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Discoveries that change the world

Seeing the joy, the jubilation is amazing. Recently,  Anne L´Huillier at Lund University,  got the news that she recieved the Nobel Prize in Physics in the middle of a lecture and then continued to lecture.

Or the people behind the mRNA technology that won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. Imagine making a discovery that changes the world. I wonder how it feels. And how much time, patience and rethinking is involved.

All research contributes to just that, not least that conducted at KTH in a number of different areas.

Not everyone gets a Nobel Prize – Hannes Alfvén at KTH received one in physics in 1970 – but everyone contributes to the development of knowledge and new results with the potential to meet and counter the complex societal challenges we face. Just as students, with their curiosity and questioning, drive new answers and solutions.

The situation in the world is not optimal at the moment, to use an understatement, but these revolutionary discoveries give me great hope for the future.

Also, no researcher works in an empty room, but is in a group, in collaborations, in networks and in contexts across disciplinary and subject boundaries – often even national boundaries.

At KTH we have a number of researchers who have been inspired by, maybe competed against or collaborated with Nobel Prize winners over the years. Here you can read some of their thoughts  about both the Nobel Prize in Physics and the development of the mRNA technology and the Nobel Prize in Medicine that laid the foundation for the vaccine developed to combat COVID-19.

Or the Nobel Prize in Chemistry  that went to those who developed quantum dots. These have changed and illuminated our everyday lives in many ways, for example in LED lighting and TV screens.