A Meeting with Nobel Prize Winners

On Thursday UWC Dilijan proudly hosted 5 Nobel prize winners as part of the “Nobel days in Yerevan” initiative, organized by the Yerevan State Medical University. Around 300 pupils from schools in Dilijan and Yerevan gathered under the UWCD roof to mingle with the honourable guests, hear their stories and learn from their experience.

Biologists Aaron Ciechanover (Israel) and Ada Yonath (Israel), chemist and physicist Dan Shechman (Israel), pathologist John Warren (Australia) and chemist Ei-ichi Negishi (Japan) answered the question the pupils were most interested in - how does a scientist become a Nobel prize winner? All of them unanimously stated that receiving this highest of honours is never the initial goal of a scientist’s work; rather it is the cumulative outcome of the body of work they have acheived during their lives. “If at some point of your life you come to see that you are a professor at what you are doing, it means that you have done everything right when building your career”, said Dan Shechman, who received his Nobel prize in 2011 for the discovery of quasicrystals.

The “Nobel days in Yerevan” initiative was brought about by Professor Konstantin Yenkoyan, Vice-Rector of YSMU. “We’ve been working on this idea since 2014; our foremost goal was to organise an intellectual week, gather young people, potential scientists and bright minds and give them an opportunity to communicate with the scientists who received the highest form of appreciation from the scientific community”, he said.

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of academic, cultural and/or scientific advances. The prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901.