Nobel Prize winners reunited

The three men who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry – Ben Feringa, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, and James Fraser Stoddart – will be briefly reunited in November. In Groningen.
By Christien Boomsma / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The trio are the keynote speakers at the Molecular Machines Nobel Prize Conference. The line-up is a dream come true for every chemist in the field. In addition to the three Nobel Prize winners, who were responsible for making molecular motors, doyen Josef Michl will also attend, as well as Takuzo Aida, who invented a molecular ‘cutting machine’.

The conference, which lasts from 19 to 22 November, was set up by Adriaan Minnaard, director at the Stratingh Institute, which also employs Ben Feringa and Kees Hummelen. They started organising the event almost immediately after the Nobel Prizes were announced in October of 2016. ‘We didn’t want the celebrations to end just yet’, he explains.

Extremely fast

They had to work extremely fast to accomplish this. Normally, organising a conference can take up to two years. Now, they had less than half that time to do it. Moreover, the conference takes place during the normal term, and the speakers all had to cancel their normal work to attend. But the organisation succeeded, partly due to the attendance of three Nobel Prize winners.

Minnaard en Hummelen hope to receive 250 attendees. This way, they will all fit into one room and PhD students presenting their work will have a chance of Feringa, Stoddart, or Sauvage seeing their posters.



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