Nobel Conference 52: How It Started and Why You Should Go

This fall marks the 52nd Nobel Conference titled, ‘In Search of Economic Balance’. This year’s conference will include lectures by expert economists from all over the world, musical presentations by Gustavus students and staff, and Q&A sessions where the audience has the opportunity to raise any questions they might have to expert panelists.

The Nobel Conference was started in 1963 at Gustavus Adolphus College, when Nobel Laureates gathered at Gustavus for the dedication of our Nobel Hall of Science. Following this dedication, the college asked for and received permission from the Nobel Foundation to host a conference with the Nobel name. The conference sought to introduce science related issues to the community, and where discussion of the impacts of the issues between Nobel Laureates, panelists, and audience members could occur. Since then, the conference has covered dozens of topics from the solar system, to the brain, to food.

Last year as a first year student at Gustavus, I attended my first Nobel Conference. I was only planning on going to the conference to perform with my band on Wednesday, but a friend persuaded me to tag along to one of the lectures with her on Tuesday. Last year, the theme of Nobel was ‘Addiction: Exploring the Science and Experience of an Equal Opportunity Condition’. I was amazed at the information that was being shared with us. I had learned a little bit about addiction in my high school Psychology class, but I was nowhere near aware of all of the research and information that exists about addiction. What I remember most is learning about the different types of addicts that there are (willing, unwilling, and resigned). Almost everyone knows someone who has faced an addiction—whether it be a family member, friend, or even a member of your community. It was eye opening to hear the Nobel laureates talk about their research and experiences with addiction. I ended up going to three of the lectures and live streaming one of them! My surprisingly enjoyable experience at the Nobel Conference last year has definitely encourage me to attend again this year.

Gustavus is extremely lucky to host the Nobel Conference every fall. I think one of the best things about Nobel is that it is unique to Gustavus. No other school holds a conference like this, and people come from all over the state and country to attend. Fortunately for us, as students here at Gustavus we have the ability to walk less than a mile to experience what others have to travel hundreds of miles to experience. Plus, it’s FREE for ALL Gustavus students! All of us have the opportunity to learn so much from the Nobel Prize award winners who come to share their knowledge, research, and expertise at the conference each year. I strongly believe that everyone, whether you are an economics, chemistry, communications, studio art, or Japanese major, should attend this amazing confernece and take full advantage of the opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest. Hope to see you there!