Outstanding scientists meet at Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium

The Kavli delegation with friends

Nine Australian early- and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) took part in an innovative trilateral symposium with young scientists from the US and Indonesia in August.

The Indonesian–American Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium has been running in Indonesia for six years, however this is the only the second year that Australian researchers have been invited to participate. The uniquely multi-disciplinary event brought together 80 outstanding young scientists to discuss exciting advances and opportunities in a broad range of disciplines, including big data and marine conservation, green chemistry, mass extinction and citizen science, non-communicable disease and ageing, robotics and information systems/innovation, and social decision making/behavioural economics.

Dr Aysha Fleming, a social scientist (sociologist) from CSIRO in Hobart, led the Australian delegation to the event held in Malang, East Java, in August.

Academy Vice-President, Dr TJ Higgins FAA FTSE, also attended the symposium for the second time.

The delegation was made up of:

  • Dr TJ Higgins AO FAA FTSE, CSIRO
  • Dr Manuel González-Rivero, University of Queensland
  • Dr Beben Benyamin, University of Queensland
  • Dr Navjot Bhullar, University of New England
  • Dr Stan Karanasios, RMIT
  • Dr Elizabeth Law, University of Queensland
  • Dr Dipanwita Sarkar, QUT
  • Dr Aysha Fleming, CSIRO
  • Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn, University of Adelaide

This activity was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

More about the Kavli symposium

Response to the Kavli symposium

by delegation leader Dr Aysha Fleming

The symposium is a wonderful and unique experience, bringing a diversity of young scientists together. The whole experience of travelling to Indonesia and meeting the Kavli group was a very special opportunity. Everyone was engaged and enthusiastic and keen to mix and make new contacts. I’m sure we have all made several close partnerships that will be very valuable in the future. It was an honour for Australia to participate and an unforgettable experience for each of us.

Sometimes science can be a difficult profession, as we work hard on our own research, struggle to find grants and produce outputs that will create immediate impact. Events such as these provide a rare and valuable opportunity to step back and see how we are all part of something greater and despite our differences we have so much in common and so much to offer. We are now all a part of the Kavli community, and together we can produce work that challenges traditional boundaries and pushes forwards the frontiers of science.

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science