Obama used the Oval Office meeting to send a reminder that America is unique in its ability to attract talent from all around the world to study at its universities.
The president met with Duncan Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz, laureates of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics; Oliver Hart, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences; and Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Obama said their work would lead to new products and technology, some of which can’t be anticipated yet, and would inspire future scholars and scientists.
There was much speculation going into the day about whether the artist would skip the White House meeting.
But White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during Wednesday’s press briefing that “unfortunately, for those of you wondering, Bob Dylan will not be at the White House today, so everybody can relax.”
Earnest said Dylan didn’t give a reason for not attending, but he also noted that Dylan and Obama had met previously and “the president enjoyed meeting him.”
In 2012, Obama presented the singer-songwriter with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.