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Dialogue between Nobel Prize laureates, youth to be held in Singapore for first time

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A dialogue in which Nobel Prize laureates, international thought leaders and youth discuss wide-ranging global issues will be held in Singapore for the first time.

Known as the Nobel Prize Dialogue, the one-day meeting will be on Sept 13. Participants from disciplines ranging from economics to climate science can share, review and crystalise ideas and suggestions that help to deal with the most critical problems facing the world today.

Virtual discussions will also take place in July and August.

The Nobel Prize Dialogue will cover six broad areas in the context of ongoing global crises such as the Russia-Ukraine war. These are: education, climate change, health and happiness, as well as economic and digital well-being.

So far, eight Nobel laureates have confirmed their participation. They are: Dr Steven Chu, physics laureate in 1997; Dr Angus Deaton, economic sciences laureate in 2015; Professor Esther Duflo, economic sciences laureate in 2019; Professor Serge Haroche, physics laureate in 2012; Professor May-Britt Moser, medicine laureate in 2014; Professor Paul Romer, economic sciences laureate in 2018; Professor George Smoot, physics laureate in 2006; and Mr Kailash Satyarthi, peace laureate in 2014.

Organised by the Nobel Prize Outreach and the National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, in partnership with the Asian Medical Students' Association Singapore, the theme for the dialogue is The Future We Want Together.

Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean will attend the dialogue as the guest of honour.

While the Nobel Prize Outreach has held similar events in the Asia-Pacific region, this is the first Nobel Prize Dialogue that will be held in South-east Asia.

NUS said in a statement on Wednesday (June 29) that the local edition of the dialogue seeks to deepen discussion between the research community and the rest of society on topics of global concern.

Nobel Prize Outreach chief executive Laura Sprechmann said: "Students from all over the Asia-Pacific region will play a leading role in the dialogue as they will be engaged in discussions with the Nobel Prize laureates prior to the event.

"Our experience is that these kinds of inter-generational discussions are of great importance for the students, the laureates and the broader society."

Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine dean Chong Yap Seng stressed the importance of young people getting involved in shaping the decisions and actions that are taken to confront threats like poverty and climate change, making their involvement in such issues paramount.

The dialogue will be held from 9am to 10.30pm at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

It will take a hybrid format, combining an in-person event of about 500 participants with a virtual component where the public may register to view the dialogue online.

The Straits Times is the media partner for the dialogue.