Young scientists meet top minds at science summit

SINGAPORE- Over 250 young scientists will get to meet some of the world's top scientific minds this week at the Global Young Scientists Summit.

The summit, which opened on Sunday (Jan 15), aims to give researchers under the age of 35 the chance to meet with giants of science. Participants at this year's event - 30 per cent of whom are from Singapore, will also have the chance to showcase their work.

This year's event, held at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), features 18 speakers, including nine Nobel laureates and five winners of the Turing Award - considered the Nobel equivalent for computing.

Speakers include Nobel laureates Professor Harald zur Hausen and Andre Geim.

Professor Hausen won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2008 for his work on the role of the human papilloma virus in cervical cancer while Professor Geim won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2010 for his discovery of graphene, the world's thinnest material.

Young scientists will have the opportunity to interact with speakers through plenary sessions, panel discussions and small group sessions.

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said at the opening that he hopes the speakers' insights will help contribute to the next wave of scientific breakthroughs and innovations.

Singapore's investments in science and technology will enable the country to be a knowledge-based economy and a smart nation, he added.

"We must prepare for the future and enhance our collective ability to translate research outcomes into societal and economic benefit, and new products and services," said DPM Teo.

Last year, the Government announced that it will be setting aside $19 billion, or about one per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product, for research and development from 2016 to 2020 under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan.

The number of research scientists and engineers in Singapore has doubled over the last decade to more than 30,000 today, added DPM Teo who is also the chairman for the National Research Foundation.