Commonwealth Science Conference 2017

Commonwealth Scientific Community to Gather in Singapore

25th May 2017

1. Luminaries from the Commonwealth’s scientific community will be gathering in
Singapore next month (June) to discuss pressing issues such as climate change,
future technologies, energy and carbon storage and medical research.

2. Over 400 scientists from 37 Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the
Caribbean, the Americas, the Pacific and Europe are slated to attend the second
Commonwealth Science Conference from June 13 to 16. Notable speakers include
Britain’s Sir Mark Walport, who is the current Government Chief Scientific Advisor and
Chief Executive Designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which will oversee
more than £6 billion in research funds and institutional funding each year, and
Professor Jacqueline McGlade, the chief scientist of the United Nations Environment

3. The multi-disciplinary event, which underscores the international nature of
science, is co-organised by UK’s Royal Society and Singapore’s National Research
Foundation (NRF). The conference will showcase lectures and discussions with
plenary speakers such as Dr Demis Hassabis, artificial intelligence trailblazer and
Founder & CEO of DeepMind and other experts, with the conference themes spanning
new technologies, emerging infectious diseases, sustainable cities, the future of
oceans, low-carbon energy and science policy.

4. Other speakers include Canada’s Professor Janet Rossant, a leading authority
in stem cell research who helped to establish guidelines for human embryonic stem
cell research in Canada and beyond, and Singapore’s Professor Chua Nam Hai, who
is spearheading research that could lead to drought-resilient plants.

5. Australia’s Dr Janice Lough, who specialises in tropical coral reefs and climate
change, as well as Jamaica’s Professor Terrence Forrester, who has pioneered
research in nutritional stress and its impact on diseases such as hypertension, will
also be speaking.

6. This year’s conference follows the one held in Bangalore, India, in 2014.
Singapore won the honour of hosting the second edition due to its sterling reputation
as a research hub, track record of inspiring young scientists and history of shaping
Commonwealth policies.

7. In 2014, Singapore President Tony Tan became only the fifth recipient of the
Royal Society’s prestigious King Charles II Medal. The award, given to foreign heads
of state or government who have made outstanding contributions to furthering
scientific research in their country, is made only in exceptional circumstances.

8. “Singapore is honoured by the privilege to host this significant conference that
will provide opportunities for cooperation between countries to build scientific capacity
across Commonwealth nations. This is also a valuable platform to inspire young
scientists through their interactions with eminent speakers and their peers,” said the
NRF’s chief executive Professor Low Teck Seng, who is co-chairing the conference.

9. Professor Anthony Cheetham, the Royal Society’s vice-president and
treasurer, who is the other co-chair, added: “Science is global and the Commonwealth
is at the very heart of that. The global network is key to tackling many of the challenges
we face today from disease and climate change to food security and driving
sustainable economic growth. I am delighted that the Commonwealth Science
Conference 2017 is being held in Singapore, where the commitment to research and
innovation is exceptional and the rewards are so clearly seen.”

10. Beyond the four days in Singapore, the event will also further cooperation
between researchers from different countries, as well as among doctoral students,
early career scientists and established experts.

About Commonwealth Science Conference 2017

Commonwealth Science Conference 2017 will be held from 13 to 16 June 2017 at the
Matrix Building, Biopolis, Singapore. Jointly organised by the National Research
Foundation Singapore and the UK’s Royal Society, this multi-disciplinary conference
brings together leading scientists to celebrate excellence in science throughout the
Commonwealth; build scientific capacity on issues of common interest to
Commonwealth countries; provide opportunities for cooperation between researchers;
and inspire young scientists on their scientific career. The conference will be attended
by over 400 scientists from Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean,
the Americas, the Pacific and Europe.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Head, Media Relations
The Royal Society
[email protected]
Contact: +44 (0)207 451 2514

Charlotte CHEN
Head, Corporate Communications
National Research Foundation Singapore,
Prime Minister’s Office
Email: [email protected]
Contact: +65 6684 2928; +65 9829 9304