LIYSF. To you, this probably sounds like a bunch of letters that were randomly put together, but the scenario is a little bit different to me. Whenever I hear it, I immediately remember the two best weeks of my life. Two weeks of interacting with people from all around the globe and I mean it literally because there were 65 different countries represented there. LIYSF stands for London International Youth Science Forum, an event held annually at Imperial College London that brings together the brightest scientific minds from all over the world to discuss ideas and share moments.
I participated in the forum two years ago. I went to London not really knowing what to expect. I knew it would probably be good, because I would have the opportunity to attend lectures from leading scientists and even visit Cambridge and Oxford institutions, but what came next surpassed every expectation I had.
Somewhere in the middle of that fortnight, I found myself lying in the lawn talking with an Israelite girl, an Indian boy and a German girl. That’s the beauty of the forum: interacting with as many different cultural backgrounds as there are people around you. Everyone I met there, had a completely different view of the world we all live in, while at the same time sharing the same love for Science as I do. That made me acknowledge how important it is to accept and embrace the baffling diversity our planet possesses, because it is by welcoming everyone’s point of view that we can evolve as a species. In one of the lectures, we learned Einstein’s brain is in no way different from mine or yours. That means that if two people work together, they have a potential to discover amazing things even greater than Einstein’s. What about international collaborations? Their combined “brain power” is huge! That’s the way Science is progressing, by joining people from all over the world to discuss scientific ideas and come up with solutions to everyday problems and that is precisely what LIYSF is about.
And that was what brought me back to attend the 2015 edition of LIYSF, this time as a staff member. I really enjoyed my experience and I wanted to make sure other participants could also spend the best fortnight of their life there, so in the past couple of weeks I helped organizing the event alongside an amazing staff team. I’d like to thank them not only for being the most hard-working people I’ve ever encountered but also for being the best human beings I’ve ever met.
I’ve made long-lasting friendships with them and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last time I’m seeing them. That’s what LIYSF is really about: it is about science as much as it is about communication. By attending this forum, your view of the world changes in a way that a non-LIYSFer can’t even think of. LIYSF made it possible for me to now have a friend in every country I wish to visit and, most importantly, helped me establish Science is for cool people and cool people only. After all, what’s cooler than being a scientist?