Kavli Frontiers of Science

In the U.S., the Kavli Frontiers of Science are held each fall at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies.

Jointly sponsored by the US National Academy of Sciences and The Kavli Foundation, the Kavli Frontiers of Science bring together some of the very best young scientists to discuss exciting advances and opportunities in their fields in a format that encourages informal collective, as well as one-on-one discussions among participants. These are highly interdisciplinary symposia emphasizing communication of a wide range of contemporary science topics across the traditional disciplines.

The symposia, which are both national and international in scope, enable emerging young scientific leaders to become acquainted with their counterparts in a broad range of disciplines, and to stimulate long-term relationships with their peers. The participants become acquainted with their colleagues in other nations, and in this way build an international network of scientific communication and cooperation. The symposia also serve to inform these young scientists about the challenges and opportunities being addressed at the frontiers of other scientific disciplines, and to broaden their perspectives on the scientific enterprise as a whole.

Knowledge Connection: How the Kavli Frontiers of Science brings together young researchers from different fields to share science, exchange ideas, and somtimes shift paths. (Picture: Frontier alumni Alice Gast and Marcia McNutt.)
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The symposia are of two kinds: those that involve US participants only, and those that are attended by young scientists from the US and from other countries. These bilateral Symposia are organized jointly by the US National Academy of Sciences and national academies from other nations.

The Kavli Frontiers of Science symposia are attended by approximately 80 to 100 scholars under 45 years of age. Participants include leading researchers from academic, industrial, and federal laboratories in such disciplines as astronomy, astrophysics, atmospheric science, biology, biomedicine, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, genetics, material sciences, mathematical sciences, neurosciences, pharmacology, and physics.

At each symposium, approximately 25 young scientists report on current research within their disciplines to an academically trained and scientifi cally diverse audience. They highlight major research challenges, methodologies, and limitations to progress at the frontiers of their respective fields. All attendees participate actively in a general discussion period, during which they learn from and form collaborative relationships with other young scientists in different fields.