Frontiers of Science

22 September 2011

On 5 September 2011, a group of over sixty young scientists gathered at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre at Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire to discuss the latest advances in their respective research fields.

This was the second meeting between UK and Hong Kong scientists to be held under the prestigious Frontiers of Science series. Frontiers of Science is an international programme for outstanding early career scientists which was initiated by the US National Academy of Sciences in 1989 and has since been adopted by the Royal Society in the UK and other national science academies and organisations the Alexander Von Humbolt Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

These multidisciplinary meetings aim to bring together future leaders in science to learn about cutting edge research in a format designed to cross traditional subject boundaries, encourage informal debate, and identify opportunities for collaboration. Topics covered in the September 2011 meeting included the formation of planetary systems, micro RNAs, biophotonics, artificial photosynthesis and stem cell research.

Speaking after the meeting Dr Subhanjoy Mohnaty of Imperial College said that the format for each topic – an introductory talk, followed by two on specialized aspects of the field, with an extended question and answer session at the end – was highly conducive to coming to grips with the subject at hand, its broader implications and relation to other disciplines. His comments were echoed by Dr Jade Shi of Hong Kong Baptist University who said “It is exactly this kind of intimate gathering that reminds us of the very essence of science, that it is without borders, founded upon reason, dedicated to understanding the unknown, and seeking wisdom behind data.”.

The second UK Hong Kong Frontiers of Science meeting took place over three days from 5 September 2011 and was jointly sponsored by the Royal Society and the Croucher Foundation.