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They were all session topics at the UK-Russia Frontiers of Science symposium in March!

Over 30 early career scientists from the UK travelled to Tartarstan, Russia to take part in the UK-Russia Frontiers of Science symposium. The meeting was held in the Tartarstan capital Kazan, where everyone was given a really warm welcome from the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tartarstan who co-hosted the meeting.  The UK scientists were joined by 44 scientists from across Russia and Tartarstan.

Frontiers of Science meetings bring together future leaders in all science disciplines to form new links with their peers in different countries and explore opportunities for international and cross-disciplinary collaborations. The programme is put together by a committee of early career scientists from both countries to make sure each session presents research at the frontier of the field to stimulate discussions.

As with all Frontiers of Science meetings the programme covered a large range of scientific disciplines from stem cells to supernovae explosions, climate change to quantum communications and entrapment of molecules to autonomous robots.  Discussions and questions after the sessions were lively, involving scientists from both the UK and Russia and from completely different disciplines.

Discussions continued during breaks and lunches where participants were able to form new links and potential collaborations, some of which are already being followed up. At the official banquet everyone was treated to some traditional entertainment, as well as some less traditional elements. There were plenty of toasts to a successful meeting and a bottle or two of vodka to get everyone in the spirit of things which certainly helped to break the ice and make discussions the next day livelier.

This was my first experience of a Frontiers of Science meeting and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found it really interesting. I have never known so many people from different disciplines being so actively involved in discussions about research in completely different fields. I found the sessions to be interesting; I even understood quantum communications thanks to some fantastic speakers who were able to communicate a complex topic in an engaging and understandable way.

Pictures from the Symposium can be found on the Frontiers of Science website, kindly put together by the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tartarstan.