Press release

Celebrating Nature’s 150th Anniversary at the University of Tokyo

28 March 2019


From basic research to serving civil society: visions on the future of Japanese science

Tokyo  March 28, 2019

Nature 150

The first issue of Nature was published on November 4, 1869, making this year, 2019, the 150th anniversary. To celebrate this anniversary, Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief of Nature will be appearing at a symposium in Japan, together with the nation’s renowned scientists. This anniversary symposium titled “The Future of Japanese Science - Visions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” will take place on April 4, 2019, at the Yasuda Auditorium of the University of Tokyo. Nature Research and the University of Tokyo are jointly organizing this symposium.

The symposium will consist of two parts: keynote lectures and a panel discussion. The three keynote speakers will be Yoshinori Ohsumi, specially-appointed Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (2016 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine), Masashi Yanagisawa, Director/Professor of the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine (WPI-IIIS) at the University of Tsukuba and Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief of Nature. The panel discussion titled “Searching for the future of Japanese science” will be moderated by Sawako Shirahase, Professor at the University of Tokyo. Panelists will be Masashi Yanagisawa and Magdalena Skipper, along with Takuzo Aida and Taikan Oki, who are both professors at the University of Tokyo.

As part of the event, a poster session, with the title “Your vision: Foreseeing the impact of your research on society” will feature the fresh ideas of early career researchers. We have invited early career researchers to present hypotheses on how their current work might contribute to a better and sustainable future for humanity and the world. Outstanding posters will be recognized by a Nature Award selected by the Nature editorial team, and an SDGs* Award selected by faculty of the University of Tokyo. The selection and award ceremony will take place on the day of the event.

This symposium is organized by Nature Research and co-organized by the UTokyo Future Society Initiative led by President Makoto Gonokami of the University of Tokyo. By addressing the application of basic research towards achieving the SDGs and mentorship towards early career researchers, we hope that this event will provide an opportunity to actively discuss the challenges and visions in promoting science in Japan.

*SDGs: Sustainable Development Goals: these are the 17 Goals  for sustainable development, ratified by the 193 member states of the United Nations in 2015, for delivery by 2030

Message from Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief of Nature
“Japan is a nation with a long tradition of scientific discovery. Building on this tradition, Japan has the opportunity to reinvigorate its basic research and tap into the true potential of its early career researchers. Now is time for Japanese science and technology to look into the future and focus on building a sustainable and equitable society. By prioritizing the future of humanity and the planet, Japan has the opportunity to become a leading model in the global community and play a key part in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ultimately, delivering SDGs will require academia, business, policymakers and civil society to work together to address the world’s most pressing problems. Nature and its publisher, Springer Nature, play an important role in advancing discovery and the dissemination of evidence-based sustainability research. We wish to take Nature’s 150th anniversary as an opportunity to invite the nation’s renowned researchers to look into science in Japan and discuss how it can best serve society. We look forward to your participation in this event.”

<Event summary>

Event name: The Future of Japanese Science - Visions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals -
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2019, 13:00 – 18:00
Place: Yasuda Auditorium, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Organizer: Nature Research
Co-organizer: The University of Tokyo
Language: English (no simultaneous interpretation in Japanese)
Audience: Researchers, policy makers, students, anyone interested in science
Capacity: Approximately 700 people
Registration fee: Free
Keywords: Japanese science, mentorship, SDGs, interdisciplinary research, application of basic research
Flyer URL:


Nature Research

Nature Research is a portfolio of high-quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences – including journals, databases and researcher services – dedicated to serving the scientific community. Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading, international weekly journal of science. Nature Research also publishes a range of Nature-branded subscription journals, the leading open access multidisciplinary journal Nature Communications, other open access journals including Scientific Reports, and a range of Nature Partner Journals published in partnership with institutions and societies. Nature Research is part of Springer Nature.


Springer Nature

Springer Nature is a leading research, educational and professional publisher, providing quality content to our communities through a range of innovative platforms, products and services. Every day, around the globe, our imprints, books, journals and resources reach millions of people – helping researchers, students, teachers and professionals to discover, learn and achieve more. Through our family of brands, we aim to serve and support the research, education and professional communities by putting them at the heart of all we do, delivering the highest possible standards in content and technology, and helping shape the future of publishing for their benefit and for society overall.


FSI:Future Society Initiative

The University of Tokyo established the UTokyo FSI in July 2017, under the direct leadership of the university president. The aim of the Initiative is to promote effective collaboration and to contribute to the future of humanity and the planet, based on the University’s mission of serving the global public as outlined in the University of Tokyo Charter.


Springer Nature
Ayako Miyazaki
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