Young scientists discuss future of research

Li Qian
The Young Elite Scientist Summit was held in partnership with the journal "Science" as part of the Pujiang Innovation Forum.
Li Qian

Young scientists from home and abroad shared their views about how technology can change the future of research in a video talk held on Tuesday night as part of the Pujiang Innovation Forum.

The Young Elite Scientist Summit was held in partnership with the journal “Science,” under the theme of “Seeing Scientific Research Through the Eyes of Young Scholars.”

Chen Zibo, winner of the 2019 Science Young Scientist Awards, said advancing technologies can facilitate research and lower entry thresholds to science.

Tedious lab work is expected to be greatly simplified 20 years from now, said Chen, who is also a researcher from California Institute of Technology.

“Science is becoming more and more accessible which is good for science popularization and science research,” he added.

Chen Shuo, a post-doc from New York University School of Medicine and winner of the 2019 Science Neurode Regulation Awards, said he expects to see robots finish the majority of work in labs, which can increase efficiency and reduce risks.

Besides, artificial intelligence is expected to design experiments. In the future there may be a huge online platform for people to share data and ideas, he said.

Shruti Naik, also from the New York University School of Medicine, said artificial intelligence is being applied more in biomedicine research, especially in diagnosis and new technology trend recognition.

But she believes that online labs won’t completely replace offline ones. Taking medicine development as an example, she said she could never give a new medicine which is merely based on computer analysis, without various tests, to patients.

Matt Savoca from the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University said big data, artificial intelligence and robots could change research work. It’s a booming trend to use remote systems to monitor ecosystems, he said.

In his recent research on the Antarctic environment, researchers set up hundreds of buoys to monitor local temperatures, carbon and chlorophyll contents. This allows researchers to understand environmental change without enduring freezing cold weather.

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