Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists can’t get into their labs right now to do their research. Data is being lost as well as a large amount of money. Facing the global public health challenges, what can researchers do? Has the pandemic changed the outlook for young researchers?
On October 27, Pujiang Innovation Forum held the Young Elite Scientist Summit (YES Summit) jointly with Science, where representatives of winners of the rewards established by Science and domestic young scientists were invited to exchange their views on the overall status of scientific research, with a particular emphasis on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their research and may impact it in the future.
Seeing Scientific Research through the Eyes of Young Scholars
Invited guests of 2020 Young Elite Scientist Summit (YES Summit) include:
• Dr. Zibo Chen, winner of 2019 Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists in the Category of Cells and Molecular Biology from California Institute of Technology. He was once featured in MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 China.
Dr. Shuo Chen, winner of 2019 Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation from School of Medicine, New York University. His research interests include the development of minimally invasive technologies to record and manipulate brain activity and the mechanisms of how memory is formed, stored, and recalled.
• Dr. Shruti Naik, Assistant Professor at School of Medicine, New York University. She was awarded multiple awards including the Regeneron Award for Creative Innovation, the L’Oréal For Women in Science Award, NIAID K22 Transition Award, the Damon Runyon Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists, and the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, and was recently named a Pew-Stewart Scholar.
• Dr. Matt Savoca, winner of 2018 Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists in the Category of Ecology and Environment from Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University. His research focuses on marine pollution, conservation biology, and behavioral ecology, and has been broadly covered by journals including NPR, BBC, The New York Times, and National Geographic.
• Rui Bai, Postdoctoral Fellow at Westlake University. Rui is a student of Prof. Shi Yigong, and is researching into the structure and mechanism of spliceosome. During her doctoral studies, she published 7 high-level scientific research papers in Science and Cell. As young as 27 years old, she was awarded the 22nd “World’s Most Promising Women Scientist Award”, as 1 of the 3 winners of the award in 2020 in Asia Pacific.
The YES Summit held a series of discussions facing the future of scientific research on topics that scientific researchers concern, including the changes in laboratory-based scientific research due to the pandemic, how the pandemic will influence the focus of scientific research, and what will be the most important fields of research in the next 20 years.
Offering Advice and Solutions to Early Career Scientists
Just like other careers, scientific research as a career is also accompanied by workplace troubles and development bottlenecks. How should early career scientists deal with these problems?
Especially in this year, in a world with the pandemic, what will laboratory research look like and how will scientific research be affected?
At the Summit site, apart from the young scientists who shared their scientific research experience, Dr. Jackie Oberst, Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science, also shared her career path on site, especially some stories of individual young scholars and the difficulties and trials they have experienced, to offer advice and solutions to young scientists.
Dr. Jackie Oberst’s own experience in scientific research and multidisciplinary work provided young scholars with some reference. She completed her undergraduate course at the University of Maryland, College Park, and obtained her master degree in journalism out of her interest in scientific research and writing. Then, she obtained her PhD in tumor biology from Georgetown University. After that, she worked at Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Endocrine Society, and the National Institute of Mental Health. She joined the Custom Publishing Team of Science as an editor in 2016.