Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spotlight falls on young (or early-career) scientists in this year's GRiSP sessions

I interrupt regular personal blog posting to give way to some insights from the Global Rice Science Partnership Asia review. Let's shift towards more scientific stuff, sort of...

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In past scientific fora that I had been sitting in, I've noted that it's very rare to see researchers and scientists in the early stages of their careers attending and participating in discussions. It was even rarer to see them actually presenting in front of audiences. 

Two years ago, high-level scientists (past and present) from the International Rice Research Institute sat down together to talk about the future of international agricultural research. They discussed the very real problem of who will remain in the field as agriculture becomes more knowledge-driven. But I guess they were also looking for ways to help fledgling scientists (including me) to grow.

Then 2012 came. Things are definitely getting stirred up this time. If the first two days of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) Asia Review are any indication, it looks like budding scientists are encouraged to take their careers off to the next level by no less than the Deputy Director (Research), Achim Dobermann. Several of them (us) took to the stage to talk about their groups' research outputs for the year. 

And that's not all. IRRI also harnessed the young ones' knack for embracing new technology, particularly of the social kind. Tech-savvy researchers took the scientific discussions from GRiSP to a larger audience through social networking sites and blogs. #GRISP2012 may not have trended on Twitter the past two days but it did catch the attention of people interested in agriculture and in rice research. You can't get more real-time (aside from live-streaming) than that! 

Exciting things are surely in store for the up and coming rice researchers at IRRI. Here's to looking forward to more opportunities for the young ones in the future. :)