Sri Lanka Academy of Young Scientists (SLAYS) is growing as a multi-disciplinary team of young scientists and professionals who strongly believes that young scientists in Sri Lanka should play a key role performing Research for impact; and safeguarding quality of our research well into the future. As part of this the 2nd SLAYS Open Forum titled “Research for Impact- March of the Sri Lankan Young Scientists” organized jointly by the Sri Lankan Academy of Young Scientists (SLAYS) and the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (NSF) in collaboration with Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI), was held on 04th and 05 th October 2018 at Gale Face Hotel, Colombo.
SLAYS Open Forum consisted of four main sessions across the two days with many expert speeches and panel discussions and provided the participants the opportunity to gain much needed knowledge on modern day scientific research and developments. Prof. Monte Cassim, President, Shizenkan Graduate University, Prof. Ravi Silva, Director, Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), University of Surrey and Prof. Richard de Gris, Associate Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Australia participated the sessions as key note speakers.
The target audience for the forum, which was by invitation only, was early to mid-career scientists from academia and industry and also postgraduate research students. With previous year’s success the organizers had invited over 200 participants for this forum. The forum provided the attendees the opportunity to listen and network with world renowned scientists as well as some of the leading Sri Lankan scientists who has contributed significantly towards the development of impactful scientific research in Sri Lanka. The Forum also featured an industry session, where leading industrialist Including Mr. Harin de Silva, CEO, SLINTEC, and Mr. Ranil Vitarana, Cheif Technical Officer, MAS Holdings, delivered special speeches on the role of young scientists in the industry.
One major highlight of the Forum is the “3 minute research presentation competition-3MT®” of the MPhil/PhD students, which was held for the second time. This was supported by the University of Queensland, Australia, developer of the 3MT®. Through the participation the students were trained to market their research impactfully in a concise manner, which is an important attribute that should be developed by research candidates. This exercise develops academic, presentation and research communication skills, while developing candidates’ ability to effectively explain their research in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. 10 finalists of the competition presented their research outcomes to the forum.
Ms. Chathuri M. Senanayake from University of Kelaniya became the champion for her presentation on “Effects of plat based extracts to stabilize and improve the nutritional quality of selected foods” and won the award of 1000 USD, with the trophy while Ms. Miyuru Piyathilake from University of Moratuwa won the peoples choice award for her presentation on Remote Estimation of Corrosion in Structural Applications.
The Sri Lankan Scientist Magazine was the official rapporteur of the event.