The first Frontiers symposium took place at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, California in 1989 and established a model for future symposia. Over the course of a two-and-a-half day symposium, young scientists – drawn from among recipients of prestigious fellowships, awards, and other forms of recognition – attend eight two-hour sessions focusing on topics at the frontiers of disciplines ranging from molecular biology to computer science to astrophysics to chemistry. Each session includes seventy-five minutes of formal presentations targeted to an educated but not specialized audience, and forty-five minutes of questions and discussion. The symposium also includes ample free time for informal discussions, including poster sessions, and meals at which seating is assigned to ensure a diverse group of attendees at each table. These future leaders of U.S. and international science not only discuss ground-breaking advances in the formal sessions, but also take advantage of unstructured time to compare career trajectories, develop contacts within and outside their fields, and develop a broad perspective on cutting-edge research across a variety of fields, and within different countries.