The 51st Nobel Conference: “Addiction: Exploring the Science and Experience of an Equal Opportunity Condition”

Posted on September 30th, 2015 by

Nobel addiction logoGustavus Adolphus College will host the 51st annual Nobel Conference on its St. Peter, Minn. campus Oct. 6-7. This year’s conference will bring together physicians, neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and treatment experts to discuss the topic of “Addiction: Exploring the Science and Experience of an Equal Opportunity Condition.”

“Addiction is an equal opportunity condition because it can affect each one of us, whether we develop our own addiction or are affected by the addictions of others including family, friends, co-workers, or members of our communities,” Professor of Philosophy and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and 2015 conference chair Peg O’Connor said.

This Nobel Conference is unique because it brings together experts on the causes of addiction with experts in the treatment of addiction. “This combination of highly respected and provocative speakers will challenge each other and all of us in the audience to rethink our understanding of addiction and effective treatments,” O’Connor said.

Visit the Nobel Conference website for more information.

Conference Schedule

Tuesday, Oct. 6
8:30 a.m. – Doors Open
9:30 a.m. – Academic Procession and Opening Ceremony | Welcome from President Rebecca M. Bergman
10:00 a.m. – First Lecture: 2000 Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, MD | “We Are What We Remember: Memory and Age Related Memory Disorders”
11:00 a.m. – Question and Answer Session
1:00 p.m. – Second Lecture: Denise Kandel, PhD, and Eric Kandel, MD | “Molecular Basis for the Gateway Hypothesis”
2:00 p.m. – Question and Answer Session
3:00 p.m. – Sheigla Murphy, PhD | “Understanding Prescription Drug Misuse from a Sociological Perspective”
4:00 p.m. – Question and Answer Session
6-8 p.m. – Art at the Nobel Conference | Reception at the Hillstrom Museum of Art, Jackson Campus Center (no ticket required)
6:30 p.m. – “Front-Line Triage” Panel Discussion | The Honorable Judge Allison Krehbiel; Reverend Walter Lockhart; Detective Matt Grochow; Dr. Robert Gazzola, MD; Barb Carlson, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
8:00 p.m. – Music at the Nobel Conference | Guest artist Emily Ondracek-Peterson, violin, with Gustavus faculty members Jill Olson Moser, violin; Justin Knoepfel, viola; Sharon Mautner-Rodgers, cello; and Yumiko Oshima-Ryan, piano (no ticket required)

Wednesday, Oct. 7
8:30 a.m. – Doors Open
9:45 a.m. – Prelude and Video welcome by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
10:00 a.m. – Fourth Lecture: Carl Hart, PhD | “Why Drug-related Research is Biased: Who Benefits and Who Pays”
11:00 a.m. – Question and Answer Session
1:00 p.m. – Fifth Lecture: Owen Flanagan, PhD | “Willing Addicts? Drinkers, Dandies, Druggies, and other Dionysians”
2:00 p.m. – Question and Answer Session
3:00 p.m. – “Exploring Different Treatment Options” Panel Discussion | Anne M. Fletcher, MS, RD; William Cope Moyers; Michael V. Pantalon, PhD; Mark Willenbring, MD
4:00 p.m. – Question and Answer Session
6:30 p.m. – Nobel Banquet and Closing Lecture | Evelyn Young Dining Room, Jackson Campus Center (ticket required)
7:30 p.m. – Closing Lecture: Marc Lewis, PhD | “Reflections on the Science and Experience of Addiction”


Tickets for the 51st Nobel Conference are still available. Reserved seats on the main floor are available for $120 and general admission tickets are $75. Tickets may also be purchased for Wednesday evening’s Nobel Conference Banquet for $30. A buffet lunch is available for $12.50 per person per day. Tickets for the conference and meals can be purchased online at or by calling the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.


 The Nobel Conference will be livestreamed on the Nobel Conference website. Lectures will be archived and available for viewing on request beginning in mid-October.


Neuroscientist Marc Lewis will preview the Nobel Conference and give the closing lecture.

Twin Cities Preview Event

Marc Lewis, PhD, will preview the 2015 Nobel Conference on Sunday, Oct. 4 at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minn. Lewis’s lecture is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register, email Questions about the Nobel Conference Twin Cities Preview can be directed to Maggie Forster.

About The Nobel Conference

Following the dedication of the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science in 1963 at Gustavus, the Nobel Foundation granted approval for an annual science conference to be held at the College. For five decades, Gustavus has organized and hosted The Nobel Conference, which draws about 4,500 people to the college campus in St. Peter, Minn. The conference links a general audience, including high school students and teachers, with the world’s foremost scholars and researchers in discussion centered on contemporary issues relating to the natural and social sciences. The Nobel Conference is the first ongoing educational conference of its kind in the United States. It is made possible through income generated by a Nobel Conference Endowment and the support of annual conference contributors.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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