Thoughts after the 2015 BPS Thematic Meeting in Taipei

Following the Biophysical Society’s New Biological Frontiers Illuminated by Molecular Sensors and Actuators thematic meeting held in Taipei, Taiwan this June, student attendee Wen-Ting Yang shared her thoughts on the meeting and her experiences.

“One cannot make bricks without straw,” which came into my mind after this Biophysical Society (BPS) thematic meeting. Consistent with the saying, we can hardly discover the novel frontier of life or build upon the milestones of scientific research without proper methods and materials.

First of all, thanks to BPS. This thematic meeting was well-organized. It deeply discussed the topic, “new biology frontiers illuminated by molecular sensors and actuators,” from five aspects, which provided a clear picture for future research direction in this field.

As a PhD student, this was my first time to take part in an international conference like this by myself. For me, in this conference that was in such a different field from mine, it was really inspiring and frustrating at the same time. How I usually do my research is to basically find out if there is anything new to apply in my experiments for problem solving. However, all the scientists I met at this conference were doing their research in an opposite way. They devoted themselves to inventing and creating something novel and incredible to solve the existing problems and even potential future problems. Without the methods and materials they’ve found and are using, barely can I continue my studies. That was a huge shock to me.  Now, when facing an obstacle, all I can do is search and wait for the appearance of solutions; however, these scientists are able to create the solutions by themselves.

I hope I can be someone like them in the future: To be on the initiative instead of being passive. It was a really great opportunity to participate in the conference. I learned a lot from people in this meeting, not only through their scientific knowledge but also from their humble and respectful attitude toward the living world. I truly appreciate all the people that organized and those who participated in this conference, and also my advisor who encouraged me to join this amazing meeting.

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