Two Nobel Laureates to give public lectures in early-2015

2 January 2015

2015 launches with vibrant activities such as public talks jointly hosted by Yale-NUS and NUS, and international conferences organised by the College

Yale-NUS College will begin the new year with a series of talks for the community featuring Nobel Laureates and other accomplished luminaries from around the world. Two Nobel Laureates, Professor Brian Schmidt and Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, will speak on 21 January and 11 February 2015 respectively at the NUS Shaw Foundation Alumni House. Jointly organised with the National University of Singapore, these public lectures are part of the International Peace Foundation’s 5th ASEAN event series, “Bridges – Dialogues Toward a Culture of Peace”.

Yale-NUS College President Pericles Lewis said: “We’re very honoured to be a part of the Bridges series, and to host distinguished guests such as Professor Schmidt and Dr ElBaradei. One of the key characteristics of our College is the strong spirit of co-operation and shared devotion to learning. We are excited that such talks help us bring liberal arts to the community. We hope our students and the public alike will be inspired by the thought-provoking insights our speakers will share.”

Talks open to the public

Professor Brian Schmidt is a 2011 Nobel Laureate for Physics at the School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Australian National University in Weston Creek, Australia. Professor Schmidt specialises in astronomy and was awarded his Nobel prize for discovering the accelerating expansion of the universe, together with fellow academic Nicholas B Suntzeff. The duo founded the HighZ SN Search Team, a group of 20 astronomers on five continents who used distant exploding stars (supernovae) to trace the expansion of the Universe back in time.

On 21 January 2015, Professor Schmidt will helm a public lecture titled “Science: Humanity’s universal bridge”, where he will discuss the role of science through the ages in shaping our current society. Registration will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis online at

Dr Mohamed ElBaradei is a 2005 Nobel Laureate for Peace and former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Cairo, Egypt. The Nobel Foundation awarded the Nobel prize to Dr ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and ensuring that it is used in the safest possible way. He has had an eventful career as a diplomat, international civil servant and scholar, and has received multiple awards for his work as a public servant and as an advocate of tolerance, humanity and freedom. He will give a talk entitled “Global Equity and Security” at the NUS Shaw Foundation Alumni House Auditorium on 11 February 2015.

Besides the public lectures by the two Nobel Laureates, the February edition of the President’s Speaker Series will feature acclaimed poet, essayist and translator, Ms Jane Hirshfield. Titled “A Calligraphic Attention: A Reading & Conversation with Poet Jane Hirshfield”, Ms Hirshfield will read from her eight books of poetry and then lead the audience in a conversation about poetry and the “altered, deepened, and liberated ways of knowing their words awaken” on 4 February 2015. Ms Hirshfield’s writing has won her fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and her work has been featured in The New YorkerThe Atlantic, and The Times Literary Supplement, among many other publications.

Bringing international astronomers to Singapore

Beyond hosting these distinguished speakers, an international astronomy conference will be held at Yale-NUS on 8 and 9 January 2015. Led by Dr Bryan Penprase, Visiting Professor of Science (Physics and Astrophysics) at Yale-NUS College, the conference will feature discussions on new forms of astronomy using networks of telescopes around the world by astronomers from Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Thailand, the United States, and other countries. The talk will be open to registered participants only. More information can be found at

By students, for the community

Reflecting the vibrant student life and spirit of student initiative at our College, the inaugural Yale-NUS Asia Pacific Model UN (AP MUN) will be launched by the Yale-NUS International Relations and Political Association (YIRPA) student group. Many YIRPA members have honed their skills at various Model UN conferences and they are now sharing their knowledge and tactics with younger students from schools such as Commonwealth Secondary, Nanyang Girls’ High School, Temasek Secondary and Raffles Institution, to name a few. This conference aims to encourage future leaders to develop solutions to the problems of today, while honing their critical thinking, debate, and public speaking skills. Student delegates are required to have registered at to attend the conference.

Speakers include Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law, Mr K Shanmugam, NUS law don, Professor Walter Woon, and President of the American Foreign Service Association, Mr Robert J Silverman. The conference will run from 23 – 25 January 2015.

Events At A Glance

Registration for President’s Speaker Series events will be listed here. Events will be listed approximately three weeks before the event date.

Event Date/Time/Venue Details
Global Observatories and New Discoveries in Time-Domain Astronomy and Astrophysics
Organised by Yale-NUS Visiting Professor of Science (Physics and Astrophysics), Bryan Penprase
8 – 9 January 2015
  • Open to registered participants only, including global observatory representatives, NUS and Yale-NUS faculty members and students.
Science: Humanity’s Universal Bridge
Professor Brian P Schmidt
2011 Nobel Laureate for PhysicsJointly hosted by NUS and Yale-NUS, facilitated by the International Peace Foundation
21 January 2015
7.30 – 9.30pm
NUS Shaw Foundation Alumni House Auditorium
  • Open to public
  • Register at
Inaugural Yale-NUS College Asia Pacific Model UN
Organised by the Yale-NUS International Relations and Political Association
23 – 25 January 2015
  • Minister Shanmugam will be making a speech at the opening ceremony on 23 January.
  • Opening ceremony is open to media.
A Calligraphic Attention: A Reading & Conversation with Poet
Ms Jane Hirshfield
Acclaimed poet, essayist and translator 
4 February 2015
  • Open to public
  • Registration will be open in the week of 12 January 2015.
Global Equity and Security
Dr Mohamed ElBaradei
2005 Nobel Laureate for PeaceJointly hosted by NUS and Yale-NUS, facilitated by the International Peace Foundation
11 February 2015
7.30 – 9.30pm
NUS Shaw Foundation Alumni House Auditorium
  • Open to public
  • Registration will be open in the week of 19 January 2015 at


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19 June 2020: Outdated links have been removed.