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Marvadeen Singh-Wilmot is a young scientist with a mission. During the week, she works as a chemistry lecturer at the University of the West Indies, but at weekends finds time to inspire local four- to twelve-year-olds with projects that demonstrate how science can shape their lives. It’s in this role that she sees herself as an ambassador for science for small island states such as her island home of Jamaica.

“What’s missing in the Caribbean is a culture of science,” she says. Another thing that is missing is a properly funded research infrastructure, which results in many young scientists failing to return home after completing their PhDs in well-resourced laboratories abroad. Singh-Wilmot believes that TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries) might play a role in reversing this situation. She is a TWAS young affiliate, chosen by the organisation because she is a scientist under the age of 40 with the potential for a high-impact career.