Nobel Prize 2014 Chemistry laureate Stefan Hell: Romania has a very good future in research

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Romania has a very good future in research, provided that it carries along the positive development track of the recent years, Professor Stefan Hell, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, said on Friday.

“It’s very difficult for me to answer, but I saw that science in Romania evolved very nicely in the last years. (…) Romania has a very good future, provided that it continues on this path,” Professor Hell declared at the Academy, where he delivered the lecture ‘Optical microscopy: the resolution revolution.’

He said that he envisages cooperation with Romanian researchers. “I am very confident that, in the end, we will understand the causes of cancer and degenerative diseases. We have the opportunity to get involved in this process to a much higher extent than before,” said the Professor.

With regard to the laser facility at Magurele, Hell said he was very pleased with it. “I visited it two years ago, when I was here. I am very pleased it opened. I hope it attracts very young people. It’s very good for them and for the country to see they have a future in science,” he added.

Asked whether his future would have been the same had he remained in Romania, he directly answered “No!”, explaining that he spent his childhood in the country, where he accomplished his “basic education”, but then left for Germany, “a very open country,” because there were no good schools in Romania.

Entwining the scientific presentation with autobiographical references, Hell recalled his leaving the country because of lack of perspective during the communist period (1978), but also his research stints at Heidelberg – Germany (1981-1993) and Turku in Finland (1993 -1996).

Opening the conference, Academy president Ionel-Valentin Vlad welcomed the presence of Professor Hell for the second time at the event organized by the institution under his conduct, after being in 2012 one of the speakers, and also a guest of the Magurele Nuclear Physics Institute, and of the Academy’s Institute of Biochemistry.

Professor Hell attended the ROMOPTO International Micro/Nano-Photonics Conference as a special guest of the event organized by the Romanian Academy over September 1 – 4; the triennial conference is an excellent opportunity for optics and laser experts to discuss their latest research results, develop interdisciplinary exchanges and assess prospects for applications.


Hell decorated by President Iohannis

At a ceremony hosted by the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, President Klaus Iohannis bestowed Romania’s Star in rank of Grand Cross national order on 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Stefan Hell.

”In recognition of his entire academic activity, for having become a reference name in optical nanoscopy research, for his close collaboration with Romanian specialists and for prompting the image of Romania in international scientific quarters, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has bestowed Romania’s Star in rank of Grand Cross national order on Ph.D. Stefan Walter Hell, a physicist and honorary member of the Romanian Academy, a Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner,” reads a press statement released by the Presidential Administration.

According to Agerpres, the decoration was made on a proposal from Chairman of the Romanian Academy Ionel Valentin Vlad.


Professor Stefan Hell receives Crown of Romania in the rank of Commodore

Professor Stefan Hell, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded on Friday the Order of the Crown of Romania in the rank of Commodore on behalf of former King Mihai.

The award was presented by Princess Margareta in a ceremony held at the Kings’ Hall of the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest.

The high distinction is awarded in recognition of Professor Hell’s eminent contribution to the development of physical chemistry, the design and development of high-resolution fluorescence microscopy that allows the observation of microscopic processes that occur within living cells, for representing with pride and honor the Romanian nation in the exceptional family of Nobel Prize winners, for his commendable work with the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and with the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

The decoration also rewards the Professor’s efforts to “deepen ties with the Romanian scholarly world, seeking to strengthen international scientific exchanges” as well as his “pursuing throughout his career the values of professionalism, dedication, ethics and honesty that are specific of the Romanian Crown.”

According to the private honorary councilor of the Romanian Royal Family, Ioan-Luca Vlad, the decoration was made on a proposal addressed to King Mihai by the president of the Romanian Ioan-Valentin Vlad, submitted as soon as the scientist of Romanian origin received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The awards ceremony, attended by Prince Radu, the president of the Romanian Academy, scientists participating to the international conference on micro-nano-photonic ROMOPTO, was followed by a dinner given in the honour of the scientist, in the name of King Mihai, by Princess Margaret and Prince Radu, Agerpres informs.