Singapore To Host International Summit For Young Scientists

12 Nobel laureates and winners of the Turing Award, Millennium Technology Prize, and Fields Medal will mentor and inspire 280 young scientists at the Global Young Scientists Summit 2013.

AsianScientist (Jan. 14, 2013) – If you are a scientist under the age of 35, there is one summit you shouldn’t be missing out on.

Singapore is the setting for the inaugural Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS)@one-north, which will take place from Jan 20 to 25 at its one-north research campus.

The Summit will feature 15 international speakers – 12 Nobel laureates and winners of the Millennium Prize, Turing Award, and Fields Medal – who will give scientific talks and interact with young researchers from all over the world.

For those who aren’t attending, Asian Scientist Magazine is a media partner of the [email protected], and we will be keeping our readers up to date about the day-to-day events at the conference.

Under the theme of “Advancing Science, Creating Technologies for a Better World,” the week-long Summit will feature plenary sessions, panel discussions, and master class workshops by the invited speakers. Panel discussions will be moderated by presidents of the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Singapore Management University (SMU), while master classes will take place in an informal closed door atmosphere with 50-70 participants per session.

The 280 invited participants are post-doctoral fellows and Ph.D. students from a variety of scientific disciplines. 64 of them are from Singapore, 81 are from Australasia, 109 are from Western countries, and 26 are corporate lab researchers from Thales, GE Global Research, SAP, Rolls Royce, and IBM.

The focus of the Summit, says its organizers at the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Singapore, is to build a strong global research network and to attract talented researchers to Singapore.

“Singapore is establishing itself as a hub for science and technology, and being a hub really means having the ability to attract talent,” said Prof. Low Teck Seng, chief executive officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF), and co-chairman of the [email protected] organizing committee.

“Moving forward, we are competing with very exciting places like Korea, emerging locales in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and India, and so we must be on our toes to ensure Singapore continues to stand out as the location where young scientists will come,” he said.

Apart from attracting research talent for local institutions, Prof. Low hopes that the GYSS will inspire the next generation to solve tough global challenges through scientific research.

“As we strive to develop a knowledge-based economy, which is one of the key strategies for Singapore to be competitive, we must look just beyond developing science for catalyzing economic growth, but we must see how science and technology can have societal impact,” he said.

And who better to model after than the annual Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting in Germany, a globally recognized scientific forum where young researchers get to interact with Nobel Prize winners? Prof. Low says the NRF wants to create the same kind of “buzz” in Singapore.

The idea for a similar forum was mooted after the former NRF Chairman and current President of Singapore, Dr. Tony Tan, attended the Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting in Germany in 2010. The GYSS, however, will have some differences, says Prof. Low. For example, it will focus on Asian participation, and strike a balance between basic and applied sciences.

“In the world today, one of the most exciting events that brings the top brains together is the Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting,” said Prof. Low. “What we hope to emulate with the GYSS is a measure of what Lindau has achieved, but in Asia. We hope to make it new compared to Lindau, to organize an event that everyone looks forward to attend,” he said.

Representing a whole of government effort, the NRF is collaborating with partners such as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), NUS, NTU, SMU, and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Other supporting agencies will organize site visits to local organizations across Singapore.

Probably the most unique feature of the GYSS is the Singapore Challenge competition, titled “Innovation for Future Cities,” which will award a US$100,000 cash prize and medallion to the best scientific proposal that addresses the challenges faced by global cities.

Ten finalists have been shortlisted from 77 proposals, and teams will make their five-minute presentations to the judging panel on January 25. Solutions proposed include water management, waste recycling, urban transportation, and power generation. On the same day, President Tony Tan will present the SG Challenge prize to the winning team. He will also present awards to the winners of this year’s NRF Fellowship.

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Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
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Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

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