10th Kyoto University-Inamori Foundation Joint Kyoto Prize Symposium

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The 10th Kyoto University-Inamori Foundation Joint Kyoto Prize Symposium (KUIP) took place 3 February at the JP TOWER Hall & Conference with 232 attendees, including high school students, researchers, and members of the general public.

This latest installment of the symposia series, which was inaugurated in 2014, explored the "Future World Shaped by Materials Science" with three researchers from Kyoto University: Professors Tsunenobu Kimoto from the Graduate School of Engineering, Teruo Ono from the Institute for Chemical Research (ICR), and Hiroyuki Yano from the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere (RISH).

The presentations introduced the latest materials science research from the perspectives of engineering, chemistry, and agriculture, covering topics such as the usefulness and value of energy-saving semiconductors, the historical evolution of memory media and the advent of spintronics devices, and automobiles made from plant-derived materials.

The speakers also participated in a panel discussion, facilitated by science writer Mayumi Yoshinari. The session commenced with the fundamental question "What is materials science?", followed by an overview of the discipline’s key milestones throughout history. The conversation then shifted to the researchers' original motivations for studying materials and the field's anticipated contributions to "shaping the future". The discussion often highlighted the panelists' sense of humor, frequently eliciting laughter from the audience and potentially helping many feel closer to the researchers and their work.

Audience feedback included the following: "I listened to the lectures with great interest. It was a deeply memorable event that, among other things, got me thinking about serendipity as a possible outcome of passionate, determined research," and "Having spent my student years in an era when the science of materials was largely limited to metals, I found today's theme very refreshing and intriguing. It was something I can relate to in my everyday life."

Professor Kimoto
Professor Ono


Professor Yano
Ms Yoshinari
Panel discussion
Presenters and other symposium participants