EMBL’ s 40th anniversary celebrations culminated last month with a ceremonial event hosted at the headquarters laboratory in Heidelberg, attended by 180 special guests from local and national science, politics and industry.
By Lena Raditsch
Director General Iain Mattaj was delighted to welcome guests of honour Johanna Wanka, Germany’s science minister; Theresia Bauer, science minister of the state of Baden-Württemberg; Eckhart Würzner, mayor of Heidelberg; and Nobel Laureates and EMBL alumni, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus.
“We’d like to thank the German government for its enduring support over the past 40 years. Your visit is both acknowledgment of, and motivation for our continuing excellence,“ said Mattaj. “Today, EMBL offers an extraordinary work environment for talented young scientists from all over the world.” In her speech, Johanna Wanka highlighted the unique spirit on which EMBL’s success is based, emphasizing that scientific freedom and joy of discovery fosters innovative, interdisciplinary research and is the hallmark of a democratic society.
We’d like to thank the German government for its enduring support over the past 40 years.
Musical interludes – which included Shakespeare sonnets performed as jazz pieces –were presented during the gala dinner and a chaired discussion with the two Nobel Prize winners revealed some previously unknown anecdotes from their seminal time at EMBL. The event ended with breath-taking acrobatics, as performers suspended from the helix-shaped building soared through the air above the guests, followed by a whisky-tasting presented personally by Iain Mattaj in the rooftop lounge of the EMBL Advanced Training Centre.