Excellence in Science for Society

Partner Event hosted by Rolex SA (young scientists only); Konstantin S. Novoselov, Felix Brooks-church, Fatima Enam; Moderator: Faith McLellan


Abstract

Participants:

  • Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov, Physicist, National University of Singapore and University of Manchester
    Kostya Novoselov received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010, jointly with Andre Geim, for their experiments with graphene, the two-dimensional material that is poised to revolutionize sectors from electronics and energy storage to manufacturing and biomedicine. Beyond his groundbreaking work in physics and material science, Novoselov is also an artist trained in traditional Chinese drawing and has been involved in projects bringing together science and the arts.

  • Felix Brooks-church, social entrepreneur and inventor
    Felix Brooks-church is CEO of Sanku, a non-profit organization he co-founded in 2013 to tackle malnutrition using a machine he invented to fortify flour with micronutrients. He also created the business model used to incentivize millers to install the machine and which underpins the financial viability of his project. In 2019, his technology was selected as one of Time magazine’s inventions of the year.

  • Moderator: Faith McLellan, scientific writer and editor, World Health Organization


Summary
Science gives us keys to understand our world, but outside of the lab it also provides paths for novel, creative solutions in areas as diverse as global health and contemporary art. The Rolex Partner Breakfast will provide the opportunity to explore these paths where science, technology, creativity, ingenuity, determination and skill converge.

Social entrepreneur Felix Brooks-church studied geology in the United States and, in 2007, began working on education projects in Cambodia. He realized that many of the children there had stunting and learning difficulties stemming from malnutrition – a problem that affects two billion people globally. In developed countries, fortifying food such as breakfast cereals with vitamins and minerals is commonplace. However, this is not the case in developing countries. In Tanzania, where Brooks-church is now based, more than 2.7 million children under the age of five are stunted.

With his team at NGO Sanku and students from Stanford University, Brooks-church engineered and implemented an ingenious food fortification solution to help tackle malnutrition: the “dosifier” machine. The automated device is installed in small, rural flour mills that feed the majority of the population in East Africa. This addresses an important gap, as rural millers are often left out of large-scale, national food fortification programmes. The dosifier adds lifesaving micronutrients such as iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and zinc to the flour, and, significantly, through an innovative business model, Sanku is able to fortify it at no extra cost to the mill or the consumer. Sanku has installed close to 500 dosifiers across Eastern Africa, helping over two million people, and is on target to expand its reach significantly.

During the Rolex Partner Breakfast, Felix Brooks-church and Nobel Laureate Kostya Novoselov will discuss the challenges of devising science-based solutions to real-life problems and how science, coupled with ingenuity, is at the heart of all advancement.


Rolex and science
From its earliest days, Rolex has been at the forefront of science and innovation. The company pioneered the development of the wristwatch, including landmark innovations such as the first waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism.

Its watches have accompanied explorers and achievers around the world, from the top of the highest mountains to the deepest reaches of the ocean. Alongside watchmaking, Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.

Historically, Rolex has been linked to cutting-edge scientific institutions such as CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, one of the world’s top research institutes. Since the mid-1970s, Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise have helped advance our knowledge of the world, often in the realm of science.

Rolex’s support of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings since 2015 is part of this legacy, as the exchange between Nobel Laureates and young scientists inspires new advances that will benefit all mankind.

Rolex is proud to host this Partner Breakfast to further the Lindau Meetings’ mission: demonstrate the sharing of knowledge between scientists of different generations, cultures and disciplines.


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