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​Global premiere of Nobel Prize Series in Singapore

Published on: 26-Oct-2015

Nobel Laureates, world-leading scientists, policy makers and thought leaders will discuss latest thinking and action on the Future of Learning.

The Nobel Prize Series, an exciting new platform featuring a conference, public lectures, an executive roundtable discussion, an exhibition and various social activities, bringing together the world’s leading minds on global affairs and development, will make its debut in Singapore this November.
Several thousand people, including five Nobel Laureates – Professor Ada Yonath (Chemistry, 2009), Sir Harold Walter Kroto (Chemistry, 1996), Sir James Mirrlees (Economic Sciences, 1996), Professor Stefan Hell (Chemistry, 2014) and Professor Wole Soyinka (Literature, 1986) – as well as the world’s top public and business leaders, academics, educators, community stakeholders and students will converge in Singapore for the Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015 to discuss the latest thinking that will impact the future of learning and development in the 21st century.
The Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015 is produced by Nobel Media and the Nobel Museum in partnership with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). The event will be launched on 5 Nov 2015 by His Excellency, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore. Singapore’s Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Mr Ong Ye Kung will also attend the opening and take part in the Executive Roundtable discussion.


The Future of Learning
The Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015 will feature a main conference and an executive roundtable about “The Future of Learning”, four public lectures incorporating dialogues with students, as well as a special exhibition.
The travelling exhibition The Nobel Prize – Ideas Changing the World will be displayed at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, from 7 Nov 2015 to 24 Jan 2016. The exhibition tells the story of Alfred Nobel's life, the Nobel Prize, the Nobel Laureates and how Nobel Prize-awarded efforts have shaped and continue to change our world. For the first time, exhibition visitors will be able to explore the life of Alfred Nobel and the history of the Nobel Prize through a digital experience based on Nobel's will, which left much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize.
“We are delighted to present the Nobel Prize Series in Singapore as a part of our global outreach with the ambition of raising engagement in science, literature and peace in line with Alfred Nobel’s vision,” said Dr Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation.
“We believe in lifelong learning and the power of ideas. By stimulating dialogue between great minds from both science and society, we wish to inspire all participants, bring important issues into the public debate and make a difference with science as a starting point.”
Professor Bertil Andersson, President of NTU Singapore and former Chairman of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry selection committee, said that NTU’s partnership with Nobel Media and the Nobel Museum to present the first Nobel Prize Series provides a rare opportunity for some of the world’s brightest minds to deliberate on a subject of enormous importance to NTU and Singapore.
“The future of learning is especially relevant to NTU and we have begun innovating the way students learn in a big way. Key initiatives include the introduction of the flipped classroom pedagogy, building more high-tech smart classrooms, launching massive open online courses (MOOCs) and setting up the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE@NTU) to advance innovative approaches in tertiary learning,” said Professor Andersson.
“It is apt and timely that Singapore is chosen as the venue, because this country is well-known globally for education excellence. Research and education are the twin pillars of any world-class university and NTU is no exception. This high-profile event where Nobel Laureates like Sir Harold Kroto who all share a common passion in learning is also a fitting tribute to Singapore on its 50th birthday this year.”
Busy schedule at Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015
• Executive Roundtable
• Main Conference
• Four Public Lectures by Nobel Laureates
• Public Exhibition entitled “The Nobel Prize – Ideas Changing the World”
The two-day programme will kick off with the Executive Roundtable on the morning of 5 November at NTU’s latest architectural icon, The Hive. The exclusive dialogue is expected to see a fruitful discussion among the 30 participants, which includes the Nobel Laureates, and a select group of business, academic and political leaders. The Roundtable, which will address issues, trends, opportunities and challenges facing education in the 21st century, will be a rare opportunity to meet, exchange ideas and be inspired by the Nobel Laureates.
The Roundtable is followed by the main Conference at NTU’s Nanyang Auditorium that afternoon which brings together the Nobel Laureates and a group of eminent speakers, including business and government leaders. The Conference which features two panels will be interactive in nature, drawing on the audience’s participation.
The first session will feature prominent business leader and NTU Board of Trustees Chairman Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Professors Kroto and Yonath and NTU Assistant Professor Juliana Chan, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
On the panel for the second session are Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Professor Chan Heng Chee, Sir Mirrlees, Professors Hell and Soyinka, and NTU Assistant Professor Chou Meng-Hsuan, an Associate Fellow at EU Centre Singapore.
In addition to the above events, four public lectures by the Nobel Laureates will be held concurrently on 6 November at NTU Singapore, the Singapore Management University and the National Gallery of Singapore.
Professor Soyinka will discuss “Playing Footsy with Terror” at the NTU School of Humanities and Social Sciences Auditorium, while Professor Hell’s talk at the NTU School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences is titled “The Resolution Revolution”.
Over at the National Gallery, Sir Kroto and Professor Yonath will both explore “The Relationship between Science and Art”, while the lecture on “The Causes of Economic Inequality” by Sir Mirrlees is at the Singapore Management University’s Mochtar Riady Auditorium.
For the synopsis of the public lectures, please see appendix.

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Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687

Media contact for international media:

Maria von Konow
Communications Manager
Nobel Media AB
Tel: +46 (0)73 852 35 95

Facts – Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015


Public events:

- Conference
o Date: 5 November
o Time: 1.30-5pm
o Venue: Nanyang Auditorium
o Theme: The Future of Learning
o Entrance fee: Free to attend
- 4 parallel Lectures
o Date: 6 November
o Time: 10-11am
o Venues: NTU, SMU and National Gallery Singapore
o Entrance fee: Free to attend
- Exhibition
o Date: 7 November 2015 -  24 January 2016
o Venue: ArtScience Museum
Organisers: Nobel Media and the Nobel Museum in partnership with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Event Partners: Saab and Scania
Media Partner: The Straits Times
Supporting Organisations: Stockholm Business Region, Singapore Management University 


Public Lecture #1: Playing Footsy with Terror
By Prof Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate in Literature (1986)
Venue: NTU School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Auditorium, HSS-B1-14, 14 Nanyang Drive
The politicians will fulfil their mandate as best as they think fit. On our part, attention turns to those institutions where the mind is moulded. There, at this time of global insecurities, lies the immediate mandate of our occupation. Perhaps, when the inventiveness of the human mind, one that constantly explodes with discoveries that hold the potential of humanising labour, contracting distances, reducing social pressures, eliminating famine, diseases and conflict – that especially, conflict – when such discoveries have banished suspicion and distrust, envy and hate, policies of exclusion, contests for scant resources, perhaps then, our institutions can revert to that pristine condition of the monkish disposition that shimmers in the distance as an ideal, the state of pure intellectual contemplation that may, or may not also embrace the spiritual, certainly one in which the higher institution will recover its role as the acknowledged paraclete of universal enlightenment.

Public Lecture #2: Optical Microscopy: The Resolution Revolution
By Prof Stefan Hell, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2014)
Venue: NTU School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Lecture Theatre, 21 Nanyang Link
Throughout the 20th century it was widely accepted that a light microscope relying on conventional optical lenses cannot discern details that are much finer than about half the wavelength of light (200-400 nm), due to diffraction. However, in the1990s, the viability to overcome the diffraction barrier was realized and microscopy concepts defined, that can resolve fluorescent features down to molecular dimensions. In this lecture, I will discuss the simple yet powerful principles that allow neutralising the limiting role of diffraction1,2. In a nutshell, feature molecules residing closer than the diffraction barrier are transferred to different (quantum) states, usually a bright fluorescent state and a dark state, so that they become discernible for a brief period of detection. Thus, the resolution-limiting role of diffraction is overcome, and the interior of transparent samples, such as living cells and tissues, can be imaged at the nanoscale.

Public Lecture #3: The Relationship Between Science and Art
By Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1996), and Prof Ada Yonath, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2009)
Venue: National Gallery Singapore, Auditorium, 1 St Andrew’s Road
Often treated as separate spheres, the disciplines of science and art are of course intimately linked. To a greater or lesser extent, visualisation of ideas plays a key role in every scientist’s thinking. Also, as society strives for a greater public understanding of the role and contributions of science, art is increasingly seen as a medium for the translation of complex concepts for diverse audiences. More fundamentally, the creative processes underlying the work of artists and scientists share many common features. This conversation will be devoted to discussing the fascinating interrelationships between science and art, and exploring points of interface between the ‘Two cultures’.

Public Lecture #4: The Causes of Economic Inequality
By Sir James Mirrlees, Economic Sciences Laureate (1996)
Venue: Singapore Management University, Mochtar Riady Auditorium, Level 5, 81 Victoria Street
Profitable investing requires risk-taking. To some extent successful working careers require risk-taking too. Risky outcomes imply inequality. How much inequality is the result of skill-differences, how much uncertainty? What does the answer imply for policy to reduce inequality without too badly affecting income levels?



About Nobel Prize Series
Nobel Prize Series aims to stimulate innovation and creative thinking, bringing together Nobel Laureates, other experts and lifelong learners. This unique programme combines conference, lectures, roundtables, an exhibition and other meeting spaces. By sharing achievements and stories of Nobel Laureates with a global audience, this official Nobel programme inspires engagement in science, literature and peace in line with Alfred Nobel’s vision.
For more information, visit

About Nobel Media
Nobel Media spreads knowledge about Nobel Prize-awarded achievements and stimulates interest in science, literature and peace in line with Alfred Nobel’s vision and legacy. The company reaches a global audience of millions through its high quality productions within broadcast and digital media which includes the official website and podcast, the Nobel Prize Concert, as well as a series of intercontinental, inspirational lecture events featuring Nobel Laureates. The company also manages a portfolio of publishing licenses, footage sales, and live broadcast rights to the Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies.

For more information, visit:, Twitter: @NobelPrize, Facebook:, YouTube:, Google +:

About Nobel Museum

The Nobel Museum is a museum devoted to circulate information on the Nobel Prize, Nobel laureates from 1901 to present, and the life of the founder of the prize, Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). The Nobel Museum’s aim is to spread knowledge as well as to create interest and discussion around the natural sciences and culture through creative learning and exhibition techniques, modern technology and elegant design.

For more information, visit:

About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
NTU’s main campus at Yunnan Garden has been named one of Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. It also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

For more information, visit

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