Skip to main content

UG student attends Global Young Scientists Summit

14 February 2023

UG student attends Global Young Scientists Summit

James Herrenschmidt - Global Sciences Conference 2023  

James Etienne Herrenschmidt, a Stage 2 BSc Physics with Astrophysics student, attended the Global Young Scientists Summit at Singapore University of Technology and Design from 17/01/23 - 20/01/23. We spoke to James to find out about his experience at the conference, take a look at some of his highlights below. 

What was the conference like? 

The conference itself was held at the university. Each day was packed with plenary lectures, small group sessions and activities. Every day we took coaches from a hotel in Katong at 7am and finished around 6pm. 

The topics covered ranged from astrophysics, molecular biology to organic chemistry. There was also panel discussions about the importance of science communication in society and the modern world. Furthermore, the post-graduates at the event were given the opportunity to present their work which was very interesting. 

The 2019 Nobel prize in physics winner, Dr. Didier Queloz really stood out to me as a speaker. He gave a speech regarding his co-discovery of the exoplanet, "51 Pegasi b", in the constellation of Pegasus. It was the first extra-solar planet established to be orbiting a main-sequence star, i.e. one such as the Sun. His discovery, more the two decades ago, opened up an entirely new field in astronomy; as of this year, thousands of similar exoplanets have been discovered, and have even had studies done.  

The highlight of the conference would have to be the trip around the city, on which we were treated to many things such as visiting the Marina Bay Sands observation deck which was truly astounding. Another highlight would be the small group session with Dr. Didier Queloz, where myself and around 10 other participants conversed and asked many speculative and hypothetical questions about the future of space travel, alien and atmospheric life, terraforming and Dyson-sphere technology.

 Did you have any time to explore the city during your trip? 

 On the day after the conference, myself and a friend from the conference (@no_life_ols) checked out of the hotel to go and explore the city centre. We had a great time together seeing the culture (it was also Chinese new year that weekend) and tasing local food. I definitely had my fair share of fast food which was a mile better than anything in Britain. Singapore Changi airport is one of the best places I have ever been. I spent most my time in the JEWEL, which is like a huge indoor forest and at night, one of the most peaceful locations!

Would you recommend attending a conference like this to other students?

Absolutely 100%! I am addressing the students of Newcastle University when I say this; it's not just a conference, it's the best week you will ever have, in one of the greatest countries in the world, especially as an undergraduate! There is no chance anyone would ever regret attending something like this. For me, it is an experience I will treasure, probably for the rest of my life.