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Daegu wins bid to host international neuroscience conference


World-renowned life sciences scholars will flock to Daegu in 2012 thanks to Korea’s successful bid to host the Human Frontier Science Program’s next international neuroscience symposium.

The “International Neuroscience Conference” is an annual convention that gathers prominent scientists from all over the world and who have been recipients of the Human Frontier Science Program’s grants or fellowships. The annual event will bring together about 300 world-renowned scientists from across the world, and about 30 young Korean scientists, on average, will also attend. With Korea’s successful bid, Daegu will be hosting the conference from July 2 to 5, 2012, at the Exhibition and Convention Center. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology will be sponsoring the conference.

The symposium will feature research presentations delivered by the participating scholars, and these participants will have the opportunity to visit Daegu’s landmark cultural sites. Attendees will also have the chance to share information about each other’s countries and expand their global network of scientists.

Daegu’s right to host the international conference was officially decided in March during the 43rd HFSP’s board of directors’ meeting held at the international body’s headquarters in Strasbourg, France. Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology had submitted a recommendation for Daegu as a candidate to the HFSP after conducting a self-assessment.

The HFSP’s director of Scientific Affairs and Communication, Martin Reddington, visited Daegu on Nov. 10 to examine the conditions of the Exhibition and Convention Center, the accommodation facilities, and other facilities important to hosting an international event. According to Daegu City, Reddington expressed satisfaction with the conditions, paving the way for Daegu to win its bid.

The HFSP was proposed at the 1987 G-7 Summit, and basic support for research in life sciences and information-sharing began in 1989. The HFSP, an intergovernmental funding program established to nurture professionals, is currently comprised of 14 member-economies. These include the G7 countries, the European Union, and Korea.

Since its establishment, the HFSP has supported an estimated 5,500 scientists from 60 countries. It has generated 18 Nobel Prize winners, prompting the organization to be nicknamed the “Nobel Fund.” In 2009 alone, three of the six Nobel Prize winners in the fields of medicine and chemistry were recipients of HFSP grants and fellowships.