Excite, engage, enable. These three words are the driving mission behind the gathering of over 250 PhD and postdoctoral fellows at the Global Young Scientists Summit of 2017 in Singapore. Eric Epstein, Shama Barna, Gregory Hart and I had the distinct pleasure of representing the University of Illinois at this year’s summit.
Although small in physical space (the country is about half the size of Los Angeles), Singapore offers large opportunities for high quality research set on a breathtaking tropical island with a bustling metropolitan area. Whether we were navigating the crowds in Chinatown, exploring Hindu temples in Little India, eating diverse cuisines in a local hawker center, or relaxing on Sentosa’s beaches, this beautiful island provided exciting adventures every day. The summit introduced us to 17 of the world’s most prominent scientists. Through small group discussions, plenary lectures and Q&A sessions we were inspired by the brilliance and perseverance that these individuals exhibit. Furthermore, we engaged with bright peers from around the world while participating in enriching sessions.
We immersed ourselves in a society with very different cultural norms and rules than our own. By witnessing the functionality of many of Singapore’s well-known programs, such as the housing development board and water treatment plant, we were enabled to expand our views of what a successful society can be. Upon returning from GYSS 2017 in Singapore, I have gained a refreshing new perspective on what it means to be a part of the international scientific community. My time in Singapore reminds me of the beautiful unity we all share: to further the progress of humanity and better our global society. Through its fundamental research and implementations, Singapore is an excellent example of how scientific innovations can be integrated for the welfare of society.
- Anna Waller, Predoctoral Fellow of Food Science and Human Nutrition
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