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Dialogues about SDGs and the role of universities with the major researchers, innovators and Nobel prizes who visit us.

Interview to Prof. Steven Chu

Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology in the Medical School at Stanford University. He has published over 280 papers in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology, bio-imaging, batteries, and other energy technologies. He holds 15 patents, and an additional 9 patent disclosures or filings since 2015. Dr. Chu is the co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to laser cooling and atom trapping, and has received numerous other awards. Dr. Chu was the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy from January 2009 until the end of April 2013. He was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working on alternative and renewable energy technologies, and Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University, where he helped launch Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary institute combining the physical and biological sciences with medicine and engineering.

Interview to Prof. Gautam R. Desiraju

Gautam R. Desiraju is a structural chemist who has been in the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India since 2009. Prior to this, he had been in the University of Hyderabad for 30 years. He has played a major role in the development and growth of the subject of crystal engineering. He is noted for gaining acceptance for the theme of weak hydrogen bonding among chemists and crystallographers. He is one of the most highly cited Indian scientists with more than 425 research papers, 40000 citations and an h-index of 83. He has won international awards such as the Alexander von Humboldt Forschungspreis and the TWAS award in Chemistry.

Interview to Prof. Jean-Pierre Sauvage

Jean-Pierre Sauvage is a professor at the Université de Strasbourg. He received his doctoral degree at the Université Louis-Pasteur in Strasbourg in 1971 and he has worked at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique. In 1983, he managed to achieve this by connecting two ring-shaped molecules into what is called a "catenane". Unlike ordinary chemical bonds, the molecules in catenanes are linked like a chain, where the links can move relative to each other. In the future, molecular machines could be used for new materials, sensors, and energy storage systems. Together with professors Ben Feringa and J. Fraser Stoddart received the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 2016 for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

Interview to Prof. Ben Feringa

Ben L. Feringa is since 1988 full professor at the University of Groningen and he was named the Jacobus H. van't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004. He was elected Foreign Honory member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is member and vice-president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. Feringa's research has been recognized with a number of awards including the Koerber European Science Award (2003), the Spinoza Award (2004), the Prelog gold medal (2005), the Norrish Award of the ACS (2007), the Paracelsus medal (2008), the Chirality medal (2009),the RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award (2011), Humboldt Award (2012), the Grand Prix Scientifique Cino del Duca (French Academy 2012), the Marie Curie medal (2013) and the Nagoya Gold Medal (2013). The research interest includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, optopharma, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly and molecular nanosystems. Together with professors Jean-Pierre Sauvage and J. Fraser Stoddart received the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 2016 for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.