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​A first for ISYF: Nobel Laureates to select revolutionary & creative student research projects​

Published on: 20-Jan-2015

For the first time, Nobel Laureates will be personally judging the finals of an inaugural science research poster competition at the 7th International Science Youth Forum (ISYF) in Singapore.

Challenging over 150 young and aspiring scientists to rediscover the meaning of scientific excellence, the Nobel Laureates will be looking out for creative and innovative entries which revolves around this year’s forum theme of Becoming a Modern Scientist.

Nobel Laureates Professor Arieh Warshel (Chemistry 2013), Sir Andre Geim (Physics, 2010) and Professor Claude Cohen-Tannoudj (Physics, 1997), together with other eminent scientists, will also give students rare face-to-face interaction opportunities through dialogue sessions, master classes and forum. They will also share their personal experiences on how interdisciplinary science cultivates research excellence and promote scientific breakthroughs.

This year, the ISYF will mark a key milestone as it receives its largest number of participants with more than 50% of previous years’ records. Students will travel to Singapore from over 38 schools in 19 different countries across four continents.

Organised by the Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), students will have their research posters judged by scientists from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in the first round, and Nobel Laureates in the finals.

Dr Hon Chiew Weng, Principal of HCI said, "The ISYF has developed into an important global platform where our future scientific leaders engage eminent scientists, and be inspired by these brilliant minds to continue honing their craft. We hope that these young scientists will display the tenacity to overcome future challenges and lead mankind in forging a better future.”

Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry is the Guest of Honour at the forum’s Grand Ceremony on 21 January 2015 and will deliver the welcome address (see Annex A for details).

As part of the five-day event, students will be visiting visit A*STAR’s laboratories and experience hands-on activities at NTU such as taking part in science experiments. The University will also host a special panel discussion on 20 January 2015 for students and science educators to be chaired by NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson. At the panel discussion, Nobel Laureates will discuss the role of interdisciplinary scientific research in resolving some of the world’s pressing problems.

Professor Phua Kok Khoo, Director of NTU’s Institute of Advanced Studies, said: “In its seventh year running, the ISYF continues to provide a unique and rare platform for the learning of science through dialogues and interactions with the world’s leading experts in various scientific fields.

“With the valuable support from educators and government administrators, I believe we can establish a strong culture of research and learning through the ISYF, which provides exciting opportunities for young and aspiring scientists from all over the world.”

A total of seven Nobel Laureates and Fields Medallists who will be attending the 7th ISYF include Professor Arieh Warshel (Chemistry 2013), Professor Claude Cohen-Tannoudj (Physics, 1997), and Sir Andre Geim (Physics, 2010). Other luminaries include Sir Richard Roberts (Physiology/ Medicine 1993) and Mathematician Professor Ngô Bảo Châu (Fields Medal, 2010).


The theme for ISYF 2015 is “Becoming A Modern Scientist”. In an increasingly turbulent and volatile world, scientists face unprecedented challenges in their work.

Together with the Nobel Laureates, forum delegates will engage in critical discussions on what scientists of the future will require in order to continue serving humanity’s pressing needs.


Media contacts:

Nur Amin Shah
Assistant Manager 
Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 4714

Kor Zhi Yang
Corporate Services
Hwa Chong Institution
Tel: 9675-1295

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI). 

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia. 

Besides its main campus, NTU also has campuses in one-north, Singapore’s science and tech hub, in Novena, Singapore’s medical district, and at Gillman Barracks, Singapore’s contemporary arts cluster.

For more information, visit

​About Hwa Chong Institution

HWA CHONG INSTITUTION (HCI) is one of Singapore’s premier Independent Schools, with a rich history of more than 95 years.

The school’s mission is to develop leaders in research, industry and government. To date, the Institution has produced 54 President’s Scholars (Singapore’s most prestigious government scholarship).

Hwa Chong is more than a school that produces top scholars. The school aims to empower its high ability students to achieve their potential and live their aspirations, while embracing the values of hard work, integrity, passion, and compassion.

Hwa Chong has gone from being the first Chi​nese-medium secondary school in Southeast Asia to becoming a gateway to top universities in the world. Between 2009 and 2014, 21 Hwa Chong’s alumni topped their cohorts at Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, University College London, King’s College London, London School of Economics, West Point, U.S. Naval Academy, and Shanghai Fudan.

Indeed, Hwa Chong students have done well on the world stage, bringing pride to Singapore and the school. Between 2006 and 2014, different groups of students have won a total of 41 World Championship titles, including the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament, Stanford Global Innovation Tournament, and Oracle ThinkQuest international competition.
To nurture the next generation of leaders, the school organizes many activities that allow students to interact with, and learn from, leaders in various fields. For example, over the last six years, over 30 Nobel Prize-winning scientists and Fields Medallists have engaged Hwa Chong students.

HCI has built a global partnership network in over 20 countries across four continents. These partnerships have sown seeds of ideas for HCI to launch innovative initiatives. These include establishing a Global Learning Alliance with Columbia University and Scarsdale Public Schools (New York, USA), cross-border research collaborations with the Loudoun County Academy of Science (Virginia, USA), and partnering the 2nd High School attached to Beijing Normal University in China to set up the flagship Hwa Chong-Beijing Satellite Campus.

In 2008, Hwa Chong Institution became the first and only Independent School selected by Singapore’s Education Ministry to pioneer the Future School initiative. The key thrust of Hwa Chong’s ‘Future School’ is the development of a borderless and passion-driven learning environment.

For more information on Hwa Chong Institution, visit

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