As an alumnus of the Australian National Youth Science Forum, I thought that I had been exposed to the epitome of experiences offered by ‘nerd camps’, but never did I expect to be presented with the opportunities granted to me by LIYSF.
With 500 students from over 70 countries attending LIYSF in 2018, I was simultaneously scared and brimming with excitement for the Forum, and I’m so glad to say that my expectations floundered in comparison to reality. Not only were the two weeks intellectually stimulating and flourishing with cultural diversity; but I gained insight, I gained perspective, and I developed relationships with the most amazing people.
With such a supportive environment and an uplifting, positive atmosphere, I don’t think there was a moment during LIYSF where anyone felt alone, alienated or out of place. Despite the jam-packed schedule, there was so much time to explore the city and spend time with other participants, which made my London experience even more amazing.
My favourite scientific visit was to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, where we were able to engage and work with leading biologists, it was a day rich in insight regarding the potential of a future in science. Every visit and lecture I attended was engaging, motivating and inspiring; they made me feel like there was a place for me in STEM, and my passion for science was truly amplified by this.
The theme for the 60th London International Youth Science Forum was ‘Science for the Future’, which I believe was key to its mass influence on all that attended. For we are the scientists of tomorrow, and it’s experiences such as LIYSF that allow us to grow and inspire us to pursue our scientific dreams.
It’s no understatement to say that my LIYSF experience was both eye-opening and life changing, it was without a doubt, the most pure and wholesome few weeks of my life, and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.