Several winners of this year’s Nobel prizes in scientific disciplines were optimistic on Monday that humanity will be able to solve the climate crisis, which they consider the greatest current threat.
“I am very happy that young people, who are the ones who define the future, have taken up the challenge of sending the message to the public that we have to react and respond to the problem,” said Klaus Hasselmann, a German, at a virtual press conference. of the Physics award winners.
Hasselmann said he was “much more optimistic” than he was two or three decades ago and was hopeful that young people will be successful in “waking up” people to the demands of climate change, a problem that The population is not fully aware of the “danger” facing humanity.
Equally confident was the British David MacMillan, one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021, who also spoke remotely in a centralized virtual conference from the headquarters of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
“Taking into account the science and the weapons that scientists have, I feel more optimism, I feel that a real moment is occurring in which scientists are making progress in trying to solve this problem,” he said, while admitting that the solution will require “a lot of effort”.
The Dutch Guido Imbens, Nobel Prize in Economics, also agreed to point out climate change as one of the great problems of our time and stressed that disinformation makes it “more difficult” to face the issue, which he considers “clearly interdisciplinary” and that it will require collaboration from all sciences.
Imbens alluded to disinformation as another disturbing element in the face of a possible solution to the current crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, along with internal tensions in societies, citing as an example the case of his native country, and pointed out that these factors do ” tougher “the situation.
MacMillan, for his part, expressed his confidence that science will be decisive to be able to return to normality in a short period of time.
The winners appealed to the playful aspect of science to encourage young people to follow this path.
“It’s so much fun that we sometimes forget about it. It’s so much fun doing science,” MacMillan said.
However, the British scientist pointed out the importance of young researchers feeling “safe” in order to take risks in their careers and pointed to the need for them to have sufficient “financial resources”.
Every year the Nobel Foundation invites the winners to donate an important or curious object in their research work, a suggestion that in the case of Imbens will be a packet of detergent.
Imbens revealed that he and Joshua Angrist, also a 2021 Nobel laureate in economics, in their days as students at Harvard University, lived next door without a washing machine and spent Saturday mornings at the local laundromat discussing laundry issues. research that decades later would give them the award.
For the second consecutive year, the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm is held virtually due to the pandemic, although Oslo will host the Peace Prize this Friday.
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Nobel laureates are optimistic about a solution to the climate crisis