Nobel Winner make a Difference?

Date: Fri Feb 02 2001 - 14:47:47 MST

Nobel Brains To Tackle World's Problems

By Alister Doyle

OSLO, Norway (Feb. 2) - About 225 Nobel Prize winners will tackle the world's
ills in one of the biggest concentrations of brain power in history in
December to mark the 100th anniversary of the awards, organizers said Friday.

About 32 Nobel Peace Prize winners, including former Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev and Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, will gather in Oslo
for a December 6-8 symposium on how the globe can avoid conflicts in the 21st

Around the same time, many of the almost 200 laureates in physics, chemistry,
medicine, literature and economics will converge on Sweden to wrestle with
issues like "frontiers in molecular science," "beyond genes" and "witness

Laureates will also speak at universities in the two nations, and Sweden will
set up an exhibition to mark the first century of the prizes, named after
Sweden's Alfred Nobel, a philanthropist and the inventor of dynamite.

The celebrations will culminate on December 10 when this year's awards are
handed out a century after the first prize was awarded in 1901.

"We've never had such a big meeting of peace prize winners," said Geir
Lundestad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

"We'll go through what went wrong in the 20th century -- why we had so many
wars and conflicts -- and we'll try to sketch out solutions for the 21st," he


"The prize winners will, as the visionaries, try to give us solutions for the
21st century," he said, adding that all living laureates have been invited.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is the only Nobel laureate
invited who has said he won't be coming, although other laureates like
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat have yet to reply.

Mandela, who shared the 1993 prize with former President F.W. de Klerk for
helping bury apartheid, gave no reason for turning down the invitation.

Of the total peace laureates, 17 are individuals, including Northern Irish
politicians John Hume and David Trimble, who won in 1998 for efforts to end
sectarian bloodshed, and 15 represent organizations like the U.N.
peacekeeping forces.

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