LINDAU, Germany, June 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- To tackle the world's most pressing issues, genuine collaboration between the academic community, government and industry is needed, Mars, Incorporated said yesterday. As part of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, Mars hosted an interdisciplinary panel discussion addressing the far-reaching impact science can have on society.

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The Mars panel discussion is a key event at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings - a globally recognized forum that has been bringing together Nobel Laureates and the world's most promising young scientists since 1951. This year's meeting, taking place from 27th June to 2nd July, sees 61 Nobel Laureates meet with the world's best young researchers to discuss topics that will be central to future scientific debate. Following more than 30,000 applications, 650 young researchers were selected to participate in the meetings set on the banks of Lake Constance between Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Yesterday's panel discussion is characteristic of the unique interaction that takes place at Lindau and featured the views of Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Physiology or Medicine Nobel Laureate; Howard Shapiro, Global Staff Officer of Plant Science and External Research, Mars, Incorporated and Tanya Petrossian, a selected young researcher from UCLA. Adam Smith, Editor in Chief,, moderated the panel and chaired an in-depth QA session with the diverse student audience.

By facilitating open and meaningful dialogue between the scientific leaders of today and tomorrow, we aim to inspire the next generation of scientists to pursue innovation for the benefit of the global community, said Howard Shapiro. Shapiro, who leads the Mars team sequencing the cocoa genome, spoke of how science can be used to advance sustainability and harnessed as an economic and social driver in the world's poorest regions.

Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008 for her work in the identification of HIV as the cause of AIDS, gave a unique insight into how science can shape society and the value of such a debate. It is clear that the young investigators are already thinking deeply about the role of science in society and this enormous topic will be an important element to include in future Lindau meetings, said Francoise Barre-Sinoussi speaking after the panel.

Global collaboration is a key tenet of Mars science strategy. In 2007, Mars entered into its engagement with the Lindau organization and has since been closely involved in the meetings. This year, Mars sponsored seven young researchers from the United States to attend and participate in this unique forum and interact with Nobel Laureates from various disciplines.

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated is a private, family-owned company founded in 1911 and employing more than 65,000 associates at over 370 sites, including 135 factories, in 68 countries worldwide. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, U.S.A., Mars, Incorporated is one of the world's largest food companies, generating global sales of more than $28 billion annually and operating in six business segments: Chocolate, Petcare, Wrigley Gum and Confections, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience.

Mars entered into its engagement with the Lindau organization in 2007. In 2008, Pamela Mars was appointed to the Honorary Senate of the Lindau Foundation of Nobel prizewinners.

About the cocoa genome

In June 2008, Mars, Incorporated, the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and IBM announced that they would sequence, annotate and assemble the cocoa genome. A genome is essentially a map of all the components that make up the characteristics of an organism - in this case, cocoa. By understanding the exact location of these characteristics, it is easier to breed cocoa plants that have beneficial characteristics.

This public-private collaboration may enable the world's 6.5 million cocoa farmers to plant better quality cocoa and, more importantly, help create healthier, stronger cocoa crops with higher yields, pest and disease resistance, and increased water and nutrient-use efficiency.

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About The Nobel Laureate Meetings at Lindau The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings are a globally-recognised forum which has been bringing Nobel prizewinners and the world's most promising young scientists together since 1951. The week-long, annual event takes place in Lindau, set on the banks of Lake Constance between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The meetings consist of panel discussions, lectures, seminars and social events to facilitate interaction between Nobel Laureates and the scientific and academic elite of the future.

This year's meeting will be an interdisciplinary event bringing together young researchers from all continents and 61 Nobel Laureates in physiology, medicine, physics and chemistry. The Meetings will take place from 27th June - 2nd July 2010.

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For more information, please contact: Roland Klein M +44-7776-162-997 Julian Hill M +44-7825-768-740

SOURCE: Mars Inc.

CONTACT: For more information, please contact: Roland Klein, M+44-7776-162-997 ; Julian Hill, M +44-7825-768-740