SINGAPORE: Young scientists in Singapore will get a chance to rub shoulders with internationally—renowned scientists this month.
300 international participants under the age of 35 will be mentored by scientists, including Nobel Prize winners at the Global Young Scientists Summit.
Participants are nominated by academic and research institutions with significant presence in Singapore. Those selected to attend must show passion and interest in research and be the top 5 to 10 per cent of their cohort.
27—year—old Han Rui is one of the 64 participants from Singapore nominated to attend panel discussions and informal sessions with guest speakers at the summit.
The 15 speakers at the summit comprise winners of the Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, Millennium Technology Prize and Turing Award. Lecture topics include "Humans in a Dish" by Dr Sydney Brenner, and a discussion on how long a person can live by Ada Yonath, Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The PhD student is a quantum physics researcher at the National University of Singapore.
Ms Han said: "What we want to learn from those Nobel Prize winners are not how to really win the Nobel prize, because when they do this, they are really not thinking, ’Oh I’m going to get a Nobel Prize out of this’, but it’s the mind that they actually have to create such brilliant ideas."
There will be a Singapore Challenge competition during the five—day summit, where 10 finalists will present solutions for challenges faced by global cities.
Tan Kuan Tak, PhD candidate at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering said: "We are proposing an energy box which is installed in every household in the HDB flats and it will help to educate the consumers how are they going to use energy and when and what time they can use their energy at a cheaper price."
The finalist with the most compelling idea stands to win a cash prize of over S$122,000 (US$100,000) and a medallion.
Organisers hope the summit will inspire the next generation of scientists to not only network, but also make breakthroughs.
"We hope that it creates a certain buzz for us in Singapore," said Prof Low Teck Seng, organising committee co—chair of the summit and chief executive officer of the National Research Foundation.
"In due course, hopefully we (will) build a reputation that we are the place in Asia that science and technology is being executed, research is being done, some of the most exciting research questions are being asked."
The Global Young Scientists Summit will be evaluated to see whether it will be a yearly or bi—ennial event. Its committee also said it hopes to add more smaller group discussions next time.
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