I attended 7th Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) 2019 at National Technological University, Singapore from 20 Jan 2019 to 25 Jan 2019. It was a nice and motivational experience to listen and discuss with laureates, so I thought to share my joyous experience with all of you. For attending the conference, IIT Ropar, India nominated my name, and I got the invitation. It is an invitation based summit where they invite Ph.D. and postdoc people from all over the world from different research areas, such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and engineering. The main motivation of the conference is to promote interdisciplinary research.
The highlights of the conference are mentioned below.
1. Plenary Talks: The conference started with a Plenary talk by Silvio Micali on Distributed Ledgers and Blockchains. Then we have several other talks from different laureates where they motivated young researchers by explaining their work and the future of the science. For example, Prof Aaron Ciechanover gave a talk on “The Revolution of Personalised Medicine: Are We Going to Cure All Diseases and at What Price?” where he discussed interesting questions like,
- Aspirin and penicillin are a random discovery?
- How will medicine make age longer?
- Live with disease or die because of it.
- Even two twins are not identical.
Now, you can think how motivating it will be to listen and hear these talks live where you can directly ask your curious questions 🙂 These talks always left me with a long list of questions, some for me and some for them, and hoping to get their answers in future 😀
2. Panel Discussions: GYSS scheduled panel discussions mostly after the lunch and they were awesome because you can eat how much you want and interesting sessions will not let you sleep. The panel sessions were moderated by one scientist, and there were three panelists. The best thing I liked about panels is the general topic so that they are relevant for all the participants as the conference was multi-area. They also had panelist from different areas to discuss the problem from different perspectives.
Some highlights of panel discussions are.
- Future of Medicine and Healthcare: This session was on the current hot topic, the progress of medicine and healthcare.
- The Human Side of Science where they talked about the general problems that scientists phase at the personal and professional level.
3. Small Group Sessions: Small group sessions were led by one professor and participants were allowed to choose a group of their choice. My first small group session was with Tim, and it was really interesting as he talked about his research experience. Students also asked many interesting questions, and it helped us to get a new perspective about him and his work, such as,
- How you got motivated about this particular problem?
- How did you plan your research?
- How to be a Nobel laureate?
- This is the era of collaboration and how we can collaborate without having a fear of someone will steal our idea?
- How to handle ups-downs and depression through the research?
- Does the number of publications matter in a higher career?
- How to manage funds for the research?
- What is more important: theoretical research or applied research?
I am not mentioning the answers to these questions as you can refer the recorded videos of the sessions. These talks will surely help you to realize that you are not alone going through various research-related problems and they also went through these. However, the important part is that they handled it and for us, the important thing is that we have to handle these. They will make you realize that you will come out doing great 🙂
All the discussions were very very amazing and motivating. They made me think how to route the things so that I can aim for what I want.
4. Public Lectures: These sessions were open to the general public where people can ask questions from the laureates. Some of the videos are here:
https://www.facebook.com/gyss.sg/videos/2213890465542664/ By Prof Tim Hunt
https://www.facebook.com/gyss.sg/videos/1161907403992094/ By Prof Fraser Stoddart
5. Poster Sessions: Students presented their research work using posters. I also presented my thesis work there and got a chance to discuss it with laureates, senior professors, and young scientists.
6. Site Visits: GYSS also arranged site visits to some of the famous research institutes and universities of Singapore where they displayed their ongoing research. The list is here.
- Nanyang Technological University
- Marina Barrage and NEWater Visitor Centre
- Singapore Management University
- Singapore University of Technology and Design
- Agency for Science, Technology and Research
- Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise
- National University of Singapore
- Singapore City Gallery
GYSS also highlighted the research funding opportunities at Singapore. Apart from this, your fellow researchers also can make you aware of a lot of new opportunities that you might not even know. So, you just need to talk to different people to gather more information. If you are interested in working at their institute, you can also discuss this and sometime, they will also help you to connect. I wanted to work at one institute, and I told this to a girl who was working there, and she told me about people working in my area. Some students also asked me about Ph.D. opportunities in my area, and helping someone is always a great feeling 🙂
7. Fun Time: Apart from all academic talks and scientific discussions, conference organizers also managed to provide some fun time in the amazing city of Singapore. There were three fun tracks for different types of people, and they asked us to chose one based on our preference. Details are here.
- Track 1: The Gardens
- Track 2: Cultural
- Track 3: Skyline
I went for Skyline as I love flyer ride. It also included boat riding at Marina Bay and amazing food and of course much interaction with fellow young scientists (we are scientists so we cannot avoid it even if we are lost in the amazing view of the city).
Overall, it was an amazing experience to attend the conference and meet Nobel laureates. Personally, I enjoyed discussions with other young scientists. It is a nice place for networking that will surely help in future to get more collaboration opportunities and also to have a social group full of scientifically motivated people.
- GYSS Website: https://www.nrf.gov.sg/gyss/home
- Take a look at the program schedule, so that you know what all it covers. https://www.nrf.gov.sg/gyss/programme/programmeschedule
Global Young Scientists Summit 2019 Opening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBJsTNgcJdM
- The summarized video of GYSS 2019 is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou4BQ_xNKDg&t=5s
GYSS Reviews from other participants (I thought it would be helpful, so I asked them to share).
- “GYSS is a highly motivating and encouraging event. Specially the small group sessions were very interactive. The journeys of ups and downs of the noble laureates lives would help me to overcome even enjoy the frustration and depression of a scholars life and keep motivated forward.” By Imon Mandal, Department of Chemical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India.
- “For a graduate student experiencing something different from their mainstream research and listen someone knowledgeable talk about it is always fun. I am doing my Ph.D. in pure math and mostly I am ignorant about current research areas in other sciences such as computer science, biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering. What GYSS did for me was to let me have a bird’s eye view of the specialist in the above-mentioned areas who with fierce passion told us about for what they became famous (most cases why and for what they got Nobel prize).
It’s always soothing and motivating to listen to someone as highly regarded as the speakers who still are motivated to push the boundaries of their research. I got to know the underlying truth about math which is – though it seems an abstract and disconnected field, it’s techniques and ideas are used in almost all other sciences. Finally, I had a great time in GYSS 2019. It made me more confident and hopeful for my future as a researcher.” By Vivek Rai, Department of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India.
Note 1: GYSS launched their app that you can install and it helped to connect with the people. Later on, you can shift to the social platform that you use, and most of us are now Facebook friends.
Note 2: Follow GYSS page on Facebook and Twitter, and stay tuned 🙂