Visit Report: 61st London International Youth Science Forum, 24th July – 7th August 2019

Thursday October 3, 2019

Attending the 61st London International Youth Science Forum 2019 was the best 2 weeks of my life. I enjoyed literally every second of my stay at  the Imperial College London. From attending lectures delivered by renowned scientists and scholars to participating during debate nights, sports, talent and cultural nights.

The LIYSF programme was really amazing and was organised in a way that allowed us to experience the beautiful city of London, mostly during evenings after lectures and weekends. The weather was superb apart from the first day which was really hot. This opened my eyes to the issue of climate change and global warming that must be tackled before its too late. 

There were more than 500 participants attending LIYSF. This means over 500 different ways of thinking, reasoning, skills, cultures and different ways of tackling the problems that we encounter. LIYSF made it possible for me to interact, learn and network with these brains from different parts of the world.

On the first day we had the opening ceremony which was graced by her Royal Highness the Princess Royal. I got a chance to wave the Kenyan flag during the start of the ceremony. After the ceremony, all flag bearers had the opportunity to attend the after party and a photo session with her Royal Highness the  Princess Royal. It was really an opportunity of a lifetime being that close to a member of the British royalty. 

I was also fascinated by the lectures.They were delivered by enthusiastic and passionate individuals who had enormous success in their fields of study and careers. I mostly enjoyed the specialist lectures that one had to chose to attend. These were mostly in line with the career that one wanted to pursue. The bazaar night was a night to learn from each other. It was during this night that participants presented about their different projects. I enjoyed learning different things that I previously had no knowledge on. It was really amazing to see the work of different students from all over the globe.

One of the most amazing evenings during the forumn was the debate night by Dr. Jason Nurse  from Kent University concerning the value of online information, the benefits of the internet, the challenge of misinformation and fake news. The debate night gave me a voice as well as a platform to be heard. I was just overwhelmed with standing and presenting my ideas in front of everyone.

The Visits to different establishments was also amazing. I visited Oxford university and had a chance to tour the amazing Pitt Rivers museum. The bus ride from London to Essex was also amazing. On our way there I could see the London Eye and the London bridge which was quite amazing. We toured the sports facility at the University of Essex where we were welcomed by amazing students who hosted us for the rest of the day. On the last sunday of my stay I toured Chelsea football stadium.

I made numerous friends who made my 2 week stay really memorable. Parties were really enjoyable. There was good food, music and drinks. We danced for long and had performances from different people. During the closing party, I performed a modern african  dance with fellow YOSA students and a Mijikenda traditional dance with a former KEMRI_WELLCOME TRUST school leavers attachment student and YoSA ambassador, Ammy Dama Mwasambu. 

On the day of the Cultural night, I was able to learn numerous aspects of different cultures through performances from different continents.  I’ll forever live to cherish these memories that I created, the friends that I made, the ties, the lessons and one day these ties might contribute to tackling the issue of climate change and global warming to make earth more habitable.

 George Ziro James,

KEMRI – Wellcome Trust SLAS Attachée, 2019.