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​Nobel Prize Series brings great minds to Singapore to advance future learning

Published on: 05-Nov-2015


Education systems worldwide are increasingly pressed to groom new generations of problem solvers to address global challenges, such as climate change and poverty, amid an unprecedented pace of social, economic, and technological change.

To engage in a cross-disciplinary dialogue about how to prepare these future leaders and workforce, the world’s great minds including Nobel Laureates, leading scientists, policymakers and thought leaders from 20 countries and across diverse disciplines are meeting in Singapore for the Nobel Prize Series, which makes its global debut at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) today. The event is produced by Nobel Media and the Nobel Museum in partnership with NTU Singapore.

Focusing on the theme “The Future of Learning”, the event aims to identify the key strategic directions, challenges and opportunities for education in the 21st century.  Whether in terms of pedagogical innovation, use of technologies, life-long learning or skill-based practical learning, new paradigms of education will be needed for future global development.

Five Nobel Laureates are participating in the inaugural event, including German physicist Professor Stefan Hell (Chemistry, 2014), Israeli crystallographer Professor Ada Yonath (Chemistry, 2009), English chemist Sir Harold Walter Kroto (Chemistry, 1996), Scottish economist Sir James Mirrlees (Economic Sciences, 1996), and Nigerian playwright and poet Professor Wole Soyinka (Literature, 1986).

Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam is gracing the Opening Ceremony of the conference this afternoon, to be attended by more than 1,500 people including luminaries such as Singapore's prominent business leader and NTU Board of Trustees Chairman Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Ambassador-at-Large Professor Chan Heng Chee and nanoscientist Professor Chad Mirkin, a member of United States President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors for Science and Technology.

Singapore’s Acting Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung is also attending the Executive Roundtable discussion and conference.

The conference is being live-streamed on the website and via the Nobel Prize Youtube channel and the event hashtag is #nobelseries.

Tomorrow, the Nobel Laureates will deliver four public lectures, which have been well-received with more than 1,200 people already registered to attend.  In addition, a special exhibition, The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing the World will open at ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands from 7 November.

Envisioning the Future of Learning
Mr Mattias Fyrenius, CEO of Nobel Media said, "We are delighted to be in Singapore with our ambitious Nobel Prize Series events. We see this as a celebration of science, knowledge and humanism, and we are happy to be present during Singapore’s Golden Jubilee."

Professor Bertil Andersson, President of NTU Singapore and former Chairman of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry selection committee, said, “The Nobel Prize Series Singapore is a platform for the great minds of today to talk about what it takes to groom the great minds of tomorrow.  This event comes at a time when many universities and schools around the world are embracing the virtual environment for learning, and pursuing new pedagogies to maximise student learning and knowledge creation.

“NTU has been actively working on raising the bar on quality learning and teaching in recent years – from introducing “Professor iPad” and team-based learning into the classroom, to launching Massive Open Online Courses and also establishing a centre dedicated to doing research on learning, pedagogies and how teaching can be designed for effective learning at the tertiary level. So this event comes to NTU in Singapore at an opportune time as global thought leaders share their views on what is needed to change the education framework to reflect what our students need in the brave new world of tomorrow.”

During the Executive Roundtable at NTU’s new iconic architectural landmark The Hive this morning, an exclusive group of 31 thought leaders discussed the new opportunities and trends shaping the future educational landscape worldwide, as well as challenges for society, from the impact on human capital to the evolution of traditional educational institutions.

Inspiring the public with Nobel Prize awarded ideas

Tomorrow, four public lectures by the Nobel Laureates will be concurrently held 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 will speak on “The Resolution Revolution” at the NTU School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences. Over at the National Gallery, Sir Kroto and Professor Yonath will together explore “The Relationship between Science and Art”, while Sir Mirrlees will deliver a lecture on “The Causes of Economic Inequality” at the Singapore Management University’s Mochtar Riady Auditorium.

The travelling exhibition The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing the World will be displayed at ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands starting this Friday. Making its Southeast Asian debut, the free exhibition will run from 7 November 2015 to 24 January 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 ever, 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.

Dr Olov Amelin, Director of Nobel Museum, said, "The Nobel Prize Series aims to encourage curiosity and lifelong learning, in the exhibition Nobel Prize: Ideas changing the world, we tell stories about the Nobel Prize and Nobel Laureates who personify just that. We are proud to bring the exhibition to Southeast Asia and the beautiful ArtScience Museum and hope it will be an inspiring experience for the visitors."

“We are excited to bring this fascinating exhibition to ArtScience Museum as part of the Nobel Prize Series in Singapore. Through the exhibition, the public will discover the creativity and innovation of Nobel Laureates in both science and art, and how their achievement not only impact our daily lives but may be the key to unlocking answers to the major challenges of the future,” said Ms Honor Harger, Executive Director, ArtScience Museum.  

The Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015 is kindly supported by event partners: Saab and Scania, and supporting organisations: Stockholm Business Region and Singapore Management University. The Straits Times is the official media partner of the Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015.

For more information, visit:

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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

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 The Nobel Foundation
The Nobel Foundation is a private institution established in 1900 based on the will of Alfred Nobel.

The Foundation manages the assets made available through the will for the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. It represents the Nobel Institutions externally and administers informational activities and arrangements surrounding the presentation of the Nobel Prize. The Foundation also administers the Nobel Symposium Program.

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.

A young university ranked among the world’s top 15 universities, NTU Singapore is at the forefront of education innovation and best practices for effective teaching and learning. The university is also home to the National Institute of Education, the heart of Singapore's teacher education and education research.

For more information, visit

About ArtScience Museum
ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is Southeast Asia's leading cultural institution that explores the inter-relationship between art, science, technology and culture. Featuring 21 galleries totaling 50,000 square feet, the iconic lotus-inspired building has staged major exhibitions by some of the 20th century's key artists, including Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol and Vincent Van Gogh, as well as major exhibitions which explore aspects of scientific history.

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