2. For Visitors
  3. NU Research
  4. Features
  5. Noyori Academy Salon: Science is Unshakable


Noyori Academy Salon: Science is Unshakable

  • 2014/05/15

University Professor Ryoji Noyori, President of RIKEN and a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2001), has contributed articles to "Kamitsubute" in Chunichi Shimbun since January 2013. Based on the articles, he holds regular academic talks with students at Nagoya University. The fifth Noyori Academy Salon was held on April 30, 2014. Prof. Noyori and four students from different backgrounds frankly discussed the topic "Science is unshakable". He disagreed with the myth that public confidence in science has been lost since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and claimed that the disaster was triggered by unscientific overconfidence. Students also asked about stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells, as Prof. Noyori is the president of RIKEN.

World-wide Morality Lapses

Atsushi Ichikawa, first-year PhD student at the Graduate School of Information Science

"What do you think is important for researchers to focus on, and what attitude should they have toward research? In addition, to what extent do you think researchers should expand their research?"

Prof. Noyori

"I hope they imagine the world our grandchildren live in and think carefully about what they can contribute to the world. I believe that research equals problems and solutions. Everyone mainly focuses on solving the problems, but I believe that it is equally important to raise problems."

Kazushi Maruyama, first-year PhD student at the Graduate School of Agriculture

"I would like to conduct research at an industrial firm and am now interested in collaborations between industries and universities."

Prof. Noyori

"First, you need to think about what can change the world. Companies seek profits, but I wish they could produce new social values as well. To do so would not require large projects like building airplanes. I believe that we should produce what our society wants."

Shunsuke Munemiya, freshman at the School of Economics

"With hindsight some people claim that nuclear power plants present significant risks. I have a vague idea that if there had been a more concerted effort to stop these plants, the disaster could have been prevented."

Prof. Noyori

"There is no technology without risk. We should do our best to minimize the risk. The safety dogma of nuclear power plants is utterly wrong. I am certain that the safety of the plants could have been improved."

Masahiro Yoshikawa, freshman at the School of Engineering

"I would like to study regenerative medicine, but I am sure I will face many challenges. How do you manage the current problems surrounding STAP cells?"

Prof. Noyori

"Life does not always turn out the way you plan, but difficult experiences can provide new challenges. Current issues do not really discourage me. I believe that morality in science is deteriorating not only in Japan, but also across the globe. I hope that this problem provides an opportunity to improve the morality of scientists around the world. If that can be achieved, it will lead to the further development of science and technology."

Ryosuke Takise, second-year PhD student at the Graduate School of Science

"I believe that many of the concerns about STAP cells have partly been generated by the media. Do you believe that the media has enough influence to shake the scientific community?"

Prof. Noyori

"Science itself has not been shaken, but the public trust in scientists has been reduced since the 2011 T?hoku earthquake."

The original article was published in Chunichi Shimbun on May 1, 2014.


To the Top of This Page