NewsPublished 26 September 2019
Lufi Lene reflects on attending the Asian Science Camp
Lufilufi Afaese Amosa Lene-Isara (Lufi Lene) was selected by Royal Society Te Apārangi to attend the annual Asian Science Camp. He reflects on his experience.
"Viia le Atua mo lona alofa ma lona agalelei ua mafai ai ona ou maua lenei avanoa fa'aauro. My name is Lufilufi Afaese Amosa Lene-Isara, I am 18 years old and I am the head prefect at Rongotai College. I was born in Samoa, in a small village called Lufilufi. At the age of 2, I moved here to New Zealand with my grandparents, shortly followed by my parents. They have instilled in me the Samoan Christian values: Worship the lord, Respect those around you and serve your family with humbleness. Besides from my parents and my two little sisters, I also live with ten other members of my extended family. This has kept my household busy at all times; it is always fun but can be overwhelming too! My brother is studying towards his Bachelor of Optometry, for which he is in his fifth and final year at the University of Auckland. I also hope to attend university and study engineering or perhaps medicine.
I was fortunate enough to be selected by Royal Society Te Apārangi to attend the annual Asian Science Camp. This year the camp was held in Shantou, China and was an amazing experience. My brother was also selected for this camp back when he was year 13 at Rongotai College, acting as Arts Prefect; this makes this trip even more special for me. I was able to attend lectures and converse with Nobel laureates and other winners of prestigious science and mathematics awards. I really enjoyed listening to Professor Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, as he discussed the implications of base sequencing. In particular, I found it interesting how he talked about possibly having to provide a transcript of your DNA to your insurance company or your employer. If your DNA said you wouldn’t make it past 40 years old, would you want anyone to know? Or perhaps, more importantly, would you want to know yourself?
Science is broad and it is growing exponentially, hence why it is so exciting. This experience has been particularly important to me as it has sparked my interest in pursuing science research—though I am still considering the fields of engineering and medicine. Perhaps, I would be able to pursue both! It is interesting to think that we do not know what the future holds for science, but there is still a lot to discover.
I have made it my commitment to help Pacific students all over the globe understand that science is a pathway for us. By pursuing science, I hope to become an advocate for scientific research in the Pasifika community and increase our numbers in STEM fields. I know all Islanders are capable of achieving greatness.
I would like to thank Royal Society Te Apārangi for blessing me with this opportunity to put Pasifika people on the map. As the only attendee of Pacific island descent, I was beyond proud to represent not just Samoans, but all Polynesians.
Viia Le Atua,