Nobel night comes to UBC as laureates and discoveries are celebrated

Local professors explain why game-changing research matters to us all

What’s the big deal about blue LEDs? Our TVs, smart phones, even the energy-saving white LED lights at home, school, and work wouldn’t be possible without the development of efficient blue light-emitting diodes. Combining light from blue, red, and green LEDs makes white light. That’s why this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics matters to us all.

While the Nobel prizes are some of the world’s most prestigious awards, presented annually to outstanding contributors in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics and peace, sometimes the achievements need to be put into perspective.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, is the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony Day—the day that Nobel prizes, medals, and diplomas are presented in Sweden. To mark this event, UBC Okanagan is hosting Nobel Night where a panel of distinguished professors will discuss all six of this year’s Nobel Prize-winning contributions to the world. Presented in an event geared to all ages and backgrounds, panelists will explain the what, how, and why these innovative ideas will change the world.

The evening will be hosted by John Klironomos, an expert in plant and soil ecology, a biology professor and Associate Dean of research with the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. Klironomos was recently named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

UBC faculty members who will discuss the 2014 Nobel awards include:

·         Nobel Prize in Physics—Jonathan Holzman, associate professor, electrical engineering, Faculty of Applied Science

·         Nobel Prize in Chemistry—Fred Menard, assistant professor, chemistry, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences

·         Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine—Gordon Binsted, Dean, Faculty of Health and Social Development, acting viceprincipal, research,

·         Nobel Prize in Literature—Marianne Legault, Associate Dean, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies

·         Nobel Peace Prize—Susan Crichton, director, Faculty of Education

·         Sveriges Riksmbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel—Ross Hickey, associate professor of economics, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences

The event is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in lecture theatre ASC 140, Arts and Sciences Centre, at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna. Doors open at 6:30 and refreshments will be served before the event begins.

All are welcome to attend this public event. Admission is free, donations to the United Way gratefully accepted. Pay parking is available on campus.

Free registration: nobelnight2014.eventbrite.com