SciDiplomatiX’23: Fostering Science Diplomacy and Leadership Among Sri Lankan Youth

SciDiplomatiX’23, Sri Lanka’s first all-island science diplomacy competition for school students and undergraduates was successfully concluded on the 03rd of February 2024.

It was organized by the Genetics and Molecular Biology Society (GeMSoc), a student society of the Genetics and Molecular Biology UniGenetics and Molecular Biology Unit, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

The main objective of organizing this free competition for students of Sri Lanka was to encourage the next generation of leaders to consider science diplomacy as a potent tool for addressing contemporary global crises while fostering national unity and promoting innovative solutions.

The competition consisted of two rounds where the first round was a poster competition, and the second round was a diplomacy competition that resembled a Model United Nations.

During December 2023 and January 2024, three online workshops and a quiz were held in association with the SciDiplomatiX’23. These online workshops were on Public Speaking, Diplomacy and Sustainable Development Goals. The second round, held on the 03rd of February was the diplomacy competition.

Performances were evaluated under three categories: grade 8-11, Advanced level, and university students. The best posters from the three age categories were won by, Holy Family Covent-Kotahena, Ananda College-Colombo, and Eastern University, respectively.

For the second round, the best delegate titles for the three age categories were won by Dharmaraja College-Kandy, Ananda College-Colombo, and the University of Colombo, respectively.

The titles of best opposition and opposition were won by Dharmaraja College-Kandy and Ananda College-Colombo. The closing ceremony was graced by the insightful speeches of Dr. Darshana Ashoka Kumara, a senior academic for scientific communication at Sir John Kotalawala Defence University, Sri Lanka, The chief guest, Dr. Jayantha Waththewidanage a renowned Scientist in Sri Lanka, currently serving as the Deputy Director General of the UNESCO South Asian Center for Teacher Development, Sri Lanka and the guest of Honour, former Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath.

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