Tomorrow Through the Eyes of Nobel Laureates – The President’s Conference (Moderator)

It was a true pleasure and honor to moderate and host the noon plenary session at the President’s Conference titled: “Tomorrow through the Eyes of Nobel Laureates”. The following text served me in introducing the illustrious cast of speakers:The Jewish people has been blessed with many Nobel laureates. In fact, one in five laureates is Jewish. While individually we have little to do with their achievement, we take tremendous collective pride in them. We are honored to have an impressive representation of this distinguished group is here with us at the President’s Conference. We have asked the laureates to present us with their views on the greatest challenges humanity faces on the road leading to a better tomorrow.Walter Kohn is Professor at the Department of Physics, University of California Santa Barbara. Professor Kohn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998 for his development of density-functional theory, which simplified mathematical models used to analyze the physical behavior of atoms and molecules. This model revolutionized several branches in physics and led to many insights in the research of electronic materials, atomic and molecular structure. Professor Kohn was born in Vienna to Salomon Kohn and Gittel Rappaport who were murdered in the Holocaust.Roger David Kornberg is Professor of structural biology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Professor Kornberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006 for his studies of the process by which genetic information from DNA is copied to RNA – “the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription”. Professor Kornberg was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Nobel Laureate Arthur Korberg and Sylvy Levy. He is joined here by his wife Yahli Lorch.Roger Bruce Myerson is the Glen A. Llyod Professor or Economics at the University of Chicago. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2007 for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory, which allows us to distinguish situations in which markets work well from those in which they do not an to better design mechanisms to reach certain goals such as social welfare. Professor Myerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts.Eric Stark Maskin is the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Professor Maskin was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2007 for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory together with his colleagues Roger Myerson and Leonid Hurwicz. Professor Maskin was born in New York City.Martin Lewis Perl is Professor at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Professor Perl was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1995 for his discovery of the tau lepton, a new elementary particle. Professor Perl was born in New York City to Oscar Perl and Fay Rosenthal, who immigrated to the US from Russia. He is joined here by his wife Joyce Beattie and daughter Dr. Elizabeth Li.Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for being a “messenger to mankind”. The Committee noted that through his struggle to come to terms with “his own personal experience of the utter contempt for humanity” as well as his “practical work in the cause of peace,” Wiesel has delivered a powerful message “of peace, atonement and human dignity” to humanity.We would like to thank Danny Abraham for his kind generosity in making possible the participation of the Nobel Laureates at the President’s Conference: Facing Tomorrow.