3M Co. is pairing with Nobel Media to bring one of the world’s experts on climate change, plus a groundbreaking physicist and biologist, to Minnesota in April.
The two-day Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative will include interactive programs at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and 3M’s corporate campus in Maplewood, the company said.
The events on April 25 and 26 are invitation-only and expected to draw hundreds of scientists, researchers and students from across the state.
“This unique and prestigious event is all about collaborating to solve current problems and the challenges we will face in the future,” said 3M Chief Technology Officer John Banovetz.
3M has partnered with Nobel before, but this is their first U.S. collaboration.
The three Nobel laureates taking part in the Inspiration Initiative are Mexican-born chemist Mario J. Molina, the American-Australian molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn and American theoretical physicist David Gross.
Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking work studying climate change and demonstrating stratospheric ozone depletion.
Blackburn was one of the winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology for discovering the enzyme that replenishes the telomere, the end tip of a chromosome that is responsible for cell recovery, cell regeneration, aging and autoimmune health.
Gross shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 2004 for his role developing a theory about the forceful interaction of electrically charged subatomic particles, such as those that make up protons and neutrons.
The three are expected to share stories about their personal histories, career achievements and scientific breakthroughs. They will also take questions, discuss their research specialties and tackle a host of subjects ranging from climate change to the future of science and the best ways to solve global problems.
The three scientists will speak to hundreds of 3M employees over two days at 3M’s headquarters in Maplewood. They will also speak to students and researchers from the U’s College of Science and Engineering at Coffman Memorial Union.
Since 2016, 3M and Nobel have organized symposiums in United Arab Emirates, Korea, India and Japan with the goal of inspiring scientists, researchers and students.
As part of the latest program, Molina will speak to about 250 high school students about climate change at a private event April 26 at the Science Museum. The program, said museum spokeswoman Kim Ramsden, fits well with the museum’s STEM student research projects, which tackle experiments and subjects surrounding climate change, pollution, spiraling asthma rates and urban food storage.
“We are really excited about it, especially being able to have the high school students have this opportunity,” she said.
Nobel’s partnership with 3M — which Nobel Media CEO Mattias Fyrenius first announced in 2016 with 3M CEO Inge Thulin — has evolved as a way to inspire the word’s next generation of scientists to solve problems and keep minds curious, Fyrenius said.
“We believe 3M shares our mission to inspire current and future thinkers to engage in science in line with Alfred Nobel’s vision and legacy,” Fyrenius said.