Report on the 2003 JSPS Award for Eminent Scientists Project

Scientist in charge of the project
Affiliation/position: Professor at Kyushu University
Name: Seiji Shinkai
I hereby report the status of the project of inviting an eminent foreign scientist to Japan as follows:

  1. Invited Foreign Scientist
    Affiliation/position: Professor at ISIS, Louis Pasteur University (Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires, Université Louis Pasteur)
    Name: Jean-Marie Lehn
    Nationality: French

  2. Period
    October 16 to 21, 2003 (six days)

  3. Living and Working Environment
    Accommodation: Hotel Nikko Fukuoka
    Laboratory and other facilities: Lyceum Yuen Laboratory at Kyushu University
    Status at the receiving institution: Professor invited as a JSPS eminent foreign scientist

  4. Itinerary during Stay in Japan
    Places visited and descriptions of visits (including research and discussions, lectures and inspections)
    October 16, 2003 Arrived in Japan
    October 16-18 Worked at Kyushu University
    Gave a lecture at an international symposium sponsored by the 21st Century COE Project:
    Fundamental Innovation of Molecular Informatics headed by Professor Seiji Shinkai
    Visited the 21st Century COE Project at the Applied Chemistry Department of Kyushu University Faculty of Engineering and held discussions with individual scientists
    October 18-20    Invited to give a lecture at Ritsumeikan University
    October 20-21    Invited to give a lecture at the International Conference on Chirality held in Shizuoka
    October 21         Departed from Japan

  5. Implementation of the Project and Results

    In conjunction with the project in which Professor Jean-Marie Lehn was invited to Japan, the promoters of the 21st Century COE Project: Functional Innovation of Molecular Informatics, headed by Professor Seiji Shinkai, held an international symposium on October 16 and 17, 2003 for the purpose of providing scientists in and outside Kyushu University an opportunity to share the accomplishments of Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, the pioneer of supramolecular chemistry, as well as his ideas and outlook for that particular field of chemistry. The promoters requested Professor Lehn to give a special lecture at the symposium. In addition, outstanding Japanese scientists were invited to deliver lectures as well, including Toyoki Kunitake, professor and vice president, University of Kitakyushu; Yoshihito Osada, professor and vice president, Hokkaido University, as well as the leader of the 21st Century COE Project at the university; Akira Harada, professor at Osaka University and the leader of the 21st Century COE Project at the university; and Masahiro Irie, the assistant leader of the 21st Century COE Project at Kyushu University. Six members of Kyushu University's 21st Century COE Project, namely, Professors Atsushi Takahara, Hiroyuki Furuta, Nobuo Kimizuka and Itaru Hamachi, and Associate Professors Masahiro Kishida and Kenji Kaneko also gave lectures.

    Meanwhile, close exchanges of academic information were made between Professor Lehn and leading members of the 21st Century COE Project, including Professors Furuta, Kimizuka, Hamachi, Takahara, Shinkai and Irie, through separate discussions. During the discussions, Professor Lehn made precise evaluations of and proposals for research in supramolecular chemistry as well as in nanotechnology and nanochemistry at Kyushu University.

    Professor Lehn who delivers a lecture at the symposium
    A scene at the heavily crowded symposium site

  6. Contribution by the Invited Scientist to the Receiving Institution
    (inspiration to young scientists, internationalization of the overall receiving institution, etc.)

    Professor Jean-Marie Lehn delivered a special lecture at the international symposium held by the promoters of Kyushu University's 21st Century COE Project: Functional Innovation of Molecular Informatics, led by Professor Seiji Shinkai, at the university's International Hall on October 16 and 17, 2003. Over 200 scientists in and outside the university participated, making the hall crowded beyond capacity. Professor Lehn spoke about chemistry taking on the challenge of elucidating complicated compounds and events. He also elaborated on the fact that each and every molecule has the ability to carry information and that scientists can extract the information and use it to build complex structures and functions, as well as on a future vision of chemistry that will develop as these attempts continue. His lecture strongly impressed many of the young scientists present at the event.

    During the discussions held with each of the six leading members of Kyushu University's 21st Century COE Project, Professor Lehn made precise proposals for research currently being conducted by the project members. He also highly evaluated the university's active world-class research in chemistry and materials, including supramolecular chemistry.