[Column] Meet people, get inspired
Every summer in August, a very special conference takes place in KAIST. Over 300 students from various nations – Korea, China, Singapore, USA, and Germany - and with different academic backgrounds ranging from natural sciences to humanities gather here at KAIST, South Korea. They are the participants of the annual ICISTS-KAIST.
Began in 2005, ICISTS-KAIST served as a platform for sharing ideas, views, and knowledge on the integration of science and technology into society. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, ICISTS-KAIST 2014 invited more than 300 participants from twenty different countries all over the world and has become Asia’s largest international student conference.
In modern society, the deeply intertwined relationship among science, technology and society is unprecedented. Ironically, there is an even higher wall between science and technology, and society. There exist views that science and technology are exclusive properties of scientists and engineers, and that science, technology and society are isolated elements. The bridge between rapidly developing science and technology, and the public creates even greater distrust and conflict. As reflective students of KAIST pondering upon the dilemma between science and society, we decided to create the platform to share and spread the awareness on this issue. And so, ICISTS-KAIST began.
The organizing committee of ICISTS (The International Conference for the Integration of Science, Technology and Society) aims to promote the awareness on the lack of communication between science and society and to instill harmonious minds to young college students via ICISTS-KAIST. The entire program - inviting speakers, promoting the conference, coordinating the system, and receiving sponsorships – is undertaken by the organizing committee which is purely comprised of KAIST students.
I also worked as an OC member for the past two years. Having been surrounded by lab work and struggling with math problems, I was given the opportunity to expand my horizon and to meet people with different backgrounds through ICISTS. In particular, I was able to study the impact of science and technology on society, share my views on their coexistence with world-renowned scholars – medical researchers, consultants, entrepreneurs, and press.
“Meet people, get inspired.” This is the motto we live up to. I sincerely hope that all the participants of ICISTS-KAIST meet new people, gain scintillating inspiration, and furthermore become the future leaders of the society.
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