On October 4th to 6th, I attended the STS Forum (Science and Technology in Society Forum) in Kyoto, an annual conference of people involved in science and technology related policy-making.
On the evening of October 2nd, it was announced that Dr. Omura was selected for the Nobel Prize.
On the second day, I sat on the panel on education and capacity building in developing countries. The moderator was an old friend, Dr. Zakri (1) the Science Adviser of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. As always, I spoke about the importance of interaction between young people across national borders. There was widespread agreement on this issue and many of the speakers referred to my points. My paper calling for multi-layered international exchanges, “Multilayered Brain Circulation” was also distributed.
On the 6th, I traveled from Kyoto to Kobe to take part in the “Global Forum: Innovation for Ageing Populations” held at the WHO Center located in Kobe. An article by the host, Alex Ross, was published in the Japan Times. I was the moderator of the “High-level Policymaker Panel” held on the second day. The panelists were from Japan, the U.S., Europe, China and American think tanks and they each briefly gave their views, followed by questions from the audience. It was difficult to keep to the time limit of 60 minutes but somehow I was able to facilitate the conversation.
The recent reports by the WHO, U.S., Europe and WEF were also distributed.
I was glad to see a speaker from IDEO, whose engagement seems to be a sign of the times. The panel where Gretchen Addi was a speaker was mostly a chat between panelists who met for the first time but I look forward to following “The Powerful Now”, as well as the “White House Conference on Aging”.
Two Japanese scientists have won the Nobel Prize again this year. It is very happy news.
I was very glad to hear that Dr. Omura won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, as I know him and his work very well. The selection of Dr. Campbell, with whom he won the prize, as well as a Chinese medical scientist who discovered a drug for malaria, was timely and appropriate. The awarding of the Nobel Prize to these three scientists shows they have made a major contribution to resolving the world’s problems.
On the evening of the announcement of the winners, I was in Kyoto but was interviewed over the telephone. One was with the Asahi Shimbun, who interviewed me along with Shinya Yamanaka and Shinichi Fukuoka (1).
Another was by Kyodo Press, which was featured in the Kyoto Shimbun, and I read both the articles in the morning papers the following day.
The night the announcement was made, I called Dr. Omura a few times to give him my congratulations but of course, his line was busy. The next day, I was able to reach him around noon and gave him my congratulations and we had a pleasant, quick chat.
Then, later that evening, it was announced that Dr. Kajita had won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his impressive research on the neutrino. As he stated, his research was conducted with his mentors, Dr. Koshiba and with Dr. Totsuka. — Dr Totsuka unfortunately passed away early. Dr. Totsuka was an incredible nice person and I had the opportunity to give a lecture with him in Washington D.C. some ten+ years ago.
It is wonderful that they won the Nobel Prize. Please take a moment to go through my comments on the Nobel Prize on this blog. Recently, I wrote about the Nobel Prize in the magazine, Oyou Buturi (Applied Physics), which can be read here (in Japanese). Some parts may sound impolite but please don’t take offence. I have written it to send my message to the youth.