2020 Millennium Technology Prize Winners visit Finland
On year after receiving the 2020 Millennium Technology Prize for their groundbreaking Next Generation DNA Sequencing technology, Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian and Professor Sir David Klenerman visit Finland again in May. This is the duo’s first trip to Finland since the award ceremony, which was postponed to May 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the visit is brief, Professors Balasubramanian and Klenerman have their calendars booked full. In addition to meeting Millennium Technology Prize partners and members of the International Selection Committee that proposed their innovation as the winner of the prize in 2019, they will meet Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä and newly appointed Minister of Science and Culture Petri Honkonen, among others. One of the goals of the visit is to spread awareness of the importance of basic research and the unexpected benefits it may offer. Next Generation DNA Sequencing is an excellent example of this—while the original aim of the research was completely different, the results have proved a tremendous asset in the fight against diseases as well as in enhancing food production.
On 12 May from 17:00 (EEST), the public has an opportunity to hear Professors Balasubramanian and Klenerman in Think Corner (Tiedekulma) as they discuss their work and their thoughts on the significance of science to the benefit of humankind. Technology Academy Finland in collaboration with University of Helsinki, Aalto University, and Tampere University organize an interview and Q&A session with the winners, hosted by Liisa Mayow. The event is free of charge and requires no prior registration. More information on the Think Corner website, which will also provide a free online stream of the discussion.