News | 17 January 2023

Nobel laureate at IES Kista

Just before Christmas 98-year-old Nobel laureate Torsten Wiesel visited IES Kista to talk about his journey and passion in life.


IES Kista student Zainab Bhatti and Nobel laureate Torsten Wiesel.

Swedish neurophysiologist Torsten Wiesel was one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1981 for ‘discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system’.

He and his wife, artist Mususa Wiesel, travelled from New York to Stockholm for this year’s Nobel Prize festivities, and they paid IES Kista a much-appreciated visit for the second time. Dr Wiesel asked each student different questions and engaged them in conversation. He told them about his achievements and the process of getting there.

“I did not have good grades in school, but moving helped me find new opportunities”, he said.

Student Zainab Bhatti had the chance to meet Dr Wiesel. She said: "He had a very wise, knowledgeable but also humorous vibe to him."

During a question and answer session another student asked Dr Wiesel what the worst thing was that had ever happened to him.

Zainab said: “His answer was ‘I can't really come up with one, I've always thought about the good things in life. There isn't much worth in remembering the bad’. This really struck me. It must be really nice to not remember any bad things, but also a very hard skill to learn. I really admired that in him.”

Around the time Dr Wiesel was born, his father was the chief psychiatrist and head of Beckomberga and Långbro Hospital. The upbringing made Dr Wiesel no stranger to people with mental health issues – one of them being one of his own brothers. This became his inspiration to help others and to better understand the mental well-being of people. When he meets students today, he urges them to find things they want to improve in society, and to find a hobby – something to be passionate about.

He said: “I have a passion for helping others. I want to make the world a better place. I hope to visit Kista again next year during the Nobel festivities and the year after that, when I’m 100 years old!”