Nobel Thoughts 2010

Andre Geim's speech at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 2010
“Human progress has always been driven by a sense of adventure and unconventional thinking. But amidst calls for "bread and circuses", these virtues are often forgotten for the sake of cautiousness and political correctness that now rule the world. And we sink deeper and deeper from democracy into a state of mediocrity and even idiocracy. If you need an example, look no further than at research funding by the European Commission.”
Ei-ichi Negishi's speech at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 2010
“The final reward for any researcher is to see his or her lifetime of work extend beyond academia and laboratories, into the mainstream of our global society where it can breathe hope into the world.”
Dale T. Mortensen's speech at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 2010
“The three of us are honored to be singled out. However, I am reminded of Isaac Newton’s great quote, "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants." This sentiment better than any other underscores the fact that science is a collaborative endeavour. Every great achievement is but a small peak in the mountain range of contributions. With this thought in mind, I close by thanking our teachers who played an essential role in our intellectual development, our colleagues who collaborated with us along the way, and our families who supported our adventures.”
Mario Vargas Llosa's speech at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 2010
“Dear friends, now I can propose the toast I had promised. Let us toast to Sweden, that strange kingdom that seems to have performed, for a privileged few, the miracle of turning life into literature and literature into life.”


Go 50-50 With Branson?

If you have read tone of the earlier editions of Richard Branson’s autobiography “Losing My Virginity”, I strongly recommend picking up the latest version. Although demonstrating an early flare for social entrepreneurship through the start of student councelling service in the late 1960ies, Branson has later developed a sense for combining business and environmental issues. This is manifested not only in the non-profit foundation Virgin Unite and The Elders, but also as a part of the business strategies in many of the Virgin companies as can be seen in the sustainable development report.

I hope all schools of entrepreneurship, including Branson’s own, the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, put this book on their curriculum reading list. It has it all: stories of how to design and develop businesses, its impact on friends and family, daring adventures and tragic accidents, intricate intrigues, global peace work, fighting AIDS, TB and malaria, and so on. Although the book is, of course, only one side of the story it nevertheless made me understand better why Branson was awarded a knighthood in 1999.

I’m also very fond of the Virgin website with its cheeky approach to everybody wanting to discuss business prospects. A recent opportunity for keen and innovative bloggers was recently launched: become a guest blogger av Virgin.com! As I haven’t yeat found out how to compete with all these talented young people who know how to make full use of all the nifty technology available, I make a point of declaring that the deal is not fair and not in line with Virgin policy. If I’m to be a guest blogger at Virgin.com, I think it’s only fair that Sir Richard contribute to lenamholmberg.blogger.com!

We Want Peace official video supported by Virgin Unite and The Elders.