NUS Profs at the 2020 Global Young Scientists Summit

Prof Novoselov delivering his opening plenary lecture to an audience of 300 young scientists from around the world

The Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) in Singapore is a gathering of young researchers from around the world, and provides them with the opportunity to interact with eminent scientists and technology leaders. 

The summit gives a platform for conversations on science and research, technology innovation and solutions to global challenges.  

The 8th edition of the GYSS, running from 14 to 17 January this year, welcomed more than 300 participants from over 20 countries — all from wide-ranging scientific disciplines.

After an introduction from Professor Low Teck Seng, Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF), who welcomed all delegates to the 2020 GYSS, Assistant Professor Charles Lim, from NUS Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) gave his opening talk.

Asst Prof Lim’s research is in ‘quantum information’ where he studies how to use quantum systems to secure and protect sensitive data. His talk outlined his journey as a young scientist and gave his informed perspective of the research landscape of Singapore.

“I’ve been an Assistant Professor for slightly more than two years, and I can tell you, it’s been an exciting journey so far,” he said. 

His talk outlined the parallels between science and business. “My advice to my fellow young scientists would be to think of conference publications, papers and inventions as your products and services. Your research grants are your business capital. And becoming Assistant Professor is like becoming CEO of a startup company — you need to be competitive and have an enterprising mindset,” Asst Prof Lim explained.

Asst Prof Lim concluded his talk by stating the importance of freely exchanging ideas at summits such as the GYSS. “I hope that local scientists, researchers and funding agencies can continue their dialogues, so that we have an open communication between all,” he said.

Plenary lecture on materials science

After Asst Prof Lim, Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov from NUS Materials and Engineering then gave the first plenary lecture of the 2020 GYSS.

“For my talk today, I want to briefly tell you where the topic of materials science is going to go in the future, and it’s very inspiring to see 300 young researchers here in this audience,” Prof Novoselov said. 

Prof Novoselov’s lecture then described the enticing opportunities in materials science currently available to young researchers of many disciplines. Since his Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the world’s first two-dimensional (2D) material in 2004, the number of synthesised 2D materials is in the hundreds, and they have potential applications in everything from quantum computing to biomedical technology.

Prof Novoselov then went on to explain how Singapore is currently conducting world-class research, not just in materials science, but many other scientific fields as well. “The scientific landscape in Singapore is so diverse that I would encourage you to go and explore the science being conducted here. I’m sure you would be able to find good collaborators. The climate for science in Singapore is excellent,” he said.

Prof Novoselov had previously conducted a scientific lecture on 2D materials.  

The distinguished guests at this year's GYSS included Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of the Kingdom of Thailand, seven Nobel Prize-winners, three Fields Medallists and three Turing Award-winners.