Co-organized by Shanghai center of the World Laureates Association (WLA) and the Children and Youth Science Center (CYSC) of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), the Teenager Scientists’ Conference (Sci-T Conference) which was part of the 4th World Laureates Forum (WLF) kicked off at the Dishui Lake side on October 30, 2021.
The event invited Michael Levitt, vice president of the WLA and laureate of 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Raymond Stevens, laureate of 2019 International Science and Technology Cooperation Award of China, and Carl Wieman, laureate of 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics to talk with Chinese teenager science fans.
The event also invited Jiang Xuefeng, professor of the East China Normal University and Jin Xianmin, tenured professor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University to serve as facilitators to the participating teenagers.
Michael Levitt, vice president of the WLA and laureate of 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Michael Levitt said in his address that the prominent value of successful senior scientists is providing guidance to the youngsters, and the Science-T Conference builds up platforms for the both sides to communicate directly.
He suggested youngsters to adhere to their original ideas in research and maintain self-personalities. "Even twin brothers have differences. Small differences bring great changes," said Levitt. He encouraged young people to make mistakes, saying that even an excellent scientist still makes mistakes during 99% of his time. If you never make mistakes, it means you are doing too simple things or you don't work hard enough. "You are encouraged to make mistakes and learn from your mistakes," said Levitt.
Raymond Stevens, laureate of 2019 International Science and Technology Cooperation Award of China
Raymond Stevens interpreted the relationship between basic scientific research and achievement transformation with his speech entitled “Imagining the whole human body at the molecular level”. He suggested teenager scientists to solve problems of daily life by innovative approaches, and make a try of combining basic, applied and translational science together to see whether it can open up more possibilities in scientific research.
Carl Wieman, laureate of 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics, attends the conference online.
Carl Wieman, delivered an online speech entitled "Think like a scientist" to share his ideas of cultivating scientific thinking. He believed that facing global challenges such as climate change and COVID-19 pandemic, citizens are expected to have real knowledge and make wise decisions. He hoped participating teenagers would set examples and guide their friends around to think scientifically to meet challenges.
After listening to the wonderful speeches of the senior masters, the participating teenager scientists had vivid interaction with world laureates.
Yang Li, a student from Changsha Yali Middle School, raised her question to Levitt through video links: Why a small change of chemical group leads to a fatal disease?
Levitt gave his easy-to-understand explanation with a metaphor: Just like a change of a word can change the meaning of a whole sentence, a small change at molecular level can make a big difference.
As representatives of the Yingcaijihua Program (Science Talent Program), Cai Jiajie and Richard Xue shared their stories of inquiring the scientific world from their own perspectives.
As the child of a software engineer couple, Cai Jiajie was always surrounded by digital products and related books. She began to learn C + + and Java language at the age of 10. Besides that, she liked to record beautiful moments by taking photos. So she developed an App to predict the time to shoot the most beautiful sunset with the best light and shadow effect by using wind maps and water vapor data.
Richard Xue’s inspiration originated from his ambition to contain the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He used his knowledge in computer science to structure a deep learning network, into which the input of CT scan results can tell diagnosis prediction of the infectious of the community.
With this deep learning network program, Richard Xue got the chance to participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to have discussions with the best young scientists of his age worldwide, trying to find final solutions containing the pandemic.
The experience made him see the wisdom of the young generation of scientists and the effective international cooperation can make the world a better place.
At the conference site, Michael Levitt, Raymond Stevens and representatives of young talents jointly initiated a double helix-shaped device and wrote the unsolved problems proposed at the conference into it, waiting future scientists to make efforts to find final solutions.
Michael Levitt, Raymond Stevens and representatives of young talents jointly initiate a double helix-shaped device at the Sci-T Conference site.
As an important part of the WLF, Science-T conference is open to excellent students of high schools and freshmen of universities who have real interest in science.
It provides a platform for young talents to conduct face-to-face communication with senior best scientists. It’s a good opportunity for the youngsters to broaden their scope and vision for future development.
Most of the teenager scientists invited to participate in this year's event are among the best of the Yingcaijihua Program which was jointly initiated by CAST and the Ministry of Education in 2013 to recognize and cultivate talented high school students for future innovation.
Tag: Children and Youth Science Center of CAST, Academic Exchanges, International Conference, Science Communication, Science Education