Nobel Conference 58 September 28 – 29, 2022

Mental Health (IN)Equity and Young People

Prioritizing the mental health concerns of young people has become essential amid times of global pandemic, racism, sexism, ableism, social unrest, climate change, and political upheaval. These social inequities limit our ability to promote resilience in the mental health of adolescents and young adults, especially those from marginalized communities. Young people often experience little control over their wellbeing, are affected by the decisions of parents, schools and society, and in these technology-driven times are vulnerable to the negative side effects of social media and information overload. In considering how to eradicate inequities and promote mental health, technology becomes central in how it both aids and hinders our modern existence, in the U.S. and around the world.

Nobel Conference 58 will address mental health disparities and their effects on youth, with a particular emphasis on the significance of identity, trauma and technology. All lectures and panel discussions will be live streamed and archived on the conference website.

Watch Past Lectures Download the PosterDownload the Program

I have discovered here in this little corner of Minnesota a place of great intellectual curiosity reaching into the future.

Science and Ethics, in Dialogue

Since 1965, the Nobel Conference has been bringing leading researchers and thinkers to Gustavus, to explore revolutionary, transformative and pressing scientific issues and the ethical questions that arise alongside them. As the only event in the United States authorized by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden to use this name, it is our privilege to host a space in which we can talk about big scientific questions, and the big ethical issues to which they inevitably give rise. The world needs more people who think critically about the crucial issues of our time, and who ask questions in ways that open up the conversation.

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Science and Ethics through the Arts

As a liberal arts college, Gustavus is committed to addressing questions using the full range of human inquiry activities. Each year, the Nobel Conference theme is interpreted through events including an art exhibit, a concert, and dance. The arts explore, inquire and teach about ideas in ways that lectures often cannot. Music, dance, and visual arts invite us to pause, reflect and learn, and to do so with all of our senses.

Students of Gustavus Orchestra, performing at Nobel Conference with stage in background.


Dive in to Conference Topics

These resources will help you begin learning about the topic. You’ll find a carefully-selected collection of articles, videos and other materials, chosen for their suitability for a lay audience. Organized topically, the list has been developed in consultation with the conference presenters, who recommended selections from their own work and pieces by others to help you explore more about the conference topic.

Educators, looking for classroom resources and activities? Checkout our curated list to get you started.

ScienceWhys Podcast

When big scientific questions meet big ethical questions, the waters can get pretty choppy. Lisa Heldke, philosopher and director of the Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College, interviews scientists, researchers, scholars and thinkers about how science and ethics mingle, eddy, roil and churn in their own work. The podcast for anyone who hears about a scientific breakthrough and thinks “what are the downstream consequences of that?”

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Aisle view of Nobel conference

Gathering people together for deeply informed, carefully reasoned, respectful and thrilling conversations about critical issues is a gift of hope and civility to a bewildered, battered world. The Nobel Conference does this with expertise and grace.
— Dr. Kathleen Dean Moore, author of
Moral Ground and Great Tide Rising

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