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NIST Hosts Nobel Laureates for “Bridges” Dialogue

By Jared Kuruzovich
NIST Hosts Nobel Laureates for “Bridges” Dialogue

In late January and early February of 2015, NIST International School was visited by three noted academics as part of the fifth ASEAN event series Bridges - Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace.
Facilitated by the International Peace Foundation, the series aims to support “scientific projects and institutions dealing with research into conflict prevention and strategies for the solution of conflicts, as well as with promoting peace activities, understanding, and social exchange between peoples, their cultures, and traditions.”
NIST has partnered with the foundation for several years, having previously welcomed such well-known figures as Oliver Stone, Jesse Jackson, and Jackie Chan.?As a top IB World School, NIST strongly emphasizes intercultural dialogue, service learning, and conflict resolution. The Bridges series aligns closely with the school’s vision, mission, and values, and through it students are able to gain unique perspectives on the ways various disciplines can be shifted to positively impact the human condition.
Each of the three visiting Nobel Laureates possesses a unique background and expertise that offer insights into these methods.?
Science: Humanity’s Universal Bridge, featuring Professor Brian Schmidt?
On Monday, 19 January, Professor Brian Schmidt, the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics, will address NIST’s students on the topic “Science: Humanity’s Universal Bridge.” A member of Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Professor Schmidt worked with other scientists in the groundbreaking discovery of the accelerating universe in 1998. His use of supernovae as cosmological probes in demonstrating this earned him the Nobel Prize.
In his speech, Professor Schmidt will discuss the role of science through the ages in shaping our current society, reflecting on the good and the bad its knowledge has brought. While science’s impact in our daily lives is greater now than ever before, to cope with future challenges the world will need to further improve how it works together. It is through continual advances in our knowledge that we can hope to have the world’s billions of inhabitants live in peace and prosperity well into the future.?
The Global Struggle Against Infectious Disease, featuring Professor Bruce A. Beutler?
Professor Bruce A. Beutler, the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, will visit the school on Monday, 2 February. As the Director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Prof. Beutler’s scientific discoveries have led to therapies and preventative measures to combat infections and cancer. His Nobel Prize-winning work delved into the ways in which our immune systems activate in response to infection.?
“The Global Struggle Against Infectious Disease” addresses the impact of microbes on human life and evolution. For most of recorded history, microbial infection has led all other causes of death and has influenced human development, including the development of our immune systems. With the advent of modern medicine and health measures, our lives were dramatically changed. Prof. Beutler will delve into the future of medicine and how we can continue to fight the impact of infectious diseases.?
Global Equity and Security, featuring Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei?
The final laureate, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, will speak at NIST on Monday, 9 February. Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1997 to 2009, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 “for his efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.” In addition to his work with the IAEA, Dr. ElBaradei has led a distinguished career as a diplomat, international civil servant, and scholar. It is his experience in these areas that drives his work with the International Peace Foundation.
A long-time advocate of nuclear non-proliferation, Dr. ElBaradei is an advocate of tolerance, humanity, and freedom. These principles ensure that all individuals possess basic human rights and are able to pursue individual happiness. He focuses in particular on the ways in which nuclear power can be used to positively impact our lives.
As the first and only full, not-for-profit IB World School in Thailand, NIST International School was established in 1992 with the guidance and support of the United Nations. The school now welcomes over 1,500 students of over 50 nationalities and provides all three International Baccalaureate programs.?
In addition to its rigorous academics, NIST provides students with an expansive World Languages Program and more than 300 extra-curricular activity options. With its graduates attending the best universities in the world and going on to become community leaders, NIST has become recognized as one of Asia’s leading learning institutions.

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