LIYSF Opening Ceremony 2019
30 Jul, 2019 by Minushika Punchihewa

Opening Ceremony at 61st LIYSF

The 61st London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) marked the beginning of its two weeks with an opening ceremony (25th July) at the Royal Geographical Society in London. 

Attracting over 500 leading young scientists from 75 different countries and territories across the globe, LIYSF 2019 promises to be yet another year of unparalleled scientific discovery, diverse interactions and life-long memories.

LIYSF Opening Ceremony

This year LIYSF was honoured to have HRH The Princess Royal speak at the opening ceremony and officially address participants. A fitting testament to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who was the founding patron and speaker at the very first opening ceremony 60 years ago in 1959. 

HRH The Princess Royal noted that HRH The Duke of Edinburgh would be “encouraged to know [LIYSF] it is not only existing but thriving.” 

HRH Princess Royal

The ceremony commenced with addresses by several distinguished speakers, including Professor Clare Elwell (President of LIYSF) and Sir Venki Ramakrishnan (President of the Royal Society). 

Professor Clare Elwell

Professor Clare Elwell reflected on her experiences as an alumna of the forum and highlighted how the two weeks spent at LIYSF were pivotal in shaping her career within science. Professor Elwell emphasised how it is “people that make science happen,’ so participants should take every opportunity to engage, be challenged and learn from some of the most brilliant minds. 

A similar sentiment was shared by keynote speaker and Nobel Prize winner, Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, who reminded participants that “science is a collaborative enterprise.” Sir Ramakrishnan shared his journey into the world of molecular biology with the underlying message that passion should be at the forefront of whatever one chooses to pursue. 

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan

He imparted four life lessons to help guide students through the next two weeks and to carry them through their own journey into science. 

  1. Keep your options open and acknowledge the diversity within the science industry 
  2. Never be afraid to ask for help
  3. Talk to new people 
  4. The feeling of ‘imposter syndrome’ is common, however, should not limit us 

These carefully curated words by the guest speakers collectively reiterated the underlying theme for LIYSF 2019, ‘science at the interface.’ 

The 2019 LIYSF opening ceremony was nothing short of prestige, inspiration and excitement. Participants were left with not only a glimpse of what the next two weeks at LIYSF entails but with hope and anticipation of where these two weeks might lead them in the future.

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