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Young scientists at the TWAS/BioVisionAlexandria.NXT 2012

BioVisionAlexandria (BVA) is an international event organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), in partnership with the World Life Sciences Forum, BioVision. This year “BioVisionAlexandria: New Life Science: Linking Science to Society” was held from 21-25 April 2012 at Alexandria, Egypt.  BioVisionAlexandria is an important gathering that brings together distinguished speakers and Nobel Laureates all over the world. It includes representatives of the greatest minds in the realms of industry, science, policy-making, media and civil society. The ultimate goal is to provide a platform for exchange of information and dialogue so as to explore the different ways in which life sciences can help meet the ongoing and upcoming challenges. The conference focuses on three major themes: Health, Food and Agriculture, and Environment. It features a special exhibition titled “BioFair@BioVisionAlexandria” and a Poster Session for young researchers and scientists. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), and The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), selected a delegation of young promising scientists from various developing countries to participate in TWAS/BioVisionAlexandria.NXT 2012 and BioVisionAlexandria Conference from 21-25 April 2012, Alexandria, Egypt. This event takes place during the two days preceding the BioVisionAlexandria conference. The young scientists participated in the conference and discussed various issues and were also invited to attend and actively participate in the BioVisionAlexandria Conference. They are also offered the opportunity to showcase their projects and research in a poster session that is held during the Conference. I found this conference different from the other conference in a way that young scientists’ involvement was encouraging. First two days were for young scientist only, where we had lectures from eminent speakers followed by discussion. However, in other days we had coffee schedule (they call it a networking break) fixed with eminent scientist of respective field, where we had not only discussion on science, career prospective, funding options, and problems with young scientist etc. It also provide us an opportunity to share our research objectives with eminent scientists and discuss issues of collobarative proposals with fellow scientists in other countries. Some of the scientists’also shared opportunities and funding for higher education in their countries. Major problems emerged for young scientist in the conference was lack of initiatives, trainings, hierarchy in the system, less funding options etc. TWAS executive director, Romain Murenzi, also presented the programmes and activities of TWAS for young scientist and encouraged them to actively apply in the various funding opportunities. These days in every conference and every meeting involvement of young scientists is stressed everywhere but rarely seen. In the last I thank The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) and organizers for funding me so that it was possible for me to attend this learning conference.