HOPE Meetings

7th HOPE Meeting Overview

Date: Sunday 1- Thursday 5, March 2015
Main Venue: The Prince Park Tower Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)
Subject Fields: Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine and Related Fields
Organizer: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

Lecturers and Participants

The 7th HOPE Meeting, chaired by Prof. Makoto Kobayashi, was held in Tokyo, with a focus on physics, chemistry, physiology/medicine. It was attended by 97 doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers from 17 Asia-Pacific and African countries and regions.

Seven distinguished researchers, including five Nobel laureates (among them were Profs. Ei-ichi Negishi and Douglas Dean Osheroff), and Albert Lasker Awardee for Basic Medical Research 2014, Prof. Kazutoshi Mori, were invited to serve as lecturers. Some of the lectures were broadcasted live over Ustream.

The 7th HOPE Meeting Ustream :http://www.ustream.tv/channel/7th-hope-meeting

Group Discussions and Poster Presentations

In group discussions, each participant attended a small discussion group of about 20 and conversed with the eminent lecturers about their research activities, future career paths and other topics of interest to them. The groups were organized based on the preferred choice described in advance by each participant.

Additionally, the participants were provided opportunities to give a talk about their own research at a one-minute “flash talk” and a poster presentation so that they could share their current research with others. Notably, many of them managed to create ingenious ways to make their talks easy to understand for peers in other fields. More than that, for the first time in the HOPE Meeting, the members to the organizing committee and moderators gave short talks about their research. This spawned spirited discussions between them and participants that often overflowed into the coffee breaks and meal times.

Activities of the Participants

On the last day of the meeting, groups comprising multinational members delivered presentations in many interesting shapes and forms on themes such as: ‘Woman in Science’, ‘Where Should the Money Go? --Basic Research or Applied Research?’ and ‘Scientific Social Media for Promotion of Communication and Collaboration in Research’. At the closing ceremony, two teams were given the “Best Team Presentation Award” and “Unique Presentation Award” each. Furthermore, five participants were given the “Best Poster Award”. Among them, Dr. Bianca C. Bernardo from Australia was given the highest “HOPE Award” for her poster presentation.

Following the closing ceremony, the participants took trip to the Kamakura and Yokosuka area to visit research facility and cultural sites. When they arrived at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology(JAMSTEC)with Dr. Johannes Georg Bednorz, they watched the exhibition of the maintenance work for Shinkai 6500 and deep sea creatures’ mounted specimens, and enjoyed listening to short lectures.

Then, by contrast with the science facility visit, they toured the old capital of Kamakura to see the Japanese historical architectures of Kotokuin Temple and the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

They had farewell party in the evening at the Yokohama Marine Tower to mark the last evening of their staying together.

Over this entire 5-day event, the participants hailing from different countries and regions ate and lodged together. While forming ties as friends and colleagues of the same generation, they gained knowledge and inspiration from the lectures by and discussions with their top world-class seniors. In addition, they refined their perspectives of culture by enjoying the Japanese traditional musical performance, trying their hand at shodo calligraphy and attending sado tea ceremony etc.

Nobel Prize Dialogue Tokyo 2015

All participants of the HOPE Meeting attended the Nobel Prize Dialogue Tokyo 2015 on the first day of the program. They actively joined the event by asking questions at the Q&A sessions after the lectures and a panel discussion on “The Genetic Revolution and Its Future Impact”, and thus contributed to the dialogue between the Nobel laureates and citizens. The formal reception of Nobel Prize Dialogue Tokyo 2015 and the 7th HOPE Meeting was jointly held in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress in the evening.

HOPE Meeting Jr.

The HOPE Meeting Jr. was held with the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) on Saturday 7 March as a side event of the HOPE Meeting. 22 elementary and junior-high students recruited from the public attended the experiment class led by Profs. Hideki Shirakawa and Makoto Kobayashi.

The students conducted a chemistry experiment by making secondary batteries from conductive plastic film and a simple physics experiment and examination at a science study room offered by the Nishogakusha High-School.

They also enjoyed a relaxing moment during a tea break with the two professors asking questions and listening to their talks on the Nobel Prize Award ceremony.
A postdoc HOPE Meeting participant and some Nishogakusha High-School students joined the event to assist the young students in conducting the experiments. After the event, the participant students commented: “It was very interesting to conduct the experiment by myself”; “It was invaluable experience that I gained the knowledge and conducted the experiments that would be only possible in such event. ”