NAIST held the "Top Runners～Women's Life in Science" symposium and workshop on January 18th and 19th, 2012.
The event was held as part of the school's 20th anniversary activities and sponsored by the Funds for the Development of Human Resources in Science and Technology "Supporting Activities for Female Researchers" provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It was jointly organized by the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, the Gender Equality Promotion Office, and the global COE program "Global Program for Frontier Biological Sciences".
The international symposium was held on Jan. 18th at the Noh Theatre in the Nara Prefectural New Public Hall.
NAIST President Akira Isogai opened the symposium with a few remarks, followed by a greeting from Vice President Maki Kubo of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology who previously served as Director-General of the National Women's Education Center. After the opening, keynote addresses were delivered by Kyoto Award winner Professor Nicole M. LeDouarin (Honorary Perpetual Secretary, French Académie des sciences; Légiond'honneur recipient) and the world-renowned plant geneticist Professor Susan R. Wessler (Home Secretary, US National Academy of Sciences; Professor, University of California, Riverside). Lectures were also received from Dr. Beverly A. Purnell, the Senior Editor of the U.S.-based SCIENCE magazine, Dr. Hiroko K. Kitamoto of the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Japan, and NAIST's own Professor Yoshiko Takahashi of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences.
There were 247 attendees from academia and the general public, who listened with great interest to the talks by these internationally active female researchers. Topics ranged from research/family-life balance to career successes achieved through determination and strong intent.
The workshop was held on Jan. 19th at our Graduate School of Biological Sciences. It was focused on research, and in addition to the three speakers from abroad, NAIST's up-and-coming young researchers presented their latest findings. With our students at the center of the participants, there was active, enthusiastic discussion throughout the workshop, which concluded with strong and encouraging words from Professor Le Douarin.