From Washington-Part2: A new cooperation between scientists


I spent almost all three days in Washington inside the US National Academies.  I even asked some people to come see me here for meetings.

On January 8, I checked into my hotel room and first got some rest.  Then in the afternoon I attended a press briefing on a new report from the National Research Council.  Stanford University president John Hennessy and former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft (Ref.1 ) are co-chairs of the study committee that produced the report.  Besides them, three others also appeared before reporters.  All are impressive people.  Study committees include not only Academy members but also experts necessary to deliberate specific topics.

I knew that Dr. John Gage and Dr. Norman Neureiter were also at the press conference as committee members.  But since I slipped out in the middle I was unable to see them.  But I was able to meet with Dr. John Gage the following day.

I saw him in the morning at a public lecture by Harvard professor Calestous Juma at the NAS.

Dsc00458_2 Dsc00459_2 2_2

Photo1-3: Prof. Juma during lecture; a girl with laptop from Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child, Dr. John Gage, Prof. Juma and myself

For the first two days, I locked myself up in the National Academies and met many people one after another. 

I held meetings separately with the heads of the three organizations of the National Academies; Dr. Harvey Fineberg from the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Charles Vest from the National Academy of Engineering, and Dr. Ralph Cicerone from the Academy of Sciences.  We discussed plans for cooperation between scientists of Japan and the US under the new administration. Most of the time I went around with Dr. John Boright, executive director of international affairs.

I also held various discussions with major figures from the World Bank and the Atlantic Council of the United States including Mr. Fred Kempe.

Dsc00467 Photo4: With Dr. Vest

Dsc00469 Photo5: STS Forum conference, (from left) myself, Dr. Rita Colwell, Dr. Yuan Tseh Lee (Ref.1)

On January 10th, I spent the day in heated discussions at a committee for the STS Forum that will be organized by Koji Omi, a member of Japan’s parliament.  I look forward to seeing a lot of friends and acquaintances there too.

I think I had three very, very fruitful days to start the New Year.

A lot of the people that I mentioned in this column are those I have already introduced on this blog in the past.  Please try to search for the articles.