Hello, I am Salomé and I am from France. I was given the opportunity to attend the London International Youth Science Forum after participating in the Norwegian Contest for Young Scientists in March 2017. When I told my friends about my plan for this summer, they all thought I was going to a nerd camp, but let me tell you it is so much more than that.
LIYSF was truly the most eye-opening and inspiring experience motivating me to continue my future in the sciences field. It was filled with exciting, enjoyable, and interesting activities, lectures, and visits. My favourite moment during the Forum was probably the visit at the Jenner Institute & Oxford Vaccine group during which we got an insight on the development of vaccines for Malaria including the procedure required to test vaccines on volunteers. It usually takes 15 years to fully develop a vaccine and make it available to the market! I really enjoyed it as I have always been passionate about infectious diseases and how we can use vaccines to immune a population.
Furthermore, London was an incredible experience due to the cultural diversity within the participants. As we were from 67 countries, the ‘International cabaret’ was a wonderful way to share our cultures, stories, and values. From African dances, the Haka (a traditional war dance in New Zealand) to the Barcelonan human pyramids, the night was filled with laughter and happiness.
The ‘Science Bazaar’ was an opportunity for around a 100 students to present their scientific projects. Passion and knowledge are surely two words that can fully describe the scientists’ attitudes towards presenting their research. The spectrum of topics shown was unbelievably wide while enlightening many of us through these new subjects we did not know or just never heard about before. I also decided to present my project which was about the inversion of sucrose using hydrochloric acid. I measured the concentration of sucrose left in a solution over time using a polarimeter I made myself. It is an interesting experience and you learn a lot out of doing it. I highly recommend to anyone to present their project even if it seems like a scary thing to do.
Finally, this program has allowed me to make great friendships with people from all over the world and I learned a lot about others as well as myself. I am so very grateful that the opportunity to attend this forum was given to me and I cannot wait to see what will come out of this forum in the near future. As for the university, this forum has helped me by providing more opportunities. One piece of advice, don’t forget to bring a plug adapter if you are from another country!