There is an annual conference of Nobel Prize Laureates (NPL), commonly held on the picturesque island of Mainau in Lake Constance, Germany. The 65th of such meetings, under the name Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings just concluded.
Purpose of the Meetings
The purpose of their meetings is found on their website:
Once every year, some dozens of Nobel Laureates convene at Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists: undergraduates, PhD students, and post-doc researchers from all over the world. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines.
Undoubtedly, it’s a laudable intention and, who knows, there may well be future Nobel Laureates among the listeners. The assembled laureates also have become known for signing “declarations” of sorts that are supposed to warn the world of potential problems and consequences. This year was no exception. A total of 36 out of 65 Nobel Laureates signed the “Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change;” available in six languages. You may have noticed that’s just barely over one half of the attendees.
If one thing is obvious, not everyone buys into the climate-change and doom-and-gloom hype! Now, let’s drill down a bit further and look at the numbers in different Nobel Prize fields of honor.
Nobel Prize Fields of Honour
Initially (in 1895), there were only five disciplines Alfred Nobel’s foundation prizes were to go to, namely:
Physiology or Medicine
Later on, in 1968, the “Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences” was added by Sweden’s central bank.
Now to some details of the 2015 NPL meeting at Mainau as it relates to their declaration.
The Mainau 2015 Declaration
In brief, the Mainau 2015 Declaration (MD) says, inter alia, “Based on the IPCC assessment, the world must make rapid progress towards lowering current and future greenhouse gas emissions to minimize the substantial risks of climate change.” IPCC, of course stands for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Even shirking any direct opinion on the actually perceived “risks,” as proclaimed by the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, the assembled Laureates did not sign this declaration in unison. In fact, nearly half of them did not. The percentages of those signing onto it versus not signing were almost even between the fields of chemistry, physics, and physiology or medicine.
Clearly then, even though the declaration’s carefully crafted text that refers to the IPCC’s claims rather than their own opinions, it did not sway many of the Nobel Laureates to sign this year’s declaration.
Image Courtesy of lindau-nobel.org - Some of the signatories of the Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change on stage just after the signing. (Photo: Ch. Flemming/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.)