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JSPS Quarterly No. 4, Spring 2003 (368 KB)

8th Japan-Germany Science Symposium Held in Würzburg

On 9-10 May, JSPS’s Bonn Liaison Office jointly sponsored with the JSPS German Fellows’ alumni association (Deutsche Gesellschaft der JSPS-Stipendiaten e.V.) the eighth in a series of Japan-Germany Science Symposia held from 1996 to promote new dimensions of scientific exchange between the two countries. This symposium, entitled “Science and Society,” was held at Tagungszentrum Festung Marienberg in Würzburg, Germany.

The symposium opened with words of greeting from Mr. Takeshi Yagi, minister, Japanese Embassy; Prof. Dr. Theodor Berchem, president, Würzburg University and president, DAAD; and Dr. Manfred Osten, secretary general, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, followed by welcoming remarks from Mr. Motoyuki Ono, director general, JSPS. Ensuing were two days of sessions featuring five Japanese and German lecturers, each a leader with abundant experience in his respective field, who delved into various facets of the theme.

On the first day, Mr. Teiichi Sato, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO, spoke on various issues and challenges related to fostering synergy between science and society, after which Mr. Hajime Sasaki, chairman of the board, NEC Corporation, gave an overview on the role of info-communication technology (ICT) in achieving sustainable society. Then, Dr. Anton Kraus, leader Portfolio Management Insecticides/New Molecules, Bayer CropScience, spoke on the topic “Perspectives of Crop Protection Chemistry for Sustainable Agriculture in Japan and Germany.”

The second day began with an introduction, jointly presented by Dr. Gernot Gad, DFG, and Mr. Sho Hagio, JSPS’s Bonn Liaison Office, on instruments for funding German-Japanese scientific exchange by the AvH Foundation, DAAD, DFG and JSPS. Following it was a presentation by Prof. Dr. Klaus Steigleder, University of Bochum, Institute for Philosophy, on the subject ”Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and the Moral Status of the Human Embryo.“ Next, Prof. Dr. Takeshi Sasaki, president, The University of Tokyo, spoke on the political implications of science and technology.

The symposium was attended by a record 300 people including former JSPS fellows and AvH Foundation researchers, who after each presentation engaged in animated Q&A discussions.

Held in tandem with the symposium was the Annual Assembly of Deutsche Gesellschaft der JSPS-Stipendiaten e.V., at which Prof. Dr. Uwe Czarnletzki stepped down from the chairmanship that he has held for the past eight years since the association was established. Prof. Dr. Heinrich Menkhaus from Marburg University succeeded to the chair, marking a new era in the association’s evolution.

After the Assembly, all the attendants participated in a tour of Würzburg, including the Siebold-Museum, and held a social gathering. These events offered a good opportunity for the Japanese and German colleagues to cultivate mutual ties and friendships.

This very successfully held symposium worked to deepen understanding of various issues related to ”science and society“ with a special focus on Japan and Germany. Concomitantly, it contributed significantly to the promotion of scientific exchange between the two countries.