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The initiative for this conference was taken by Ernest Solvay, a prominent Belgian industrialist with a keen interest in science, and the conference was chaired by Hendrik Lorentz.
For more than a century the tradition of scientific excellence continued and the activities of the International Solvay Institutes greatly expanded including an important emphasis on scientific outreach.
It follows a three year cycle: The last and 26th Solvay Physics Conference took place from October 9 through 11, The 24th Solvay Conference on Chemistry will be held in October The Solvay Conferences on Physics are unique among physics meetings and have followed the same setup since their very inception.
The Committee consists of ten outstanding physicists appointed for a six year period, renewable once. From then on the chair assumes full responsibility.
He or she drafts a list of 40 to 60 invitees, all leading experts in the theme addressed during the conference. In addition, five important questions within the theme are defined to each of which half a day is devoted.
Each of these sessions is prepared by the session chair in close collaboration with the chair of the conference and starts with a brief review of the state of the art by the rapporteur. The bulk of the session is then fully devoted to a round table discussion, which makes the Solvay Conferences very different from other conferences in physics.
Since the first Solvay Conference the discussions are reproduced verbatim in the proceedings thus providing a remarkable testimony on the thoughts and convictions of outstanding physicists at that given time. About 60 invited experts, coming from very different subdisciplines of astrophysics and cosmology, had over three days numerous lively, cross-fertilizing, and sometimes even contentious discussions.
Every year the Institutes organize four or five topical high level workshops that run over three to five days, focus on important developments in both physics and chemistry and are heavily attended by scientists from Belgium and its neighboring countries.
Some topics recently covered were: The yearly International Jacques Solvay Chair in Physics and the International Solvay Chair in Chemistry attract eminent scientists who pass one or two months in Brussels, collaborating with the local scientists and giving Master Classes to doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty from all over the country.
The Master Class is preceded by an inaugural lecture aimed at a wider audience. The Jacques Solvay Chair in Physics was held by Peter Zoller who lectured on quantum information and quantum computing.
A monthly colloquium where hot topics are presented by eminent scientists serves the local physics and chemistry community. Geneva, CERN providing first-year PhD students with advanced courses in theoretical physics that help bridge the gap between Master-level courses and the most recent advances in the field.
In addition to this the International Solvay Institutes contribute both logistic and financial aid to numerous scientific and outreach events in and out of Belgium. Photograph of participants of the first Solvay Conference, inBrussels, Belgium. The Flagey Building is a beautiful edifice in modernistic style constructed from through and located on the edge of the Flagey Square and next to the Ixelles ponds in Brussels.
During the Solvay Public Lectures, which started in and are usually held on a Sunday afternoon in October, distinguished scientists deliver lectures on the state-of-the-art in their field of research with an overview of the most pressing current issues. Organized jointly with the ULB, the VUB, and the Solvay Group, this event popularizes science and aims at making it more attractive to the younger generations.
The talks are given in English but simultaneous translations into Dutch and French are provided. The lectures are followed by a debate where a panel consisting of renowned scientists address questions from the audience.
The event closes with a drink offered to all the participants, allowing the public to interact directly with the invited scientists. The event is free and every year the seats of Studio 4 are solidly packed! To give a flavor of the diversity of topics addressed during the Solvay Public Lectures and the excellence of the lecturers, I list the speakers and topics since the Centennial of the Solvay Institutes.
The next year the audience was entertained by presentations by Joachim Frank on How proteins are made in the cell: Visualizing the ribosome in action and Jason Chin on Reprogramming the genetic code.To Maarten Bassier and Nathalie Dillon, for their help and patience in the cold and rainy days during the survey.
To Dirk Middernacht and his colleagues from the community centre who helped us. Ah, the first Monday of the year, when your alarm sounds more obnoxious than it ever has before, and you wake and brush the last of the sleep and celebration from your eyes only to see dr.
Nathalie Aelterman Department of developmental, personality and social psychology ; 39 publications. dr. ir. Jan Aelterman Dirk Aerts Department of Biochemical and microbial technology (ceased ) 10 publications. ir. Livia Anquinet Department of Philosophy and moral sciences; 7 publications.
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Laetitia has 4 jobs listed on their profile. See the complete profile on LinkedIn and discover Laetitia’s Title: Student at KULeuven. Erik L. Peterson Assistant Professor of the History of Science/Technology/Medicine, Department of History; The University of Alabama Peterson works at the intersection between history, philosophy, and biology, especially the development of evolutionary theory in France, Germany, and the UK since the nineteenth century.
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