Mars hosts key scientific panel discussion at one of the largest ever gatherings of Nobel Laureates

Germany, 30 June 2010:

To tackle the world's most pressing issues, genuine collaboration between the academic community, government and industry is needed, Mars, Incorporated said yesterday. As part of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, Mars hosted an interdisciplinary panel discussion addressing the far-reaching impact science can have on society.

The Mars panel discussion is a key event at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings - a globally recognized forum that has been bringing together Nobel Laureates and the world's most promising young scientists since 1951. This year's meeting, taking place from 27th June to 2nd July, sees 61 Nobel Laureates meet with the world's best young researchers to discuss topics that will be central to future scientific debate. Following more than 30,000 applications, 650 young researchers were selected to participate in the meetings set on the banks of Lake Constance between Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Yesterday's panel discussion is characteristic of the unique interaction that takes place at Lindau and featured the views of Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Physiology or Medicine Nobel Laureate; Howard Shapiro, Global Staff Officer of Plant Science and External Research, Mars, Incorporated and Tanya Petrossian, a selected young researcher from UCLA. Adam Smith, Editor in Chief, Nobelprize.org, moderated the panel and chaired an in-depth Q&A session with the diverse student audience.

"By facilitating open and meaningful dialogue between the scientific leaders of today and tomorrow, we aim to inspire the next generation of scientists to pursue innovation for the benefit of the global community," said Howard Shapiro. Shapiro, who leads the Mars team sequencing the cocoa genome, spoke of how science can be used to advance sustainability and harnessed as an economic and social driver in the world's poorest regions.

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008 for her work in the identification of HIV as the cause of AIDS, gave a unique insight into how science can shape society and the value of such a debate. "It is clear that the young investigators are already thinking deeply about the role of science in society and this enormous topic will be an important element to include in future Lindau meetings," said Françoise Barré-Sinoussi speaking after the panel.

Global collaboration is a key tenet of Mars science strategy. In 2007, Mars entered into its engagement with the Lindau organization and has since been closely involved in the meetings. This year, Mars sponsored seven young researchers from the United States to attend and participate in this unique forum and interact with Nobel Laureates from various disciplines.

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