On 16 February, the seventh Kyoto University–Inamori Foundation Joint Kyoto Prize Symposium (KUIP) took place online with around 2,200 attendees, including high school students, researchers, and members of the general public. The conference was inaugurated in 2014, and was annually held at KyotoU until 2017, after which the venue was moved to Tokyo.
The 2021 KUIP, the first to be held online, was titled "Technological Milestones that Changed the World: Innovation and Bioethics" with four featured speakers: Dr Shinya Yamanaka, director of KyotoU's iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), and recipient of the 2010 Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology; Dr Takashi Yamamoto, director of the Hiroshima University Genome Editing Innovation Center; Dr Keiko Nakamura, director-general emeritus of JT Biohistory Research Hall (JT BRH); and Dr Mitinori Saitou, professor at the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study (KUIAS) and director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology (ASHBi), a part of KUIAS.
The speakers presented on cutting-edge topics in their respective fields of inquiry, and then took part in a panel discussion, moderated by Dr Nakamura. The panelists discussed the future of their research areas, and responding to audience questions, addressed topics such as the qualities required of researchers, and their reasons for choosing a career in research. With a large number of high school students attending, the session included numerous messages of advice and encouragement for young people.
Audience feedback included: "I am glad to have finally been able to attend KUIP, thanks to it being held online this time," "The presentations helped me understand how genome editing works, and appreciate its broad utility, including how it is used to induce the differentiation of iPS cells," and "I have learned a great deal about cutting-edge technologies, including their applications in life science research and advanced medicine, as well as associated ethical issues."