Started in 2006, Molecular Frontiers operates as a non-profit organization, hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Its Scientific Advisory Board, a group of eminent scientists including many Nobel Prize laureates, represent expertise from a wide range of molecular science disciplines
Date: May 9-10, 2019
Venue: Aula Magna, Stockholm University, Sweden
The symposium will focus on a subject of crucial importance to all, the planet that we live on. The program will look at the planet from its very beginnings, consider the origin of life and evolution in its various forms.
It will also investigate physical earth, offering a comprehensive assessment of the planet, its current inhabitants and the biodiversity that sustains these. We will consider what science might hold for the planet’s future, including examples of how science is already positioned to enhance and help sustain our world.
The outstanding roster of speakers offer a broad range of disciplines and experience, together providing an especially exciting and synergistic compilation of knowledge. In keeping with the Molecular Frontiers mission, the program seeks to educate, inspire and share the promise of discovery, to all those who participate.
Day 1, Thursday May 9, 2019
9:00-9:15 Opening Addresses:
Prof Dan Larhammar, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Prof Karin Markides, Chair of the Molecular Frontiers Foundation
Dr Lorie Karnath, Molecular Frontiers Foundation, Molecular Frontiers Journal
Prof Bengt Nordén, Hon Chair Molecular Frontiers Foundation
9:15-9:50 The Origin of life on earth revised, Professor Jack Szostak: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
9:55-10:30 Why is life the way it is? Professor Nick Lane: Biochemist and author. Professor in evolutionary biochemistry at University College London.
11:00-11:35 Our Place in Nature, Professor Donald Johanson, paleoanthropologist. Virginia M. Ullman Chair in Human Origins, Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Founding Director, Institute of Human Origins. Discoverer of the fossil of a female hominin australopithecine known as "Lucy" in the Afar Triangle region of Hadar, Ethiopia.
11:35-12:30 Discussion in plenum with morning speakers
12:30-13:45 Lunch Break
13:45-14:20 Aging Earth, Professor Sir Christopher Dobson, FRS, John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Chemical and Structural Biology, Chemistry Department, University of Cambridge. Prof Dobson has specialized in the molecular mechanisms, such as protein misfolding and aggregation, behind Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
14:25-15:00 Planet Earth from the chemistry perspective, Professor Ben Feringa, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016, a synthetic organic chemist, specializing in molecular nanotechnology and homogenous catalysis. Professor of Molecular Sciences, at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, University of Groningen, Netherlands.
15:00-15:35 Natural capital, resilience and biosphere stewardship, Professor Carl Folke, The Gunnerus Prize 2017, science director, co-founder and in the leadership of the Stockholm Resilience Center. He is also Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
15:40-16:40 Discussion in plenum with afternoon speakers
16:40 Announcement of the Molecular Frontiers Journal Awards for Student Solutions for Future Planet Earth, with World Scientific, Singapore
17:00 Evening event with speakers and students TBA
Day 2, Friday, May 10, 2019
09:00 - 09:15 Welcome and introduction to Day 2
09:15 - 09:50 Functional trait diversity and societal benefits of ecosystems, Professor Sandra Diaz, Professor of Community and Ecosystems Ecology, Cordoba National University, Argentina
09:55 - 10:30 Enzymes by Evolution, Professor Frances Arnold, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018, Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology
10:30 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 11:35 Harvesting water from desert air: Chemistry designs and viable solutions to vexing societal problems, Professor Omar Yaghi, James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Prof Yaghi is known for the development of “Reticular Chemistry” concerned with linking molecular building blocks into large predetermined structures with catalytic or other interesting functions.
11:35 - 12:30 Discussion in Plenum morning speakers
12:30 - 13:45 Lunch Break
13:45 - 14:20 Climate change, where the world is heading and how we can stop making things worse, Professor Joanna Haigh, FRS, Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London, England, co-director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
14:25 - 15:00 Photophysics and future energy, Professor Josef Michl, Chemist, Michl Research Group, Professor University of Boulder Colorado & Biochemistry Department of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague.
15:35 - 16:10 Harnessing science; towards the ends of the earth-at the edge of Space, Raphael Domjon, eco-explorer, Switzerland Initiator, president and expedition leader of “PlanetSolar” the first solar-powered around-the-world journey. Initiator and pilot of SolarStratos, a solar expedition to the edge of space.
16:10 - 17:10 Discussion in plenum with afternoon speakers
17:10 - 17:20 Conclusions and program closure