I was honoured to be nominated by the Natural Sciences Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to attend this year's Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum as part of their Future Leader program. The STS Forum was held at the Kyoto Convention Centre - a unique building surrounded by beautiful gardens. The Forum brings together people from academia, business, and government to discuss the role of science and technology in solving global issues. For 3 days, we heard from panel speakers and participated at round-table discussions on topics such as genome engineering, global health and medicine, artificial intelligence, robotics, disaster prevention, availability of water, and many others. A buffet dinner was held at Kennin-ji Temple, where we were entertained by traditional Japanese performers. This meeting was very different from any other I've attended in the past, and I am thankful to NSERC for sending me.
After the conference, I traveled to Yokohama to visit my friends and colleagues in Ken Shirasu's lab at RIKEN: Yasuhiro Kadota, Shuta Asai, and Thomas Spallek. We all used to work together at the Sainsbury Lab - it was a great reunion and so inspiring to learn what everyone is working on now. The visit ended with a delicious meal of sashimi and shabushabu.