Nobel laureates to again lecture in Thailand

November 20th, 2007 - 12:23 am ICT by admin  

Six distinguished Nobel laureates and a former president of the World Bank will be delivering a series of high-powered lectures in Thailand between November 2007 to April 2008 under the first ASEAN-wide event known as “Bridges — Dialogues towards a Culture of Peace”.

The series will kick off with lectures by Prof. Robert Alexander Mundell, the 1999 Nobel Laureate for Economics at Columbia University in New York, on November 12, 2007, at Siam University and on November 13, 2007, at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, both in Bangkok.

Other speakers to be featured in the series include Prof. David Jonathan Gross, 2004 Nobel Laureate for Physics, Prof. Finn Erling Kydland 2004 Nobel for Economics, Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank 1995-2005, Prof. David Baltimore, 1975 Nobel for Medicine, Prof. Aaron J. Ciechanover, 2004 Nobel for Chemistry, and H.E. Prof. Jose Ramos-Horta 1996 Nobel for Peace.

The topics will deal with the overall theme of “building a culture of peace and development in a globalized world” and with a wide range of issues in the fields of politics, economics, science, culture, and the media. They will especially highlight the challenges of both globalization and regionalism and its impact on development and international cooperation.

Organised by the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation, this 1st ASEAN-wide series of “Bridges” lectures follow the successful two “Bridges” series hosted in Thailand between November 2003 and April 2005. The previous event featured 26 Nobel Laureates as well as 12 other keynote speakers and artists such as Dr. Hans Blix, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Vanessa-Mae and Jessye Norman.

The events were presided over by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and reached an audience of 70,000 participants.

The International Peace Foundation has now been invited by other ASEAN countries to build further bridges towards peace and international understanding by expanding its “Bridges” programme beyond Thailand to stimulate the intellectual, scientific, and cultural exchange in the region. Hence, the distinguished speakers in this series will also be addressing audiences in the Philippines.

As a major contribution to “The Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence” initiated and promoted by the United Nations’ General Assembly in the year 2000, Thailand was chosen as the first Asian host country for “Bridges — Dialogues towards a Culture of Peace” in 2003.

Former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun became the chief mentor and Thai Chairman of the Advisory Board, followed by former Supreme Commander, Privy Councillor and then Prime Minister General Surayud Chulanont; many other leaders and decision makers in all parts of Thai society joined to support the “Bridges” programme.
As in the past, the present lecture series is aimed at:

  • facilitating and strengthening dialogue and communication of people and organizations in Thailand with people and organizations in other parts of the world, especially supporting the education system of Thailand including ministries, universities, and schools with an ongoing communication and a sustainable cooperation with Nobel Laureates for Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Economics, Literature and Peace;
  • achieving a better cooperation for the promotion of peace, freedom and security;
  • developing ethical action plans and multidisciplinary programmes for creative conflict prevention, mediation and resolution from a politically and religiously independent point of view; and
  • establishing creative solutions for the growing threats of war and international terrorism.

Many Nobel Laureates who visited Thailand for their first time now return on a regular basis to cooperate with ministries, universities and schools to continuously enhance the education system, which we believe is the basis for peace.

All events are opened and free of charge for the general public. The detailed schedule of events including information about venues and free tickets can be obtained from the web site

Details of the speaking engagements:

  • Prof. Robert Alexander Mundell, the 1999 Nobel Laureate for Economics at Columbia University in New York, who prepared the first plan for a common currency in Europe and is known as the father of the theory of optimum currency areas. He will speak on “Economic development by fitting globalization into the national development strategy” and on “Remarking the international exchange rate system: The optimum currency area approach to a global currency” on November 12, 2007, at Siam University in Bangkok and on November 13, 2007, at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok.
  • Prof. David Jonathan Gross, the 2004 Nobel Laureate for Physics and director and holder of the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California in Santa Barbara. He will speak on “The coming revolutions in fundamental physics” on Monday, January 7, 2008 at 10:00 hrs, New International School of Thailand and at Mahidol University in Bangkok.
  • Prof. Finn Erling Kydland is a 2004 Nobel Laureate for Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of California in Santa Barbara and at the Tepper School of Business of the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg. He will speak on peace and economic development in the age of globalization on Monday, February 4, 2008 at 14:00 hrs, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok.
  • Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, the president of the World Bank from 1995 to 2005 and currently the Chairman of the Citigroup International Advisory Board. He will speak on “Beyond East-West, North-South — Peace and prosperity in a four speed world” on Monday, March 3, 2008 at 1400 hrs, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok
  • Prof. David Baltimore, the 1975 Nobel Laureate for Medicine and President Emeritus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He will speak on “ The role of science in fostering global health and development” on Monday, March 24, 2008, at 10:00 hrs, the National Science and Technology Development Agency of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Pathumthani
  • Prof. Aaron J. Ciechanover, a 2004 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry and a Distinguished Research Professor in the Faculty of Medicine of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He will speak on “Life and death — Why our proteins have to die so we shall live” on Thursday, April 10, 2008, at 14:00 hrs, Mahidol University in cooperation with the Chulabhorn Research Institute in Bangkok
  • H.E. Prof. Jose Ramos-Horta is a 1996 Nobel Laureate for Peace, the President of Timor-Leste and a Patron of the International Peace Foundation. He will speak on “Building a culture of peace and development in a globalized world” on Monday, April 21, 2008 at 14:00 hrs, Thammasat University in Bangkok and on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, at 14:00 hrs at Ramkhamhaeng University.
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