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Closeup: President Obama welcomes Nobel laureate

Fraser Stoddart at the White House
Sir Fraser Stoddart (center) at the White House. Getty images

President Barack Obama welcomed Northwestern University’s Sir Fraser Stoddart, along with three of Stoddart’s fellow 2016 Nobel laureates, to the Oval Office of the White House this week.

Stoddart (seated on Obama’s immediate left) was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in October. He will receive the Nobel medal Dec. 10 at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall in Sweden.

“They have done amazing work that for a lay person is sometimes hard to explain,” said President Obama, referring to the laureates visiting him — two physicists, a chemist and an economist. “But they are delving into the deepest aspects of matter, they are exploring our ability to manipulate molecules. We also have an economist who’s helping to make sure our market system (operates fairly and efficiently).

“We are incredibly proud of them. It’s just a reminder that one of the things that makes America unique is our ability to attract talent from all around the world to study at some of our greatest universities,” the president said. “Most importantly, the work these gentlemen have done is going to inspire a whole new generation of scholars and scientists and researchers.”

The four Nobel laureates were in the nation’s capital for Nobel Day, hosted by the Embassy of Sweden to celebrate this year’s American laureates. In addition to the White House visit, the day included a public seminar and a dinner at the home of the Swedish ambassador.