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The first IRRI Young Scientists Conference (IYSC), themed Sustaining excellence in rice research, was successfully held at IRRI Headquarters on 8-9 November 2012, with more than 300 IRRI staff and researchers from other countries (Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, India, Iran, and Tanzania) attending.
The event opened with encouraging messages from Robert Zeigler, IRRI director general; Achim Dobermann, head of IRRI's research; and Govinda Rizal, president of the Association of Fellows, Scholars, Trainees, and Residents of IRRI (AFSTRI), which organized the conference. IRRI's leaders expressed anticipation of the initiative's continuation in the coming years.
IYSC 2012 aimed to provide a venue for budding scientists to share their research with a wider audience and across different disciplines. The 2-day program included more than 80 presentations and 6 best research presentations that showcased just how complex and diverse the field of rice science is.
The program also included a panel discussion about the theme and about how IRRI can further pursue excellence as an institution, more than as individual scientists. Panelists were in agreement that all sectors of IRRI (management, transport, security, research, purchasing, communication, information, data management, and others) are all linked and should pursue excellence together.
An exhibit and a ceremonial tree-planting activity were also held to mark the golden jubilee of the arrival of the first batch of scholars and trainees at IRRI.
Reynaldo Lantin, one of the first IRRI scholars and an AFSTRI alumnus, also addressed the gathering.
Dr. Zeigler introduced the Secretary of Agriculture of India, Hon. Shri Ashish Bahuguna, who expressed appreciation for the initiative. Secretary Bahuguna was in IRRI for a visit.
The IYSC 2012 organizing team was composed of Changrong Ye, Dr. Rizal, Jedeliza Ferrater, Rico Gamuyao, Shanta Karki, and Teodora Cabasan.
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