Honorary Doctorate of Kyoto University

About the Honorary Doctorate of Kyoto University

Until 1 April 2003, the Honorary Degree of Doctor from Kyoto University was awarded only to those who had made outstanding contributions to academic research at the University itself. Since then, however, the scope of the award has been widened to include those who have made outstanding contributions not only in research, but also in education and academic culture. Additionally, the title of the award, which had previously included the field of specialization, has been modified to the more general "Honorary Degree of Doctor ".

6th

Name Aung San Suu Kyi
Nationality Myanmarese
Age at the time of the award 71
Date of conferring 3 November 2016
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award

State Counsellor, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of the President's Office, Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Citation

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi resisted military rule and fought for a free and democratic Myanmar through nonviolent means, and following a shift to semi-civilian rule, contributed enormously to the nation's political and economic development and to a peaceful transfer of power.

 

These achievements have become a symbol of nonviolent struggle for freedom and democracy not only in Myanmar but throughout the world, and her commitment to these universally held values -- which constitute the foundation of academia -- resonates deeply with Kyoto University's guiding principles of freedom and harmony.

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5th

Name Isamu Akasaki
Nationality Japanese
Age at the time of the award 86
Date of conferring 15 May 2015
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award

Professor (tenured), Meijo University

Distinguished Professor and Professor Emeritus, Nagoya University
Citation

Working with gallium nitride (GaN), a substance with physical properties that had long been considered difficult to control, Dr Akasaki succeeded in growing high-quality epitaxial GaN films and controlling the conductivity of p- and n-type GaN, leading to the development of the world's first GaN p-n junction blue/ultra-violet light-emitting diode (LED).

 

He also contributed to the training of researchers in related fields, including compound semiconductor crystal growth, fundamental properties, and development of photoelectronic devices.

 

Dr Akasaki's work enabled the production of blue light, which, together with red and green, forms the basis of full-color display technology. Furthermore, the blue LED can be coated with a phosphor material to make a white LED, a much acclaimed eco-friendly light source.

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4th

Name Alan Kay
Nationality American
Age at the time of the award 68
Date of conferring 20 January 2009
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award President, Viewpoints Research Institute, Inc
Citation Dr Kay pioneered the concepts of personal computers and operating systems, and demonstrated their functionality and viability through experimentation. He also advanced the idea of object orientation in the context of not only programming languages but also database design and information systems design and analysis, which led to a paradigm shift in computer science. His ideas have had a significant influence on the development of the programming languages widely in use today. The concepts of personal computing and object-oriented programming as put forward by Dr Kay can be counted among the most important achievements of the 20th-century computer science.

3rd

Name Jane Goodall
Nationality British
Age at the time of the award 73
Date of conferring 12 November 2007
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award Director, Jane Goodall Institute
Citation

A pioneer and leader in the study of wild chimpanzees, Dr Goodall is best recognized for discovering the following about primates: 1) toolmaking and tool use -- she found that chimpanzees were capable of fashioning and using tools, which had long been considered exclusive to humans, contributing to major advances in chimpanzee research and a deeper understanding of the evolutionary basis of the human species; 2) flesh-eating, hunting, infanticide, and potentially lethal intergroup aggression -- she was the first researcher to document these behaviors among wild chimpanzees; and 3) family and intergenerational relationships -- she noted that chimpanzees, who lived up to 50 years, passed their knowledge, skills, and values on to their offspring, and that there were regional differences in what were inherited by the next generation, giving rise to distinct cultural traditions within the species.

2nd

Name Susumu Tonegawa
Nationality Japanese
Age at the time of the award 64
Date of conferring 12 April 2004
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America
Citation Utilizing cutting-edge genetic engineering techniques, Dr Tonegawa analyzed the genetic structure of the immunoglobulin (antibody), which is synthesized and released by B cells, and uncovered the mechanism by which genes in higher organisms are rearranged during the process of cell development and division. His discovery, which revealed that functional genes are formed at the level of somatic cells via the gene-rearrangement mechanism, represented a turning point in the history of biology, and is regarded as one of the greatest scientific achievements of the 20th century.

1st

Name Lionel W McKenzie
Nationality American
Age at the time of the award 85
Date of conferring 3 February 2004
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award Professor Emeritus, University of Rochester, United States of America
Citation
  • Achievements in mathematical economics, most notably in the fields of general equilibrium theory and theoretical analyses of international trade and economic growth models
  • Contributions to the training of mathematical economists both within and outside his home country
  • Book donation to the Kyoto Institute of Economic Research (KIER), Kyoto University, which helped provide long-term guidance for the University's faculty and students

8th (Doctor of Agriculture)

Name Puthen-Krish Ramachandran Nair
Nationality American
Age at the time of the award 59
Date of conferring 5 February 2002
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award

Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India

Professor, University of Florida, United States of America
Citation Achievements in linking basic and applied research on agroforestry, a system for sustainable land-use that combines forestry with agriculture, dairy farming, and fishery to enhance soil productivity

7th (Doctor of Engineering)

Name Robert Byron Bird
Nationality American
Age at the time of the award 71
Date of conferring 12 December 1995
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award

Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, United States of America

Vilas Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States of America
Citation Achievements in the study of transfer phenomena, most notably those related to the molecular theory of gas and liquid transport coefficients, phenomenology of mass transport phenomena, and molecular theory of transport phenomena involving polymeric fluids

6th (Honorary Doctor of Medicine)

Name Christian Streffer
Nationality German
Age at the time of the award 60
Date of conferring 6 December 1994
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award Professor, University of Essen, Federal Republic of Germany
Citation Achievements in research on protection against radiation damage, most notably those related to cancer therapy by hyperthermia, radiosensitization, and neutron capture therapy

5th (Honorary Doctor of Agriculture)

Name Tage Rickard Eriksson
Nationality Swedish
Age at the time of the award 66
Date of conferring 24 November 1992
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award

Professor Emeritus, Uppsala University, Kingdom of Sweden

Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Citation Achievements in the field of plant tissue culture, most notably those related to cell fusion methods

4th (Honorary Doctor of Engineering)

Name Rudolf Emil Kalman
Nationality American
Age at the time of the award 60
Date of conferring 10 July 1990
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award

Professor, University of Florida, United States of America

Professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
Citation Achievements in the field of automatic control theory, most notably those related to the systems theory

3rd (Honorary Doctor of Medicine)

Name Hans Neurath
Nationality American
Age at the time of the award 80
Date of conferring 23 January 1990
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, United States of America
Citation Achievements in the field of biophysical chemistry, most notably those related to the structure and function of proteins

2nd (Honorary Doctor of Engineering)

Name George Garfield Hall
Nationality British
Age at the time of the award 64
Date of conferring 18 April 1989
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award Fellow of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science
Citation Achievements in the field of theoretical chemistry, most notably those related to electron theory, chemical reaction theory, and mathematics education theory

1st (Honorary Doctor of Science)

Name Izrail Moiseevich Gelfand
Nationality Russian
Age at the time of the award 76
Date of conferring 2 February 1989
Title/Affiliation at the time of the award

Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Professor, MV Lomonosov Moscow State University, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Citation Achievements in mathematics, most notably in the field of functional analysis