In November 2023, the 6th World Laureates Forum took place in Shanghai. This forum brought together laureates from 25 countries, including distinguished Nobel, Turing, and Wolf prize winners, Chinese government officials and over 300 distinguished guests from around the world. The purpose of this event was to promote basic science, advocate for international cooperation and support the development of youth.
For the first time, the World Laureates Association (WLA) also invited representatives from the global young academies. Dr Jackie Maybin (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Josie Fullerton (University of Glasgow) were honoured to attend to represent the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland.
The meeting began with sessions specifically designed to inspire and engage young academy attendees, including Frontier Lectures from across different sectors such as Astrophysics and Neuroscience. This gave delegates the opportunity to engage in round table discussions with speakers exploring themes such as “Stay Hungry & Dream Big”. Further, the WLA Prize Laureates in Life Sciences and Medicine Professors Karolin Luger, Timothy Richmond and Daniela Rhodes presented their groundbreaking work on the atomic structure of the nucleosome.
Following the official WLA Forum Opening Ceremony, the WLA Young Scientist Poster Session was held where YAS representatives were given the unique opportunity to display and discuss their current research in women’s health and heart disease. This was followed by the WLA Young Scientist Forum, which included panel sessions with Nobel Prize Laureates and lively debates about the future of research funding and global collaboration. Discussions were consolidated at the Grand Banquet, where Dr Maybin and Dr Fullerton were treated to a glorious array of Chinese delicacies and scientific discussion.
A particular highlight for YAS delegates was the presentation of Professor Barry Marshall, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005 for his discovery of helicobacter pylori as a cause of peptic ulcers. This inspiring presentation was followed by the Young Scientist Hub Sessions, where Dr Maybin presented her influential work on the role of hypoxia in menstruation.
On the final day of the WLA Forum, there was a unique opportunity for young academy representatives to witness the Mobius Forum. Here, 66 Nobel Laureates discussed how scientists can transform Science Education, and how science leads transformation for the future. The closing ceremony rounded up the discussion of the meeting, encouraging attendees to be curious, move towards uncertainty and be fearless in their pursuit of society-improving science.
Dr Maybin and Dr Fullerton are greatly appreciative of the support from the RSE YAS and World Laureates Association for their attendance at the 6th World Laureates Forum 2023.