November 9, 2015

Memories and reflections of SCA Glenn T. Seaborg Science Scholarship Recipients

“The highlight of the week was undoubtedly the night of the Nobel Prize. After a week of tantalizing Nobel-related activities, we finally came to the day of the ceremony. There is no other word but ‘regal’ to describe the atmosphere at the ceremony, which was followed by a spectacular banquet. An unforgettable night of conversation and dancing followed, and before I knew it I was jetting across the Atlantic, on my way home. SIYSS was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one in which I made lasting friendships and indelible memories.”  —Max Petersen (2010 awardee)

“The Seaborg Award provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet some of the greatest minds of our time and form new friendships with students who will, no doubt, become the future leaders of science and innovation. Attending this event has inspired me to continue scientific research as a future physician now in my first year of medical school, and I have, equally as important, developed a stronger level of respect for the Nobel Prize and the laureates who have challenged themselves throughout their scientific careers to make the breakthroughs that shape today’s world.” — Mohamed “Zak” Rajput (2009 awardee)

“The SIYSS week is a great way to encourage young scientists to excel in their field and pursue their dreams of becoming more involved in research and development. It is a great networking opportunity, and also a chance to learn how science is done in other parts of the world. Sponsorship of this event is an investment in the future of science and technology, because it allows young scientists to see the vision of what great things can be accomplished through hard work and dedication to their field.” — Kara Benjamin (2008 awardee)

“The final two days of my stay brought the most extravagant events of the week, those being the Nobel reception and of course all the events of the Nobel day itself. If you wanted to talk to the Nobel laureates at the reception, all you had to do was find them, assuming there wasn’t already a crowd of people around them.” — Matt Seaberg (2007 awardee)

“What is it like to go between the simple ground level of science to historic celebrations of the greatest benefits to humankind from science? I did not know what to expect from the opportunity to explore this notion; what I found was the connection comes through the people involved, that friendship and creativity and relationships define discovery as much as the technical nature of science.” — Bradley Carter (2006 awardee)

“For seven days I, along with 24 other international students (representing 17 countries), visited world-renowned universities and institutions, visited the Riksdag and Royal Castle, heard from the distinguished Nobel laureates, and presented our own award-winning research. For seven nights we learned about each others nations and cultures. . . . Although every day and night was new and different, I could expect two consistencies. . . fish at some point in the day and that sleep was a scarce commodity.” — Michael Alberti (2005 awardee)

“All of the participants of the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS) were there to learn what it means to be a scientist. All twenty-five of us, representing eighteen countries, won a chance to be part of the Nobel Festivities through national science fairs, universities, or science organizations. We spent all week traveling around Stockholm, building a perception of what constitutes world-class and world-changing science. We visited the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, founded by the great Carl Linnaeus. At the Karolinska Institute, we were given a faculty-guided tour of the neuroscience department. As well, we attended the Nobel lectures in physics and chemistry, the press conference for the physiology award winners, visited the Nobel Museum, and listened to lectures from members of the Nobel committees. Everything was mind-bogglingly wonderful.” — Jason Williams (2004 awardee)

“In retrospect, I believe that this experience will affect me in two fairly distinct fashions over the rest of my life. I was given a great honor, and it may enhance my chance to receive other honors or opportunities in the future, both through its appearance on a resume and as a result of the social and professional networking that occurred. This however, is not really what I remember when I think with fondness of my time. I instead remember the names, faces, and voices of those people I met. I was a member of a group whose diversity in location and culture I doubt I could ever replicate, and out of my time in Stockholm I gained friends whose spheres of life would likely not otherwise ever intersect my own.” — Luke Granlund (2003 awardee)

“The food, entertainment and Prize acceptance speeches were all beyond excellent. One highlight was getting to see the Prize medals and presentation binders, which are lined with original paintings at one end of the ballroom. It was a whirlwind of merry-making, good fun, and mixing it up with royalty, dignitaries and Laureates until all hours of the night. I am profoundly thankful to the Swedish Council of America and the SIYSS organizers for providing me with the opportunity to witness these events, to meet such wonderful people, and to renew and redouble my sense of wonder and enjoyment in science.” — Michael Bradley (2002 awardee)

Memories and reflections