tranquil island situated in beautiful Lake Constance. This unique event is a gathering of intellectuals, ranging from Nobel Prize Laureates, to highly appreciated scientists and talented young students eager to learn, and top media reporters. Indeed, the reality overcame the "stories". Immediately after arrival, I was soaked in immense curiosity, exceptional enthusiasm and significant boldness to inquire by everybody about everything.


Ada E. Yonath via press office Weizmann Insitute
Ada E. Yonath
Weizmann Institute

As I have ample opportunities to meet my colleagues, the Laureates, I planned to use my time for discussions with the youngsters, and benefit from their fresh, still embryonic viewpoints. I grabbed every opportunity to interact with them. Surprisingly (or not), I learned that in addition to their lust to understand the "Nobel minds" and the processes of discovery, they showed immense interest in lifting the curtain on underappreciated aspects and on unexpected observations encountered on the way to the discoveries. They were glad to discover the enormous contribution of serendipity to the research pathway, and to reveal details hidden in the polished final published results. However, paradoxically, they were more eager to discuss frustrations, failures, drawbacks and intriguers associated with the everyday research as well as with the glorious moments.


I was delighted to realize that the meeting promoted the determination of these young researchers to pursue excellent science and to overcome disturbances and disappointments. I sensed that the meeting deepened their perseverance and encouraged them to undertake profound projects at the frontiers of science and wish them great accomplishments.

Nobel Laureate Ada E. Yonath (Chemistry 2009) has written this text for the annual report of the 60th Meeting of Nobel Laureates at Lindau - Retrospects and Prospekts 2010.



  1. betreff Lou Woodley

    If you're interested in reading more about Ada Yonath, you can read my interview with her from last year's meeting:

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