Panel Discussion (2013) - Closing Session: Award Ceremony; Dialogue with Ramos-Horta and Stalsett; Panel Discussion 'Green Chemistry' (Host: Fred Guterl; participating panelists: Michael Braungart, Steven Chu, Mario Molina )

Count Björn Bernadotte: Ladies and Gentlemen. Dear laureates and young researchers. Dear Minister Theresia Bauer. Your Excellency Nelson Santos, Ambassador of Timor Leste for Belgium, Germany and the UK. Dear Marcus Storch, former chairman of the board of the directors of the Nobel Foundation. Dear Doctor Olov Amelin, director of the Nobel Museum Stockholm. Dear Bishop Gunnar Stålsett, member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. Dear members of the council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and of the Foundation, Lindau Nobel Prize Winners meetings at Lake Constance. Lord Mayor Borchardt, dear Uli. Dear Fred Guterl, host of today’s panel discussion. Dear guests. Human contacts and freedom of mind, contact over the borderlines between generations, nations and disciplines - this is how my father Count Lennart Bernadotte, co-founder of the Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings, once described the purpose of this gathering. His words and his dedication are the reason on account of which I welcome you on Mainau Island today. It is this heritage that I would like to continue by honouring this successful tradition, which has inspired many scientists over the years and continues to inspire today. Together with 2 physicians from Lindau, Count Lennart established the Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings at the beginning of the 1950’s and continuously developed them into an international hub of scientific exchange where masters and students of these different disciplines can encounter one another in an unforced atmosphere. Succeeding him as head of the Bernadotte family on Mainau Castle, this connection between Mainau and the contemporary scientific exchange is very valuable to me - especially the topic of Green Chemistry which has played a role in this year’s meetings. And this is the topic of the following debate, it is a direct reference to our flower island. The striving for a balance between ecology and economy is an integral part of our economic actions. Behind you lie many interesting talks and stimulating discussions. Before you lies a day of equally intense scientific exchange. Enjoy the atmosphere of our park and gardens, which offer you a unique opportunity to let the experiences gathered as well as the new ideas sink in. I hope that the meetings as well as your visit to Mainau Island today will continue to stay fruitful. It will only be possible for me to join you for the first part of the panel discussion. May it and your stay here on Mainau educate, connect and inspire, according to the Lindau life motive. Enjoy Mainau Island. I will now give the floor to Countess Bettina. Thank you. Countess Bettina Bernadotte: Dear Nobel Laureates and young scientists. President Ramos-Horta. Ladies and gentlemen, guests. Welcome to Mainau, the place where I work every day, where I grew up. Now that you’ve seen our Mainau you maybe understand even better the commitment of the Bernadotte family towards sustainability. And why this is so important to us even for the Lindau meetings. Therefore it is with the greatest pleasure that I welcome you to this panel on Green or better Sustainable Chemistry. And I want to welcome the panellists: Nobel Laureate Steven Chu and Mario Molina. Michael Braungart, the founder and scientific director of the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency, EPEA, and the moderator Fred Guterl, executive editor of Scientific American. Welcome to you and I’m very much looking forward to your interaction. Before that we have the opportunity to hear a conversation, a most thrilling conversation about issues that are of ever-growing concern and importance to everybody as we as a global society have to find common solutions for common challenges. And I welcome for this conversation President Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Laureate in 1996. And Gunnar Stålsett, Bishop Emeritus of Oslo and member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. But before I put you panellists to work, I want to give the word to Professor Schürer who, on behalf of the Foundation for the Lindau meetings, will honour a very special person for lots of work that already has been done. And dear Professor Marcus Storch, bästa Marcus Storch, … (speaking in Swedish). Professor Wolfgang Schürer: Ladies and gentlemen. Allow me to disregard the protocol. Dear Mrs Storch, dear Doctor Storch, dear Bishop Stålsett, dear President Horta, dear Laureates and dear all. The closing day on Mainau Island is a tradition which we hold in high esteem as you have heard from Countess Bettina and her brother. After a week dedicated to science it offers us an opportunity to reflect but also it offers us an opportunity to broaden the debate. In recent years panels on science and society issues have provided for one inspiring final exchange. This focus has been chosen in order to commemorate Count Lennart, the spiritus rector of the Lindau meetings, a pioneer of sustainability and, if I might add, a guardian till today. The panels on Mainau Island give testimony to the unique spirit of the Lindau meetings, an inspiring debate between bright minds from various backgrounds. In recent years the dialogue on science and society has featured many relevant topics and it has produced fascinating new insights. I am very much forward looking as you do on today’s 2 panels: on challenges to peace and justice and on Green Chemistry. In her welcome address Countess Bettina highlighted that the language of science is universal, irrespective of nationality, of religion and/or of gender. The potential of science as a universal language can only be realised if certain preconditions are met. One of these preconditions, in my humble opinion, is however the most important one: It is the ethos of the scientist. Please allow me to draw an analogy to the Civitas Romana. Any community needs to be grounded on the ethos of its members or citizens, otherwise before too long it will cease to exist. Institutions alone can never substitute the individual’s ethos. The same goes for science. Ethos is the foundation in which we trust, needed for common endeavour to grow. The ethos and the responsibility of the scientists have been discussed at Lindau meetings ever since Albert Schweitzer raised the topic in 1954. We are as glad as we are grateful that this spirit has become a corner stone of the Lindau dialogue. Doctor Marcus Storch, you Sir, may not be a scientist yourself but please allow me to introduce you as a citoyen of science, nonetheless. Not only have you in the variety of functions, but particularly as chairman of the Nobel Foundation, been a devoted builder of bridges between science and society at large. Throughout your life, even and particularly when facing strokes of fate, you have committed to the highest ethical standards and handserve and continue to serve as a role model for all of us. Doctor Marcus Storch is an engineer by training but he is also a facilitator who has prepared the grounds for science to thrive. As chairman of the Nobel Foundation he has served as a Trustee of the Nobel legacy. In Alfred Nobel’s will his capital quote, 'shall constitute a fund, the interest of which shall be annual distributed to those who shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind'. This fund is the cause which defines the activities of the Nobel Foundation of which Marcus Storch was a member for 17 years. But his personal initiatives give testimony to his wider dedication. Following the tragic loss of their sons, Marcus and Gunilla Storch established a foundation contributing to research which has and continues to help save lives ever since. It is thus for both his professional and his personal merits that Doctor Marcus Storch has earned our deepest respect and appreciation. Although we deeply regretted that Doctor Storch could not join the opening ceremony on Sunday, there is no better alternative for his induction into the Honorary Senate than this place here, Mainau Island. Dear Doctor Storch please join me. If you allow me to read: The Foundation Lindau Nobel Prize winners meetings, at the Lake of Constance, hereby appoints the honourable Marcus Storch, Stockholm, as a token of deepest appreciation for his good services in developing closer ties between the Nobel Institutions and the Lindau Meetings, serving you, the intergenerational dialogue, to the benefit of science and society at large, to the membership of the Honorary Senate of the Lindau Meetings. Mainau Island, July 5th 2013. Bettina Countess Bernadotte and myself. Sir. Marcus Storch: Thank you. Thank you very much. Countess Bernadotte, ladies and gentlemen. I come as you’ve heard from restoring the Nobel Foundation. The task of the Nobel Foundation is to appoint those who have made the greatest contribution to mankind. In other words: we describe history, not the future. However after more than 110 years of action we may have seen some elements which are critical to success. And today I would like to mention 3. When we talk about research, several very famous researchers says there are 2 type of research, good research and bad research - which is probably true or is true. I would divide it a bit differently. I would divide it into basic research or curiosity research and applied or, as the medicine guys will say, clinical research. Both are essential. Basic research provides the instrument for which clinical research can develop into practical use. What we see in the world is that the part that is attributed to basic research is becoming less and less. In my view that is probably the greatest threat to mankind, that we are devoting less and less of our total funds to basic research. Probably because it has become more and more expensive. And the only ones who can finance this type of research is the public sector run by politicians which have a shorter goal, wanting to be re-elected, than previous. But I would say to you researchers as well, I think you have an obligation to constantly inform the politicians of the importance of basic research. The normal answer I get is, there are no votes in basic research. The second thing is humanities. When we discuss the word science in English it means 'natural sciences'. It does not include, as the German word would have, humanities. Looking at laureates and seeing where they have, how they have studied you will find an amazing portion of laureates having studied Latin, Greek or other subjects in humanities. Don’t forget that is an integral part in making a success. The third point which makes me so happy being here is youth. If we are able to inspire, as I feel the Lindau Meetings have been inspiration into youth, the future will be much more bright. You represent a vital part of the potential for the future. All of this coincides with the opinions of the Nobel Foundation which as an active chairman never gives a speech in another context than the Nobel meetings. This is the first time I am doing that. And I am very happy that I am able to do that here in Mainau, this beautiful island and the Lindau Meeting. Professor Schürer thank you for your kind words. And all of you I wish you many, many years in continuing this fantastic organisation. Thank you. Professor Wolfgang Schürer: Thank you Doctor Storch. And you are reminding us that science has to build bridges between natural sciences and the humanities is the direction, and giving us the path to the panel that is just now starting. Mr. Guterl, might I invite you to take over as you are the moderator of the coming panel. And might I thank all the participants of both panels but especially President Horta and Bishop Stålsett. It is only a few months ago that Professor Horta made a suggestion and he and Bishop Stålsett are assisting us to find the right ways to translate an idea into turning into reality. So what we are witnessing today is a special moment in the 63rd years of history of the Lindau Meetings. Thank you all. Fred Guterl: Thank you very much. You’ll notice I took the short route up to the stage. I’d like to thank first of all Countess Bernadotte for bringing us to this wonderful spot. And to Professor Schürer and to all the donors and organisers who made this whole thing possible. And I want to thank the laureates for showing up and for giving so generously of their time. I sort of feel like at this meeting laureates, you can find laureates, it’s a bit like finding dark matter. You know you don’t actually see them, you see the ring of young scientists around them. And I want to thank most of all the young scientists for, well for being young scientists. And for having all the enthusiasm and passion and bringing all that here. And letting us share it and be inspired by it. This is my first meeting, my first Lindau Meeting. And I’ve been to approximately 2 billion conferences and meetings in my career and this is a unique one. And I think what makes it unique is, well there are a lot of Nobel laureates here, which is pretty cool. But it’s more the focus on the intergenerational thing. It’s the elder generation and the younger generation and the mentoring that goes on here. And I find that particularly moving. And it strikes me how focused the young scientists are. You’re all very focused. You work very hard, you work very diligently. You obviously are very good at what you do because you made it here in a competitive bake off. And that’s really, that’s great and it’s appropriate. And it’s essential to get where you want to go. It's a mosquito. I don't think a mosquito is part of the panel discussion though. And this focus is really great. But what I hear the laureates saying is: Step back a little bit and think about, a little bit more about context. And think about where the science is going, think about what your work is in context with what else is going on in science with the bigger problems - not just in your field but in other fields. And this is a theme that I have found writing and editing for Scientific American, and that is that science is very much a collaboration, a global collaboration and more than it has ever been. And the scientific enterprise relies on cooperation and collaboration to an incredible extent. And this is brought on by communication technology, it’s brought on by the enormity of the problems that we face. And so I think this is very important. And I think it’s been really fun to watch. And I was thinking about what this session that we’re about to have, this discussion we’re about to have, how this fits in with the week. And the way it fits in, I think, is that we’re taking another step back. We’re going even broader than looking at what the scientific context is to what you're doing. And we’re looking at the humanitarian context. And we’re looking at where science fits in in the world. And where you as young scientists fit in in the world and how you’re going to take your place in the world. The problems of humanity are... I mean if you think chemistry is difficult, the problems of humanity are even more difficult. Poverty, conflict, social justice - these are problems that defy solutions certainly from me. So I think that this talk, which focuses on challenges to peace and justice, I’d like you to think of it as an exploration into where your work fits in, where our work fits in. It’s my privilege to be on a stage here with these 2 distinguished guests that we have. And they need no introduction but I will introduce them anyway. We have, on the far side there we have President Jose Ramos-Horta. President Ramos-Horta was born in East Timor. From the age of 26 he became spokesman to the UN for a resistance movement against autocratic rule. He spent 24 years in exile, engaged in a struggle to liberate his country. And after that he became its second president. And he is now the UN special representative to Guinea-Bissau and head of the Integrated Peace Building office, the UN. And he has just a very different view of the world than I think most of us do. Our other guest is Bishop Gunnar Stålsett. He is Bishop Emeritus of the Church of Norway. And he is a member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. He was awarded the Niwano peace prize earlier this year. I was reading up on Bishop Stålsett before this meeting and one thing that he said somewhere to a reporter somewhere, I found it on Google, I would like to read: environment, health, policy, status of women and children." What I love about that is you can see the science in there, can’t you? So the format here is we’re going to sit in these chairs and I would like you to imagine that they are not 30 feet deep in the stage, but they’re right up here. And that we’re an intimate group. That’s going to take quite a feat of imagination but I know you guys are capable of it. We will begin to talk and then we will take questions as soon as it seems appropriate from the audience. So I want you to start thinking of questions. We would like this to be a discussion. Okay, I will walk now back here. Welcome. I would like to start by asking you President Ramos-Horta... pardon? President Ramos-Horta: Start with him. I take inspiration from him. Fred Guterl: Ok I will do that. I would like to start with you. I don’t know if... there’s an American expression called herding cats, anyway. But I am happy to oblige. Bishop Stålsett. I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about the role of scientists in the world and their responsibility. What responsibility they have for bringing us closer to the goals of peace and justice. Bishop Stålsett: Thank you, that is a tall order. But let me first say how wonderful it is to be here. And I wish each one of you could sit up here and see this wonderful scenery here. It is great and it has been great to be a member walking the halls during these days. Meeting with the laureates and particularly with the young researchers from around the world. It has been an experience of United Nations. But also an experience of the Nobel vision. The topic which had been suggested for us is 'peace with justice'. In a way it is like saying marriage with love (laugh) because it’s so obvious. But it nevertheless has to be said. Because when people hear the word 'peace' it may be defined as absence of war. Of course that is important in itself. But if you add the edge of peace with justice you move on in a way that makes sense not only for peace activists but for citizens. So I would like to address you, not only because and not perhaps particularly because you are researchers, but because you are citizens. You are citizens. And then there are 2 or 3 sort of observations. One is language which was already mentioned by Professor Schürer. I come from Norway and there are very few who speak my language. Most of them are old Norse in the United States, emigrating here 100 years ago. There were 2 Norwegians sitting there and speaking about the situation in the world and saying, And then the other looked at him and said, "How are we going to teach them all Norwegian?" But speaking the same language is also a challenge between science and humanities. Between politics and religions. Between generations. It is a question of communication, of inspiration and connection, where language is the key. And therefore my first point of observation is that we need to be careful about not limiting our capacity to express and to speak and to use only scientific language or activist language, but rather an inclusive language. The second point I want to make, sort of in introductory and warming up, was also implied in what I heard from Professor Schürer when he spoke about ethics. I speak about values. There was a sign at the hotel reception in Geneva where I worked for 10 years. It was sort of in not quite perfect English, but the sign was ‘Please leave your values at the front desk’. There is a difference between values and valuables, but there also is a connection. And unless this difference is observed and unless this connection is taken seriously, we are not getting the right direction, neither for our work as scientists nor as humanists. So the question about values is one of the fundamental challenges to peace work today. What were they marching for in Tahrir Square and are marching for even today? What are they fighting for in the area of the Arab world, the spring, Arab spring? Why are young people like yourself marching in Brazil and in Turkey? I think it is because they want to promote central values. And no one can define him or herself out of this by saying, "No I am a scientist" or I am this or that. No, these are common shared human values for which people are marching and fighting and dying today. And what are these values? I had the privilege as one of the leaders of religions for peace worldwide to gather religious leaders from all the countries of the Arab spring in November 1½ years ago. And as I listened to these 70 leaders from all the countries that now make the headlines. And they came there and they spoke. And they spoke the same language of citizenship. They were marching not to have a new Pharaoh but to have their own dignity, their own human rights, their own dignity affirmed after years of oppression. That was why women walked the streets, why young people walked the streets. And that is why they do not give up before the revolution has delivered on that which was the goal. So speaking about peace with justice is speaking about values translated into the life of every day persons. Peace with justice is to be able to feed the hungry child. Is to be able to provide health. Is to be able to raise your back and say I am a lovable person and I want to be seen so in my society. My final point by illustration: I was a member of the peace negotiation in Guatemala. And we signed the peace accord in Guatemala City. And the day after I wanted to visit the Mayan Indian group, which had suffered most in the more than 30 years of civil war. And in our company were the guerrilla leaders. The militarily dictatorship where there who had signed now the peace agreement. And Rigoberta Menchu who later received the peace prize. And myself on behalf of the world wide community of religious and humanist activists. And we made wonderful speeches and they were silent. Then their leader stood before us and he said, "It’s wonderful that you have signed the peace in Guatemala City." And then they did like this, they said, "We have strong arms and strong backs, we are not asking for dolares. Does peace mean Tierra? We do not have our own land, we cannot teach our children to till land. And we cannot produce what we need to eat. Does peace mean Tierra?" And then he continued by saying, "If you have time to look around you will see some buildings, some shacks of buildings. They are old schools. Does peace mean profesores?" And his final point was this, Because they are either dead or healed when they come there. Does peace mean salud, health?" I thought it was a fantastic statement about peace with justice. It was one which brings us together on the same human platform, regardless of religion, regardless of age, regardless of ideology. That is what brings us together and shares not only a common language but a common vision in peace with justice. Fred Guterl: Thank you for those remarks. I’d like to ask President Ramos-Horta. We talked earlier about how everything is connected, you were saying. And I’d like you to tell us your thoughts about that. President Ramos-Horta: Well if we look at the past 100 years of humanity's history. The development of science. Thanks to science we live longer. Thanks to science hundreds of thousands, millions of people no longer have to die as they died 100 years ago, 50 years ago. But at the same time as... sometimes I visit Hiroshima, more than once, several times. And every time I go through the Hiroshima Museum, regardless of the rational for dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, regardless of who started the war, the fact was that the Japanese, tens of thousands of them, were innocent victims of manmade weapons. And often I am horrified at how some scientists, business, are very proud in perfecting weapon systems. And they demonstrate how they can fire thousands of rounds of ammunition in seconds. And ever more and more sophisticated weapons to kill ourselves. Of course not to mention the extreme example of our nuclear weapons. Fortunately they are today, there is no such risk of a nuclear confrontation between Russia and Europe or United States. At least through some political decision. But when I have often, probably not be very pleasing to some in Asia, when I speak out in India, in Japan, in Korea on the issue of nuclearisation in Asia. How some in Asia think that the short cut to superpower status is not to eliminate illiteracy, hunger, extreme poverty, save the environment, clean up the lakes, the rivers, but get your scientist to develop nuclear weapons. In Europe you have UK and France. The 2 sole nuclear powers. They don’t point the nuclear weapons at each other. Now they even don’t know where to point to because it is obsolete. Who is the enemy? Russia is also a bit confused - they don’t know who to point the nuclear weapons to. The US is maybe also a bit confused, who is the enemy? North Korea, easy, they point the nuclear weapons at everybody. But in Asia you have India and Pakistan, 2 brotherly countries, cousin countries. You know neighbours, next door, pointing their weapons at each other. And that has its origin in scientists. You know why would a scientist today, would agree with policy makers and continue to develop more perfect weapon system to kill their neighbours, to kill potential enemies? So scientist have a responsibility. A responsibility when you design torture equipment. I have seen it how torture equipment is designed. Then sell - they do marketing, you know, to regimes, to use on human beings. So there is a question of values, a question of ethics, of morality. And one cannot be dissociated, you know, from what we are doing and the potential harm caused to others. Look at the proliferation of weapons in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, South Asia in general. Well, developed by scientists. So how... on the other hand of course I would like to say, to end my comment, is that every time I am asked by young people in my own country, to give advice to young people, I would say, Not to be good. Not to be better but to be the best. Aim at the very highest. Not to be selfish. Yes to be proud, the pride of your families, your parents who invested so much on you. To be the pride of your village, your town, your community. To be the pride of your country. To serve your community, to serve your country. And to serve humanity." That’s why it is probably worth you spending so many hours in front of your computers. Each of you, some of you dedicated to research. You are doing that to try to address some of the diseases that kill some of your friends, your families. So that is the aspect, the dimension of science that I mentioned earlier, that evolved so much in the last 100 years. And it contributes to us today living better, living longer. It has its negative side aspect that I mention also. How to strike the balance? Bishop Stålsett: If I may just add to what President Horta was saying. In the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, there is no other topic which has been awarded the peace prize, no one like the nuclear issue. And we are still moving. I was just visiting Japan. When I go there I also go to Hiroshima but my host said this time you should also go to Fukushima. The trauma of Hiroshima is part of Japanese history and presence. Today I sense that the Fukushima experience, which is another dimension of the nuclear issue, is as unsettling to the population as was the Hiroshima experience. And in my view this brings together very clearly the responsibility of scientists, politicians, civil society - the ethical dimension. And again if you look at ways forward: On the UN level the work for a convention, a binding convention against nuclear weapons, is moving forward. And if there is anything that I would like you to consider to join in, is in your context, nationally and internationally, to look at the challenges of moving the prospect of a convention against nuclear weapons, to move that forward. When I have been speaking about this in New York at the non-proliferation treaty review, the delegations would say But individuals would say, And the more of you and us speak about it, the more we create the nuclear-free future. Fred Guterl: Thank you. I’d like to...it’s very interesting, I would like to get a little bit more into this, into the ethical quandaries. Because nuclear weapons started as a fundamental research into the nature of atoms and particles. And even now work that’s being done in, well you can pick a field, in molecular biology, in genetics, that has great potential to do great good, can also be turned around and used against us. You know when we unravel the mysteries of life we can use them to make terrible bio weapons, potentially. And many of the scientists we have here are engaged in basic research. One of the big trends in universities, at least in the United States and I think elsewhere, is that industry is now providing a lot more of the funding for basic research than before. And the military is also, has always driven a great deal of research. So what is a scientist to do when the work he or she is doing is ambiguous in terms of what could happen to it? I mean, you know is it the scientist’s job to worry about that? And if the answer is yes, then at which point should a scientist worry about that. And where does the line, where is the line drawn? Well... where is the line drawn? Bishop Stålsett: Let me come to it through a parallel issue about the market which sometimes is described as an immoral mechanism: it's consumerism, it’s over exploitation and so on. And one has this concept of the market as something evil. I believe that the market is neither good nor bad. It is a-ethic, amoral, which does not mean it is immoral. I think the same goes to a large extent for science, for the basic research which is needed. And when you do that you do not really decide on how this is going to be used in the future. I think that to have a moral decision before you enter into basic research or science will cause great difficulties and hinder progress. But the judgement, the moral, the value judgement comes when it is a question of the application of it. And then certainly we have in the history lots of examples of people who have had to step down and simply say, I have been part of inventing it. The invention itself is neutral but the way it is being used and applied. And even maybe those who demanded it or financed us had a different agenda than that which I have as a scientist. So the moral challenge, I think, is certainly on the researcher. But not in trying to find a solution to the scientific issue itself, but when it comes to the application. Because the scientist holds an ownership also of that which is being developed. So again it is a question of shared responsibility. And the scientist cannot sort of close his or her eyes and say, I don’t care about how it is being used. My idea was simply to bring it forward. President Ramos-Horta: I think the constraints are in the legislators: in the executive branch, in the oversight institutions that can ensure to the extent possible that the findings of research are not then turned into misuse. It would be dangerous to curtail academic, intellectual, scientific freedom to research. Where do you draw the line, you know? Then the balance is that there is, in a strong democratic institutions with very strong checks and balance like in United States, you know there is tremendous debate. And in Europe, the debate on the stem cell research. So before a decision is made there have been months, years of debate about how to proceed with certain particular research and development. But other than that I would say that it would be counterproductive to discourage research in some field that aim at improving humanity life. Fred Guterl: Thank you. President Ramos-Horta, I’d like to ask you, you are close to Guinea-Bissau and the problems that that part of the world faces, which are dire: poverty, poor governance, possible climate change effects and things like that. I wonder if you could tell us... I think for a lot of us it's, we understand that there are global problems that science must grapple with. But there’s also the governance issue and it’s difficult to know, what can science do in a part of the world that is having trouble governing itself. And I wonder if you could talk a little bit about Guinea-Bissau in particular and just give us a snap shot of what is happening there. What is life like there and what do those people need? And maybe even secondarily you know what can scientists, what does science have to do with that? President Ramos-Horta: When I ended my mandate as president in my own country, I and a group of former head of state, prime ministers, ministers from the Asia region all the way from Indonesia to India, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, we set up a group called Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council, Secretariat in Bangkok, to address some of the security, political challenges in Asia: Nuclearisation. Afghanistan post 2014. NATO US withdrawal. What’s the responsibility of Asian leaders? The South China seas dispute. It was in this context. And then secretary general Ban Ki-moon called me and asked me whether I would be prepared to help in West Africa, in Guinea-Bissau. Well I accepted the challenge. Guinea-Bissau is a classic case of what we could call a failed state, where the state doesn’t function, no rule of law, no independence of the judiciary. And then you have drug cartels from South America, particularly Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, moving to these areas of fragile states - not only Guinea-Bissau but parts of West Africa. The problem in Mali for instance has to do with fragility of the state and how radical groups, insurgent groups, make use of that vast area where the state doesn’t exist, using drugs, purchase weapons. So it becomes a security threat to Europe. And that’s when Europeans and Americans became interested in West Africa. In the Sahel region. So my task there is complex: trying to find some political arrangement, political stability; to reorganise, help reorganise their armed forces. But at the same time reengage the international community to help Guinea-Bissau. And that’s not easy in this current climate of today, of financial economic crisis. So the secretary general gave me a huge task, almost an impossible mission. But we are moving in the right direction - I don’t want to take too much time on that. But the challenge in Guinea-Bissau like in most of West Africa is one of poverty, of failed states, of fragile states. But also while there is much talk about the issue of organised crime and drugs, Europeans in particular, some European countries as well as China, Russia, engage in, their vessels engage in illegal fishing all throughout the West African coast - from Namibia all the way to Morocco, Mauritania. And hundreds of millions of dollars are lost to the people there through illegal fishing carried out by some of the major powers. Not United States, France, UK, they are not really fishing countries. But others like Portugal, Spain, China, Russia are heavily involved there in illegal fishing. So it’s a multitude of challenges, of problems that the United Nations face and try to help them. Fred Guterl: So would you say that the complexity and near impossibility of a task does not mean one should not try to solve it? President Ramos-Horta: Exactly and that’s when... I tell for you a little story. Somewhere sometime in ’91 or ’92 I was in Switzerland, in a small town called Nyon. I used to stay there every year whenever I went there for the United Nations Human Rights Commission, to lobby the human rights commission in the case of Timor. I was driving to Geneva. I heard BBC reporting on an extraordinary event and it was the story of a soviet cosmonaut who had gone into space a few months earlier. And as he was preparing his space craft to return to mother earth, someone joking from Moscow telling him don’t come back, your country no longer exists, the Soviet Union has ceased to exist. And they joke with him: Circle the earth a few more times and figure out what to do with you. Finally they told him to land in Kazakhstan, the Soviet Union no longer existed. How did that come about? Well the power of the mind, of convictions. People like some of you here, Nobel Laureates in science, Andrei Sakharov. It was not a politician, it was not a philosopher, it was a scientist who epitomised, who inspired millions and really was instrumental in bringing about freedom of the Soviet block. And when I heard that story I thought anything is possible now. So you have to stay focused on what you do. Climb the obstacles, the mountains and you will get there. But always with intelligence, I always tell our people. Because sometimes in my own country I am criticised for being too pragmatic, for being accommodating etc, etc. I said well when we fight for a cause, we fight because we believe in it. We fight with our heart but also with our brains. Not through dogma, excessive ideology. You take 1 step at a time: 2 steps sideways, 1 step back, but you stay focused on what you want to achieve and you will get there. Always using your brains, your intelligence. Fred Guterl: That doesn’t sound too dissimilar from what people describe as life is like in a laboratory. I’d like to open it up to questions from our audience. Does anyone, there are microphones here in the centre. And who is going to be the first brave soul to get up and walk up to the microphone and ask a question? Question: My name is Adrian Maddock. I am from Perth Australia. Currently studying at Oxford University. I think it seems clear that the way to solve many of these problems is through discussion. And international discussion and international agreements. And so the question is, when as a young scientist do we make the decision to transition from being an academic scientist to moving into maybe that field, to make a better change to the world? Bishop Stålsett: I would say that... I wouldn’t use the word transition because I think as a young scientist and simply as such you are also a citizen, you also have the inherent responsibilities as the non-scientist young person. And I would not suggest that one should transition from, that one should exit that role in order to go into another one. My point is simply to say that in whatever role we have in society, we share citizenship with others with different roles. And it is to find the values and the challenges of that. And the insights of a researcher, the critical insights, the self-critical insight, may help a community to move forward with much more insights in what the problems are. One of my fields is, I’ve referred to it, is to work with religious leaders. And I ask them in a given situation Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kirgistan, wherever it is: How much are you part of the problem, as a religious leader and as a religious community? And for us to come to that self-critical question, I think people with your background who are used to sort of that critical curiosity approach, can help people to be critical of your own position. And then I ask or we ask each other if we had to define how much we are part of the problem, how can we be part of the solution? And to that particularly, in the conflicts inspired by or fuelled by religious sectarian strife, which is actually one of the most dangerous devices today - Shia and Sunni Muslim fights as we see them, and the traditional struggles we’ve had. If each party does not come to the point of being self-critical before they are mainly critical of the other, we cannot find common ground. So that would be my encouragement: Be who you are but expand your vision beyond the box. Fred Guterl: Excellent. Question: If it is okay for me to ask, I have a question about the Nobel Peace Prize. So I’m an American, I love my country and I really support my president. But I don’t completely understand why he won the Nobel Peace Prize a few years ago. Could you guys comment on that a little bit? Fred Guterl: That’s definitely not in my wheel house. President Ramos-Horta: Let me tell you one thing. You know recently I was in Guinea-Bissau, that’s where I work. I went to a school. And it was an improvised visit in a small town in Guinea-Bissau. And I walked into a classroom. Of course they did not know who I was. I asked, do you know who I am. No one knew. Do you know where East Timor is? They didn’t know. And I asked, okay if you give some right answers each of you get one CFA - CFA is the West African currency. And I asked for the name of their president - they didn’t know. The name of the prime minister? And I asked, and who is the president of the United States. Everybody said Barack Obama - I was really impressed. And in my own country, a few years ago when Barack Obama was first running for president, I went to a small town called Laga, an orphanage. Again I did some quiz and with offering money for right answers. And amazing how educated those kids were, in a remote village. I said do you know there is a candidate from one party called John McCain. And then there is another one, I didn’t finish, everybody shouted Barack Obama. I saw President Obama 2 years later in New York and I told him how in that village everybody voted for him. So I don’t answer your question, he is a member of the Nobel Peace committee, he is the one who can answer. Bishop Stålsett: I was not a member that year. But let me remind you of the wording. Obama got the prize and I quote the committee, I listened to Obama when he delivered his speech. And he struggled quite a lot to make sense of the occasion. At the banquet in the evening, we had the final word. And then he said: As I listened to the chairman this morning (that was when they were explaining why he got the peace prize), I almost started to believe that I have deserved it, he said (laugh). So he shared that question, that lack of conviction which so many around the world felt on that occasion. But this has been the case with the Nobel Peace Prizes in the more than 100 years. There are, it’s not a declaration of saints. Many of those who should have had the prize never got it: Václav Havel, most notably Gandhi. But I say to, especially when I lecture in schools, colleges on this. I say, "When the peace laureates were your age, they did not sit and think one day I will have the peace prize." They were just focusing on important issues. And the peace prize came as an addition to the honour and the pride that they had of doing well for other beings, for other human beings. So to give too much focus to any of the prizes - I think a question like yours is appropriate to remind us of that. It does not only go for the Nobel Peace Prize, it goes for the prize for literature and even for science prizes. Some of them are being deeply disputed. And that is I think the challenge: we are not making infallible statements. We are trying to interpret individual and institutional careers in the context of what contributes to peace and to fraternity among nations. Fred Guterl: In the interest of time I think we’ll take 2 more questions from this gentleman here and one from the back microphone. Go ahead and I’d ask for brief questions and brief replies because we’re getting short on time. Question: Thank you. I am in Italy now being a post doc. And it’s my understanding, maybe it’s just human nature, that if you see a little child it’s always going to get the toy for the smaller one. And sometimes I feel like it’s a similar challenge in history. If you look in history for, I don’t know, 1,000 years ago to now. It’s always like the stronger are many times initiating conflicts or at least the weaker have problems solving it. So I wonder what’s any applied strategy or any idea on how to help the stronger nations and the stronger people understand the needs of the weaker ones. That's the point Bishop Stålsett: Well, beginning with the image of the child, I don’t think that any children are born with hatred We are born with tolerance, with mutual acceptance and of course there are spites of anger. I think this speaks something about human nature and the human potential. If we apply this to the relationship between states, I think that it does not explain the situation, but it explains what sometimes is experienced even among children and young people where the power, the muscles and the competition comes in. And then the pride and the honour. If I broaden it I would simply say that one of the challenges that we have today. And I was reminded of it as we have been here: I have been admiring the culture that you have built up through 63 years here at Lindau, a culture among young and older scientists. I see this develop further into a culture of peace. Where the sciences, humanities, all go together and have an effect also on the political power struggles around the world, and say: unless we can develop together a culture of peace we will not be able to solve some of the issues that we are confronted with today. Fred Guterl: Thank you. And this will be our last question. Question: Thank you, I wanted to ask a question that might expand the definition of peace that we’re talking about. So you often talk about peace in the context of peace with our human comrades. But many of us are familiar with research on animals and using animals. So in the spirit of linked oppressions and ways in which suffering and death occur in the world with our citizens, both human and non-human, I was wondering if you could comment on how to approach this ethical issue. Fred Guterl: Animal rights, it’s a good question. Bishop Stålsett: Yes, it is a good question. I think that my sort of limited answer would be from your word about suffering. I think that is where the ethical challenge comes in. And I see very often that experiments are being defended in a way by saying that animal is not suffering. I think it is very important to be aware of the challenge and not to impose suffering beyond that which is absolutely necessary in a research context. I cannot see how it can be fully avoided. If we understand suffering applied to animals as we apply suffering, the concept of suffering or the understanding of suffering applied to human beings. But this is one of the many areas in which I simply have to grope for an answer, but where I acknowledge the importance of the issue. Fred Guterl: I think that’s such a really excellent answer. We have, at Scientific America we have struggled with this issue. And it’s just not clear cut. And I think groping is a really good way to summarise it. Thank you so much. I think it’s an injustice to stop this conversation now but we have to. But I’d like to think of this as the beginning of something. And I want to thank you so much. This has been a real treat for me and I know for everyone else. And would you please give our guests a big round of applause. Fred Guterl: Okay. Well lunch is looming so I’ll go right into it. Green Chemistry. And that has nothing to do with lunch, it's Green Chemistry. What is Green Chemistry? Actually while I’m speaking, our distinguished guests are making their way to the podium, to the seats. So I will stall for time. My father was a chemical engineer and I remember going for a tour of the plant. He made pharmaceuticals. And I remember going for a tour and there were these big fermentation tanks and they smelled really bad. When I think of Green Chemistry, and I think of it in a broader context. When I think of it as a way of making the planet sustainable, the processes that keep us going and keep the planet going and how we can keep, we can somehow make those coincide in a rational way. I think of a big tank. You throw in water and oil and living things and humans and put some sunlight in there and you mix it for 10,000 years. And what you get is a process that cannot go on forever, that is not sustainable. And I’ll just say that about... a couple of years ago I was taking my kids up to the Pacific Northwest in the United States. We were standing in this beautiful forest. And the ranger was explaining to us that these trees, as beautiful as they were, were not old-growth trees, because the trees had been cut. And that when settlers found it, when settlers moved into that land about 100 years ago, they saw the forest as limitless. And what struck me was that this was the attitude only 100 years ago. My grandparents were alive 100 years. So it’s been the way we’ve worked forever. And we are now trying to change these attitudes and change these processes by which the human enterprise keeps going. And that to me is what Green Chemistry is all about. So without further ado I’ll just say a word about our 3 panellists. We all have heard our 2 Nobel Laureates here this week. Steven Chu is the former head of the Department of Energy, he was Obama’s appointee. And you all know the facts but I’ll just tell you personally, I remember the voice coming out of Steven Chu’s... the words coming out of Steven Chu’s mouth after he had been appointed. And they were like nothing I had ever heard from a department of energy secretary in my gazillion years as a journalist. And he was a voice for renewables, for changing this chemistry of human existence. And of course he won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on atoms, trapping atoms. And we also have Mario Molina who is a chemist and had an early passion for chemistry in Mexico City. He wound up as a graduate student at UC Berkley and then went to the lab of Sherwood Rowland and worked on chloro-fluoro-carbons. And from...his work was really one of the most successful environmental movements of its time: the regulations... to regulate the chloro-fluoro-carbons and of course their effect on ozone. And we also have a non-Nobel laureate: Michael Braungart. Michael is a chemist and a designer. And so many of the world’s problems come from, are design problems. And by design I mean how we take technology and mould it to human needs rather than the other way around. Michael has interesting ideas about eco-efficiency, which he calls an illusion of change. The idea where you take existing processes and you try to make them a little bit better. And he has promoted Cradle to Cradle design, Cradle to Cradle processes that are more sustainable. And he has said that we should celebrate the human footprint - not try to reduce it but celebrate it, which is a really interesting challenge I think. So I will now walk to the seats. Welcome and thank you. I would like to start with Professor Molina. You have done a great deal of work lately on cities. And I wonder if you could tell us how cities... are cities green and how can they be made green if they’re not? Professor Mario Molina: Well, first of all it’s important in this context of Green Chemistry or sustainability in general to recognise of course that the natural resources of our planet are limited and so on. And that we have a responsibility to make these resources available, not just for ourselves but also for future generations. So one might worry about this massive sort of concentration of population in cities - probably 50% of the world population is now urbanised, so it’s living in cities. So are they contributing to the destruction of the environment and so on? Well there is another perspective, namely that it offers an opportunity, an opportunity to actually live much more efficiently, live much more in harmony with the environment. Of course, we have many examples of cities that are very polluted, that do not have respect for the environment. But we have counter examples, we have cities that are doing well. So to me what is very important is the potential to do much better. Cities can be green. We have some examples here in Germany, Berlin for example has many parks and so on. And that it’s not only respect for the environment, but that improves your quality of life. But furthermore of course you can function in principle much more efficiently because you take advantage of this concentration of people. But the point is to consider not just the environment, not just the fact that we have to be sustainable and so on. But you can couple it together with at last 2 other aspects of life that you need to take into account. And one is the economy, economics. Cities again, if they function efficiently, people will be better off. But the other one is the social components. In cities you have the opportunity to provide a very positive sort of social environment, so that children can go to very good schools, you get public health access. And that in some sense is easier to do if you have people concentrated in cities. And so it’s this connection between all these ways to look at human populations that is very important. A crucial point is to recognise that there is no competition. It’s not that we either protect the environment or grow the economy or worry about the social issues. You can actually combine the 3. And improve all 3 components simultaneously. We have a lot yet to do but again we have examples how it can be done successfully. Let me give you just a couple of very specific examples, just to be very brief. One is you can deal with the construction sector, with buildings. Which in cities, houses of course is terrible important. Obviously it’s possible now with modern technologies to make them much more efficient. A very simple example everybody understand is light. You can use florescent lights instead of incandescent lights and they consume a lot less energy. And with modern technology the quality of lighting is excellent. Another example, perhaps a little bit more telling, is the transportation sector. In cities you can have enormous problems with congestion, because everybody wants to have a car, everybody wants to drive it. But if you plan it properly, you can have very good public transportation so that people get faster to work and they consume less energy. So that improves their standard of living, but you have to change your mind-set. It’s no longer the case: I want to have my own car and I want to use it every day - that doesn’t happen in New York for example because you have to pay a huge amount just for parking. And it functions very well. So again the point is that we have excellent examples of things that work. And with creativity we can do even better. So in summary, cities do give us the potential to improve our standards of living, to improve our quality of life and to do so also in the developing world. And at the same time to make sure that they develop in a very sustainable way. Fred Guterl: Thank you. Steven Chu, you have looked at Green Chemistry from a grander global point of view. Why don’t you talk to us about what that means? Professor Steven Chu: Well, when I see rapidly developing technologies. When I see the capability and what is happening with the price of renewables. The capability of capturing the sun’s energy, either through wind or solar energy. Combined with energy storage. With either energy storage in the form of hydro storage, but more importantly in chemical storage, where you could have batteries. You begin to see the possibility of a different paradigm in how we generate and use electricity. We saw this in telecommunications. Before it was essential you would have to string wire from place to place for the telegraph and then later the telephone. And you could only get connected to talk to people if you had a wire going to your house. But with the invention of the cell phone technology, wireless technology, all of a sudden you can transport information perhaps through optical fibre to a certain location. But in the last part or last mile or last kilometres or sometimes the last tens or hundreds of kilometres, you could use wireless technology. And that transformed the world, not only in the developed world but in the developing world. The first electronic device in the developing world that you would want to buy is a cell phone. The second thing might be a fan. Especially in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Fred Guterl: There’s an iPhone app for that, isn’t there. Professor Steven Chu: I think the iPhone has limited ability to move air. And maybe the third thing you might want is a little community refrigerator to keep medicine. But there are some areas around the world where getting transport or electricity there would take a long time. Not for decades, maybe not for half a century. Western Alaska for example in the United States will never be connected to the rest of Canada and the United States So the ability to generate renewable energy or any kind of energy, where you can then locally store it and you make a local grid, a micro grid, a village grid, becomes a real possibility. So chemistry plays an incredible important role in that. Not only in this energy storage but in a lot of the technologies that will help generate the energy. But in addition to that I’m not to say we don’t need energy transmission. We’d like to have both local generation and storage but also generation because it makes renewable energy so much more important and usable. For example here we are in Germany and I’ve lived in Germany for weeks at a time sometimes, where I’ve also noticed it could be cloudy for weeks at a time. And in northern Europe and also in Great Britain it can be cloudy for months at a time. But never mind that. The point here is that there are other parts of the world that can be quite sunny. And so how do you take advantage of the fact that as photovoltaics and wind become cheaper and cheaper and cheaper, you need transmission of energy over longer and longer distances. So the Saharan desert which gets lots of sun could be the supplier of electrical power for Europe. But you need transmission. But the transmission then goes back to chemistry. Because it ultimately will be wire transmission. It will ultimately depend on a lot of things, insulating materials - because materials are so intimately connected with chemistry. And so it has a vital role because you want both local generation and storage. But you also want long distance generation and transmission. So that the renewable energy... you cannot use renewable energy everywhere. It’s not the ideal place in certain geographies. But the wider you can collect and the better you can store, then you see it can take over more and more attraction. And that goes to sustainability. Because in the overall sustainability it's energy, it's water, it's agriculture and new agriculture. Better ways of...but again energy is so intimately tied to all those. With energy you can desalinate water. With energy you lift agriculture from human and animal power to machine power. With energy you can make fertilisers. With energy you can do all these things. But the way we do it today, we now know we have to improve those methods. Because you know the green revolution was great, but we need a second green revolution to have less tillage, wiser use of fertiliser. But all that requires energy. And again it goes back to chemistry. Now if I take just a moment. There was, in the first panel I was fascinated and feeling a little defensive about physicists being attacked for nuclear weapons. But I agree with what was said that science was amoral. People who are developing basic understanding of nuclear physics weren’t thinking of weapons. In my talk I talked about the invention, the fixation, the invention of fertiliser by fixing nitrogen to make ammonia. Haber wasn’t thinking that that invention would be used for explosives in war time. I don’t think Alfred Nobel when he was using, making high explosives more stable, was thinking that that high explosive, that dynamite would be used in war time. He was thinking of the good things it could be used for. And so what happened is something new and very powerful could be used for good or bad. And it is up to the scientists who develop these things to think hard about it. And in molecular biology when they were inventing molecular biology, I was good friends with one of them, they said: wait we should be very careful. This is Paul Berg and others who said there could be unintended consequences of genetic engineering and so we should be careful and think about that as we do these things. And so as scientists who do these things, we should think about those things. But you know there is a lot of good. Radiation, many of you may have forgotten. Madam Curie got a Nobel Prize, well she got 2 Nobel Prizes, but certainly it was for the study of radiation. The physics prize for radiation, as I understand it was, the chemistry prize for purification of radium and other things. But when she was doing that. One of the first things she herself worked on with her daughter was using radiation to help treat cancer. So we mustn’t forget, you know radiation is not all bad. There were many good uses for it. And quite candidly there’s good uses for nuclear energy as well I think, but you have to be very careful. Fred Guterl: I love that the ethics from the previous session is already infusing our conversation, so thank you. Michael Braungart, tell us about the human footprint. Why should we celebrate it, what does that mean? Professor Michael Braungart: First thank you very much for inviting me in here. And my son Jonas, one year ago told me that I would get a Nobel Prize for chemistry within the next 10 years. And so I am soon to be whatever. It’s more that I said I bet that this will not be true. And what do I have to do and he said you have to go on a pilgrimage, walking from Hamburg, Germany, to Jerusalem. So now I will do everything that nobody proposes me ever as a Nobel Prize winner, because then I don’t have to walk to Jerusalem. Because I am just intimidated somehow, how primitive chemistry is. If you look at... chemistry did great things, to make great materials etc. but when it really comes to things which matter like human health and environment, it’s amazingly primitive. And if you look at it, you think how could they do so. For example 6 million tons of plastic going into the oceans every year. How can polymer scientists do this? So everything: the northern Pacific where the plastic concentration is 40 times bigger than the plankton concentration. We talked about suffering of animals. There are far more whales and turtles and seals being killed by plastic, suffering by eating all this plastic than by anything else. So this is primitive chemistry. I have been testing mother’s milk, breast milk now for 26 years. There is not one sample which you could sell as drinking milk. These are all synthetic chemicals accumulating in there, making cancer, making all different types of stupid things. And how little the reflection is about it. You can see with the conference packs, this is PVC. And the plasticisers in the PVC have been banned for children’s toys now for 13 years. And you make it as a conference pack? Okay, it's good because if you want to save the pill as a student - these chemicals, these plasticisers make you sterile. So if you put it in your bedroom you can save the pill, isn’t that great?! It’s never intended for human contact. And then people try to minimise being bad. So for example we analyse brake pads from Volkswagen. And it says, these brake pads are free of asbestos. You think, oh how great. But the replacement is antinomy sulfide which is a much stronger carcinogenic. How nice. Or you take tyres, you know you take tyres. So now people say oh it’s good, we do something for the environment. The tyres last twice as long than they did 30 years ago. But nobody asks what’s in the tyres. There are about 600 chemicals being used in tyres, 500 of them should never go into the environment, under no circumstance. Now because the tyres last longer the operation is far more unhealthy. So now you have 100 square meters of lung and you filter the air with tyre dust. And about 20% of the people get inflammation of the lungs because of tyre dust. So we think it's environmental protection when we destroy less. People say please protect the environment, reduce your carbon footprint. Please reduce your waste production, reduce your water consumption. But you’re not protecting, you’re only destroying a little less. It’s like if I tell you please protect your child, beat your child only 5 times instead of 10 times. Do you really protect? In this case East Germany has been protecting the environment so much better than West Germany just by inefficiency. Because they couldn’t destroy the wetlands. The system was so unefficient that they couldn’t destroy the wetlands. So if you do something wrong, don’t make it perfect otherwise it’s perfectly wrong. That’s why I say look, why does a city like Constance want to be climate neutral, how thick! Did you ever see a climate neutral tree here? The trees are beneficial. The trees are not less bad. The trees are not minimising the carbon footprint. The trees are cleaning the air. The trees are cleaning water. The trees are cleaning, they are carbon positive. They are habitats for other species. The highest is passive houses. When I analyse the chemistry in a house I find in a normal house, normal one family house, I find the indoor air quality is 3 to 8 times worse than outside urban air. This is all bloody chemistry. And it’s not healthy. Because nothing in the house is designed for indoor use. Now we are sealing the buildings and make them basically sealed. You only get tax credits in Europe when you make a sealed building. Instead of first saying, "What is the right thing?", we make the wrong things perfect. Asthma is by far the most relevant children’s disease now. And we make the wrong things. We seal buildings. That’s perverse. Because the first thing needs to be healthy air. Take a little thing like this one for example. Take a magazine, take Time magazine. What I am doing very simply, I ask what is it? I’m a chemist. And what I do I say can I compost it? And I put it in my compost and you see it contaminates all the compost. It’s never designed for biological cycle. If I burn it in my fireplace. Just one Time magazine is enough to pollute the whole ash, that it cannot go into agriculture. How primitive chemistry is that? So if these things like paper are not able to be burned and be put in a biological system, then we need to reinvent chemistry from the beginning. Because it’s wrong. We just do wrong things and we continue doing wrong things - it’s primitive. And then we talk about sustainability. How is your relationships with your wife, sustainable? I am really sorry for you. This is just minimum. It’s like compostable, I’m born compostable, should I be composted now. It’s just the minimum. We talk about Green Chemistry. Look I am talking about good chemistry. Chemistry which accumulates in breast milk is primitive chemistry. And so we have to do something. We have to reinvent chemistry from the beginning because it was never intended to be good. It was only intended to be a little less bad somewhere. And for less bad we have too many people on this planet. Look there are 600 billion trees still left in the amazon region - did you ever hear about any overpopulation problem of trees? Did you ever... we talk about mosquitos - but look mosquitos, even if you don’t like them, they are beneficial. They are good for the other species. The whole life chain only works because the biomass of mosquitos is 10 times bigger than of humans. So do we now want to minimise our footprint for being less bad, we are too many. So the difference between us and them, we are making waste. If a chemical becomes waste it’s a wrong chemical. We have a quality problem, from the very, very beginning. And that’s why, don’t talk about green chemistry, talk about good chemistry. And I can tell you what we see is primitive chemistry. Not when it comes to performance, not when it comes to work in different areas. But when it comes to health and environment it’s so primitive that I’m really sorry to be a chemist somehow. And what happened is because of Seveso, Bhopal, Chernobyl, all these chemical disasters, we lost a whole generation of smart scientists. That’s why we have great MBA’s. We have smart lawyers, but we don’t have enough good chemists. And that’s why chemists try to be less bad. I met somebody from BSF, said oh, you’re from BSF, he said yes I’m from BSF but I try to make the best out of it. That’s not really motivating. So for being less bad should I motivate a young student and say, oh be 20% less bad please. No, we can be good. We can celebrate the human footprint. We can make a big footprint. To make it a wetland. We can be good for the other species. Look we want to be good for economy. We want to be good for society. But when it comes to environment the highest is to be zero, zero emission, zero waste. For that we are too many. That’s why I’m here. Thank you. Fred Guterl: Thank you. That was... Fred Guterl: I think we’ve heard 3 very interesting points of view. And given the fact that there’s... I am facing a sea of chemists here. I would like to throw it open to questions that you all have immediately, because... please just go ahead, get up and the mics are there. Question: This is a question to Professor Chu because you have been in politics. So you said that we could maybe do solar panels in the Sahara or whatever and in the Mexico desert. And then we could supply all the energy we need. Actually that technology is available today. It’s getting better all the time but we have the technology to do this. If we would make a Manhattan project out of it we could actually do something like this. So what’s stopping us? Why is the world not getting together to do a Manhattan project, to just say right we’re going to make 300 square kilometres of solar panels. And then we have maybe not a perfect solution, it’s maybe not nice to have so many solar panels, but at least we have a solution. Because with the trajectory that we are on, it’s looking really, really bad. So let’s do something now. What’s stopping us? Professor Steven Chu: I think there’s fundamental differences between a Manhattan project, also putting a person on the moon, than solving energy issues and going to a sustainable climate. Quite candidly, the price tag was a secondary issue to develop an atomic bomb. The country felt it was in a war and it needed this weapon. And also the price tag of putting a person on the moon was not one where you say, okay now we’ve established space travel and the private sector can take over and investments will be made. In order to go to a sustainable world and to be able to generate very clean energy and by the way there’s a difference between want and need – that the first thing you should do is decide how to live a life which you’re not sacrificing but you use far less of the world’s resources. And you can do this without generally affecting the real deep quality of one’s life. But ultimately those solutions have to come from investments in the private sector. Not the government saying this is what we’re going to do and tax people and do it. Because at least in the United States and Western Europe and indeed in really most of the world, you need these private investments, it has to be self-sustaining as a financial venture. And so what I see and the reason why I "entered politics". I didn’t enter politics, I came as a scientist and said as a scientist, what can I do to encourage people to make new discoveries, to encourage businesses to say that this might be something that’s a sustainable business without government support. And to drive that. So that’s why, that’s really the path forward. Fred Guterl: Michael Braungart you were violently shaking your head. Would you briefly tell us why? Professor Michael Braungart: First of all it’s nice that people look at the energy side. But it’s not so much... look at the Einstein equation basically. The material side is far more critical. Because the energy side we will solve - maybe a little too late, but we will learn to harvest the sun. But look at phosphorus for example. Phosphate is far more critical because there is far more radio activity being brought in the environment than is used in all nuclear power plants, far more. And it’s polluting all our biological sphere with phosphorus. Because we are not able to get our own excrements back. So if we do so we are too many people. And as well the energy problem is not an energy problem, it’s the mismanagement of carbon. So why do we talk about the Manhattan project somewhere else? Just look at, we are doing ecologism here for Europe. We pretend to do something. Like socialism was never social, ecologism keeps people busy. To give you a little example: It doesn’t help the ecology when you grow corn, which is 20% of our agricultural land now in Europe. You lose between 11 and 30 tons of top soil per hectare in a year. So whatever you do with the bio gas it’s irrelevant compared to the loss of the top soil. We lose in one year the top soil which has been made in 5,000 years. And 2/3 of all the carbon is in soil, not in oil. So if we lose the top soil forget about anything else. So carbon management... it’s a mismanagement of carbon. And when we now talk about minimising, reducing, avoiding, this is guilt management. Look at a tree in spring, no reduction, no avoidance, no minimisation. A tree is good, a tree helps to change things. So we need to reinvent things from the beginning. Stuff which gets consumed like shoe soles, brake pads, food, detergents need to be designed to go into biological systems. Things which are just used as a service need to go into technical systems. If we do so we would save the energy from the beginning by design, instead of later looking for energy reduction. So we really need to reinvent the stuff. If you look for the Manhattan project, we had this with Cradle to Cradle: The Swiss chemical industry was paying about $5 million dollars for Cradle to Cradle research and that’s what we want to thank the Ciba-Geigys of the world for. But what happened is that they lost all their belief in the future. That we don’t do chemistry anymore, we make 'life science' - they changed the names. So the first thing is be proud to be a chemist first and think about chemistry because it’s a material matter, not the energy - the energy we can handle, because we get enough. But the material management is wrong. Fred Guterl: Okay thank you. Professor Molina is being agitated here. Professor Mario Molina: I want to put things in perspective if I may. Of course we have many problems. I understand that phosphorus is something we have to deal with. But that doesn’t mean we have to deal with that first - 'forget about the energy'. No we have to deal with all these problems simultaneously. Hopefully with working on intelligent ways so we prioritise and give the proper reports to each of them. But we have one problem in front of us which is energy, which is certainly at risk. Again let me repeat, doesn’t mean we’re not going to address the other problems. But just to follow on Steve’s proposal. I very much agree it would be great, say for Europe, to have solar energy in the Sahara and so on. That’s a possibility. Why is it not done? That was the question. Well, at the moment it’s a matter of cost, because society functions in a competitive way. So that at the moment would be costly. So how would we go about it? Well one way to move ahead, I am repeating something I said in my own lecture, is you have to go beyond chemistry. It’s not a chemistry question, it’s not a science question but society has to deal with this. And so one way to move ahead is to have an international agreement, so that you incorporate into the economy this externalities. At the moment damage to the environment is not part of the economy. So if you put a price on emissions, then fossil fuels which are the cheapest ones... now that’s why you’re not going to compete with them, unless you have some sort of restriction. And that restriction would be a price on emissions. That would make doing something like solar energy in the Sahara much more likely, because it would become competitive. Now of course at the same time, hopefully many of you young chemists and scientists will work harder so that these technologies become cheaper. And at the same time it’s not a problem of chemistry being good or bad, it’s a problem of society, how to deal with it. You worry about, what are conceivable consequences to the environment. You try to do the best you can with it. And you try at least to recognise that of course we have to protect forests and so on. And of course we would like the younger generations to be much more responsible for sustainable future and so on. But the other extreme, let me repeat it, we have some real problems at the moment and we have some feasible ways to solve them. And we have to emphasise those, we have to do what is realistically possible. And at the same time do our best not to pollute. Of course I am also against plastics in the oceans but that’s a different story. We need another solution for that. It should not interfere with solving the energy problem. Fred Guterl: Okay, I’m going to cut this off here. Because our restriction is time. And I’m going to invite the next question. And perhaps the next question will be related to the first one and we can continue this. Question: Thanks. Michael, when I was listening to your manifesto, I guess what was going through my mind is or what I guess I was thinking is, he wants to get rid of organic chemistry and replace it with biochemistry. Is this a fair attribution or description of your philosophy? And if so could you expand on that and say how you might incentivise it? Professor Michael Braungart: I’m glad to talk about chemistry because we are here on a Green Chemistry panel. I would really like that we look more deeper at it and I cannot do this in, I cannot tell you 30 years of work in one sentence. You know Cradle to Cradle is about celebrating chemistry. And it’s not about romanticising nature anymore. The strongest carcinogens are natural chemicals. It’s about celebrating effectiveness instead of efficiency. Look at a tree in spring, completely unefficient but very effective. Or look at these roses outside, if your wife is really angry about you, 50 roses, completely unefficient but very effective. So I’m talking about not to optimise the existing stuff. When you need to go from here to Paris, it doesn’t help you to go efficiently into Moscow. So that’s why I am saying let's reinvent everything to be good instead of less bad. And that’s why it’s endless chemistry because it’s so primitive the chemistry which we have. So you can do it so easily. The catalyst here in it for example, you find in Coke antimony far more than drinking water level because the catalyst has leached out. Here as well in the water. It’s the antimony, it’s a strong carcinogen. Primitive chemistry. So we can... it’s not about organic against inorganic and bio against whatever - I like to be a chemist. And because we as chemists can define materials and we can define... I only want to invite you to become more than just making materials. But because it depends how you handle it to be a molecular designer and a designer of raw material flows from the beginning as well. Otherwise if you find all these chemicals in breast milk, this is chemical harassment. And I want to attract young people to become chemists. Because we can learn out of 40 years of planning and shaping, which we can now do into innovation and quality. So I only talk about quality and innovation, and that’s what it is, not organic against inorganic, bio against whatever. No, it’s about celebrating the human footprint on this planet. And that’s what chemists are the key for that. Fred Guterl: Steven Chu would like to comment. Professor Steven Chu: Well since you raised going from here to Paris. You’re going to go from here to Paris either by car, by train, by airplane. If you go in at least 2 of those ways you’re going to be using chemistry of liquid fuel that is quite poisonous. A train you might have a chance for going with electricity which can be generated with fossil fuel, can be generated with renewable energy, you have wider options. I don’t want to make this simplified but you’re probably not going to walk or ride a bicycle. And so you can say, well I’m not going to do that because this bad chemistry is poisoning the air, it’s poisoning this, it’s poisoning that. And therefore we should turn our back on that. No we should work towards getting to much, much cleaner solutions. People say, fertiliser was bad because it causes run off, it kills streams and lakes and oceans and algae blooms. And all that is true. But it also enabled the world to feed populations. But you say but it created the problem. Because with fertiliser you had food and with food you had more people. And that’s the problem. So I say then volunteer to solve the problem and take a personal stand. A personal solution to over population is something that person who talks about over population doesn’t really want to do. So you have to find solutions that aren’t saying, you know the problem is this. You know it is true there is a huge amount of plastic floating around the ocean, some of it clustered together that is killing fish, killing ocean mammals, killing a lot of things. And so you don’t say well you can turn back on plastics, you’ll have to make this degradable. So it cannot live indefinitely in that form because it’s doing all these things. So while in the process of making, you know it's 20% less bad and next year it’s another 10% less bad or next decade. And so it’s not as simple as let’s turn our back. We’re in a position, we had unintended consequences of chemistry. We had unintended consequences of physics. We have unintended consequence of science. You don’t say that’s all bad we have to stop working, because trees after all take care of themselves and it's good. We have to work backward and say, we now understand those consequences. And then the chemist also has to come and say we’ve got to fix it. Fred Guterl: A brief rebuttal, Michael Braungart. Professor Michael Braungart: I agree with you, that’s why I say it there is no overpopulation problem if you learn to make things nutrients. The biomass of ants is 4 times bigger than of humans and they don't have an overpopulation problem. But these ants are not less bad, they are not minimising unintended consequences. They make things reversible from the beginning. Do you tell us that we want to be more stupid than a termite or an ant? So we can learn from that. And that’s why I say look don’t minimise your footprint because less bad is just badless. I talk about being good. It’s why we could be easily 20 billion people if we learn how to process materials differently and if you learn to reinvent things. That’s why they have to be reversible. So why don’t we agree today to say, look in 10 years we don’t make any stuff which accumulates in breast milk because we learned that. In 10 years indoor air quality in buildings will be better than outside air. Then I have a positive challenge from my students. In 10 years all the paper will be designed to go back in biological systems, no longer being toxic waste. Then I have a Manhattan project for all these things. So I’m talking about a positive agenda. Because for less bad we are too many. That’s why it’s not about minimising damage. It’s about celebrating, positive. Fred Guterl: A brief comment by Professor Molina. Professor Mario Molina: Just a very, very brief comment. Hopefully 10 years we don’t, we won’t need that much more paper. Everything is digital now. Fred Guterl: And at Scientific American we are prepared for that. Professor Michael Braungart: Digital waste is even more toxic than the paper. Fred Guterl: I’ll always allow a joke by the way. This young woman has been waiting very patiently. Question: Yes. I want to thank you all for coming out. So Mr. Braungart if I understand correctly, really I like your philosophy in science, it’s a really interesting position. So you’re saying rather than trying to perfect what we already have, we should be asking ourselves if it’s even worth perfecting in the first place. If I understand correctly. I was just wondering how, do you have any concrete ideas about how to move towards this kind of restructuring of the whole idea of science. So is it a question of redirecting research funds? Or is it a question, does it have to start very early on in education or, I don’t know. I think it’s a really interesting idea. As an aspiring chemist I think it’s something really interesting to consider. And I guess also Dr. Chu do you kind of agree with this position that we should, rather than constantly trying to improve on technologies that we already have, be trying to maybe reconsider whether those are even worth perfecting in the idea. Or is this, am I sensing disagreement? Fred Guterl: So shall we throw it all out and start anew? Professor Michael Braungart: The thing is really to say, what is the right thing, instead of optimising what we have. For example when I was a child a cow was producing 5,000 litres of milk, now today it's 12,000 litres per year. And I thought at that time it was a lot. Should I squeeze another 50 litres out of the poor cow, suffering? Or should I say what is a healthy nutrition? So should I do some genetic engineering to reduce the methane emission or do I say what is healthy protein? And then if I look at protein I see bacteria, mushrooms, algae have a far more healthy protein than beef. So why should we base our diet on beef and make it more efficient instead of saying what is healthy nutrition in the first place. That’s why. But I cannot explain it all because I would talk too much. It got me into the internet. And I did a book Cradle to Cradle and you can see on the internet and you can see I am teaching this at 4 universities. I have 3 chairs to do so. And you can come as well to see me and to talk about it because otherwise it would not be fair, people are waiting for lunch here. But there is one thing which, because I don’t know whether I can say anything more. There is a mission from my side because my son who told me to get the Nobel Prize died a few weeks ago. And I want to tell you just whatever you do, first of all enjoy life now. So don’t do everything for the future. Because you don’t know what will be the next day. So enjoy life now. Just a pleading for you as young kids. The second thing is I want to tell you don’t do risky things. Tell your friends as well. Don’t make risky types of sports. Don’t take drugs etc. My son died of a surgery. He didn’t do anything like that. But I can tell you there is nothing worse that you can imagine than if your child is dying. And you can deal when your parents are dying, but just what you would do to your parents when you die. Just think about really taking care of your life. And it’s really key because when I see how easily my students take drugs, how easily they take risky types of sports etc. Please I beg you, just for the sake of your parents, don’t do this, thanks. Fred Guterl: We are sorry for your loss. Professor Molina. Professor Mario Molina: I am certainly very sorry to hear that and very much sympathise with your pain. But let me, I want to make a statement perhaps related to your question about the importance of science and chemistry. There is an overarching importance which is separated from how you apply it. Namely society should certainly pursue very basic science. We have to advance knowledge. It’s not only... so that we have these options how to improve things for the rest of the world’s population. But also we know it’s by far the best means to educate. When you people, you know since you are students, you work with a research group. That’s how you really learn. And it doesn’t matter that much whether that research group is doing applied or basic science. But doing basic science for society I think is fundamental. It’s very important. It is something we shouldn’t forget. But of course that doesn’t guarantee that’s going to be used properly. So that goes beyond chemistry, beyond science. And as a society we have to learn how to function better, how to protect the environment, how to make things sustainable and so on. But we have to recognise that for those purposes we have to be able to communicate with experts in other disciplines. We have to be humble and... But we do have our personal responsibility as scientists. Not only to be good chemists but to be good citizens. And of course to take care about all these other issues. So by all means I encourage you to keep doing chemistry and to enjoy it. Do it with passion. But of course keep your values. We have universal values, we want the rest of society to benefit as well. But that shouldn’t be incompatible, it shouldn’t be one or the other. Let’s do all of that. Fred Guterl: I’m going to give Steven Chu the last word here, I’m sorry we are all, I sense 400 growling stomachs. So Steven Chu. Professor Steven Chu: Well I just want to address your question. And rather than taking generalities which perhaps it’s hard to understand what we mean. Let me unwrap one of the issues. I think Michael Braungart talked about ventilation in some of the insulating materials. That when they out gas, we’ve learned that the chemicals that come out are very unhealthy for people. Also there is a balance between having an energy efficient home where there’s no ventilation at all to a big draughty house where there’s unintended ventilation and it’s very inefficient and you’re very cold. Or you have to use tremendous amounts of energy that become quite expensive and have other environmental consequences. So there is a balance in that you need some ventilation. And we have to understand what is the natural ventilation which you can design into the home or the building. When you say well you want to make it better. Do we want to make better foam insulation and look around for the next chemical that might, we discover 5 years later, might outgas and have other consequences? And so I don’t know if there’s agreement or disagreement but you kind of have to try to anticipate, just as you have to try to anticipate with refrigerants that do us damage to either the ozone layer, the greenhouse gas effect or whatever. But do you say I do not want a refrigerator anymore because all refrigerants are bad? No. Do we don’t want insulation because what chemists have given us insulation is bad? No. However, in fact what is happening with insulation, modern insulation, it’s actually going back to more natural materials. And we’re discovering that you can make those more economical. They potentially have a lot less side effects of outgassing and things like that. So I don’t know if there’s a disagreement here. But I would not say we’re going to do without insulation. And I’m not going to say that... the older homes, they are very draughty and very uncomfortable. The completely sealed home is also a very bad situation. There is no ventilation. And so you know, so I think you have to think more deeply into what the issue is. And the more you know about it, the more it’s not a black and white situation. Fred Guterl: Ok thank you. I think thinking deeply is something we can all agree on. Thank you so much for being such an attentive audience. And please give our panellists a big round of applause. Countess Bettina Bernadotte: Well, thank you so much, panellists of the last panel, but also the ones before. I am completely aware of that the time was far too short. And I am very sorry that we cannot continue the discussion and interaction here. But unfortunately it is not possible to stop time and to prevent it from going. But I want to remind you that there is a trip back by boat. So it is possible to get further active and discuss and interact on these subjects that are really interesting. And I invite you to do so later on on the boat trip back to Lindau. I would now want to ask you, the panellists, to stay here. The panellists from our conversation before and Marcus Storch please, Professor Schürer come to the stage for one more photo call. And to all of us, I wish you a wonderful lunch time now at Mainau. There are some guests that are invited for lunch to the castle, so I would ask you to join us now. And for the others: enjoy the island and your lunch here, see the gardens. And I see you for the farewell ceremony in the castle courtyard at 3.30. And at 4.30 at the boat leaving for Lindau. Enjoy your stay on Mainau. See you later. End.