Ivar Giaever was born in Norway in 1929 and educated as a mechanical engineer. Early experience includes one year as a patent examiner for the Norwegian Government. In 1954 Giaever immigrated to Canada and eventually joined Canadian General Electric company. He immigrated to the USA in 1956 and worked as an applied mathematician for General Electric Company before joining the Research and Development Center in 1958. Simultaneously he stated studying physics at Rensselaer Institute of Technology where he was able to complete a PhD in theoretical physics in 1964.
From 1958 to 1970 Giaever worked in the fields of thin films, tunneling, and superconductivity culminating in a share of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1973. In 1971 Dr. Giaever began his current efforts studying the behavior of organic molecules at solid surfaces, and the interaction of cells with surfaces. He became an Institute Professor of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1988 until he retired in 2004 as Professor Emeritus
He is currently Professor-at-Large at the University of Oslo and President of Applied BioPhysics, Inc. a company he founded with Charlie R. Keese in 1991.
Abstract of Speech:
The Nobel Prize and the future of Science
The last century has seen a dramatic development in the science with the discoveries of many new natural laws. It is my firm belief that we are coming to the end of this epoch and very few laws remain to be discovered. Thus we have a paradigm shift or with other words, a new frame of reference: “The scientific action is moving away from basic science to applied science”. The important activity in this century is not to discover new laws of nature but to make new inventions. And different from scientific laws, the number of inventions that can be made is limit less.