4th HOPE Meetings Overview
Date: March 7-11, 2012
Venue:Tsukuba International Congress Center (Tsukuba, Japan)
Theme: “Chemistry for Creating the Future”
Organizer: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Under the auspice of the Yomiuri Shimbun(newspaper)
The fourth HOPE Meeting was held on the theme “Chemistry for Creating the Future” in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. Its organization committee was chaired by Prof. Makoto Kobayashi, 2008 Nobel laureate in Physics and Director of the Research Center for Science Systems.
Nine distinguished lecturers, including seven Nobel laureates, and 100 graduate students from 17 countries/regions of the Asia-Pacific engaged the lecturers and each other in spirited discussions. Egyptian and Mongolian students attended the HOPE Meeting for the first time.
Some of the lectures were broadcast over the website Ustream.The lecturers also led group discussions with the young researchers, who split up into smaller units to discuss a variety of research topics as well as ways to build career paths, tapping into the lecturers’ wealth of wisdom and experience. In a poster session, the participants introduced their own research activities and engaged in lively exchanges of views. On the final day, the participants, dividing into 12 multinational and interdisciplinary teams, delivered team presentation which addressed an array of topics from future scientific issues to key points for creative research. These presentations, which took various forms including skits, were prepared and practiced by the teams during their rather thinly allotted free hours over the course of the meeting.
As another component of the program, the participants visited two research institutions―Eisai Co., Ltd. and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK).
The program also included a classical keyboard concert and Japanese cultural experiences, which helped to diversify the participants’ horizons. Over the event, the young researchers derived inspiration from their interactions with the lecturers while creating relationships of mutual exchange among peers from other countries within the region.
On 9 March, a “HOPE Dialogue” meeting was held. Organized in conjunction with JSPS’s Science Dialogue Program, this event worked to raise Japanese high school students’ interest in science by giving them an opportunity to interact with Nobel laureates. In the meeting’s group discussion session, the eminent panelists and students were divided into smaller groups to hold face-to-face discussions on various stimulating topics. The students appeared tense at the beginning of the session, but gradually loosened up to enjoy a spirited exchange with the panelists.
HOPE Meeting Jr.
On 11 March, a “HOPE Meeting Jr.” was held under the joint auspices of JSPS and the National Museum of Nature and Science. It gave Japanese elementary and junior-high school students an opportunity to listen to and talk with Nobel laureates.
The 23 attending students, who came from around Japan, gained a deeper understanding of science through the messages by the lectures and their exchanges with them.