The global spotlight was on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Tammy Ma when she took the stage at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions, recently held in Dalian, China.
The theme of this year’s meeting was “Achieving Inclusive Growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” and focused on collaboration in innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology to reach this goal. More than 2,000 people in business, government, media and academia, representing more than 90 countries, attend the summit each year.
Ma was one of 55 scientists from around the world that were invited to attend as part of the Young Scientists Class of 2017, honoring researchers under the age of 40 in recognition of their groundbreaking work in different scientific fields. According to the WEF, “these individuals have demonstrated their commitment to public service and actively play a transformational role in integrating scientific knowledge into society for the public good.” The 2017 class is made up of scientists from 18 countries and nearly 40 research and academic institutions. During the cohort’s two-year term, the WEF offers support through its academic and expert networks as well as engagement opportunities with its projects and initiatives.
“It was an enormous honor to be among so many international leaders and experts, and to get the chance to interact and learn from them,” Ma said. “I was inspired by all the great conversations -- not just among scientists, but with business leaders and politicians -- centered around emerging technologies, the benefits (and challenges) they bring and very timely topics like rebuilding trust in science.”
In addition, Ma participated in a panel discussion -- “Science With(out) Borders” -- which addressed how the global scientific community should collaborate in the wake of geopolitical tensions. Other members of the panel included Wilfred Madius Tangau, Malaysia’s minister of Science, Technology and Innovation; Nick Campbell, executive editor and executive vice-president, Global Institutional Partnerships, Nature; Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, president of the European Research Council; Hongbo Chen, vice dean of Tsinghua University’s Tuspark Research Institute for Innovation, and Andrei Fursenko, former minister of Education and Science for Russia and current aide to the president. Click here to view the panel discussion.
Ma is an experimental plasma physicist in inertial confinement fusion and high energy density physics. She earned her bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Caltech in 2005, and received her master's degree in 2008 and Ph.D. in 2010, both from the University of California, San Diego. Following graduate school, she completed a postdoc at LLNL before becoming a staff scientist in 2012.
Ma currently serves as the X-Ray Analysis Group lead for LLNL’s Inertial Confinement Fusion Program, and leads several fusion experimental campaigns fielded on the National Ignition Facility. Ma has authored or co-authored more than 130 peer-reviewed journal publications and has been recognized with the Stix Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Plasma Research by the American Physical Society and the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.