Young scientists gather in Israel for the sixth Asian Science Camp

September 20, 2012


Fig. 1: “Speed Dating” at the Welcome Reception

About 250 high school and undergraduate students from over 20 countries/regions across Asia and the Pacific participated in the sixth Asian Science Camp (ASC) 2012, held from 25 to 30 August at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.

During the weeklong event, five Nobel laureates and twenty-eight leading scientists in physics, chemistry, and economics gave talks and lectures revolving around the slogan of the ASC: Young Science for the Future.

At the camp, delegates participated in plenary sessions, round table discussions, student-to-master dialogues, a creative poster competition, social events, and an excursion. The delegates also had an opportunity to interact with the Nobel laureates who attended the sessions with them.

A series of lectures by Nobel laureates was arranged to inspire the participants. The camp was inaugurated with a plenary talk by Prof. Yuan T. Lee (Nobel laureate in Chemistry, 1986) on his research topics in the field of chemical reaction processes. Prof. Robert J. Aumann (Economics 2005), a mathematician by profession, talked about war and peace. Prof. Aaron Ciechanover (Chemistry 2004) delivered a talk on drug discovery and biomedical research. Prof. Roger Kornberg (Chemistry 2006) and Prof. Makoto Kobayashi (Physics 2008) gave their plenary lectures on the last day of the Camp. Prof. Kornberg discussed about the eradication of human diseases, and Prof. Kobayashi talked about the development in the field of particle physics.

There was a special address by another Nobel Laureate: President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.


Fig. 2: Yuan T. Lee at his Camp lecture


Fig. 3: Prof. Makoto Kobayashi at his Camp lecture.

The highlight of the ASC was the poster presentations made by the students on the last day. The students were divided into 28 groups consisting of six to eight students from different countries. Each group has started their preparations for the presentation one month prior to the camp using e-mail. All the “posters” were in a digital format, and displayed on monitors instead of papers, which is the conventional practice.


Fig. 4: TV-screened Poster presentation-Against disease


Fig. 5: 19 Japanese delegates finally completed the mission…

ASC is the brainchild of Yuan-Tseh Lee, a1986 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, and Masatoshi Koshiba, a 2002 Nobel laureate in Physics, who co-proposed the concept at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting held in 2005, in Germany. The ASC aims at enlightening youths talented in science through discussion and dialogue with top scholars from all over the world and at promoting international friendship and cooperation among the best young students of the next generation in Asia, Australia, and Oceania.

The previous ASCs were successfully held at Taiwan (2007), Bali (2008), Japan (2009), India (2010), and Korea (2011). The next ASC will be held in 2013 and hosted by Japan.