The International Conference for the Integration of Science, Technology, and Society at KAIST (ICISTS-KAIST) is a global forum organized by KAIST undergraduate students to promote the exchange of ideas and facilitate the discussion of issues that are important to science, technology, society, and higher education.
The ICISTS-KAIST conference has been held annually every summer since 2005, inviting distinguished speakers and guests from all around the world to share their insights and expertise with students gathered from Korea and abroad. Last year alone, more than 300 students from 22 nations and 40 speakers participated in the event.
Originally, the ICISTS-KAIST was established by KAIST students who were inspired by the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR), which is one of the Harvard’s largest annual student conferences in Asia.
This year, 335 students from 103 universities in 22 countries joined the conference that was held on August 5th-9th in Daejeon, making the 2013 ICISTS-KAIST the biggest science and engineering gathering hosted by university students in Asia. About 36% of the participants were international students.
The theme of the conference was “Perfect Alliance: Coexistence for Human Society,” in which students and speakers addressed issues on how to harmonize the speed of scientific progress with the development of important values in society, as well as to explore solutions to overcome the chasm, if any, between the boundaries of science and society.
In his opening remarks, President Steve Kang said, “Creativity and innovation are born out of openness. Therefore, it is essential for young scientists and engineers to communicate with people from different cultural and political backgrounds. Through this kind of global interaction and exchange of ideas and views, students will have an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the world and to better examine the purpose of their intellectual exploration in science and technology.”
At the 2013 ICISTS-KAIST, 25 distinguished speakers participated including Walter Bender, a former director of the Media Lab at MIT and David Christian, a professor of Macquarie University in Australia.