It is my distinct pleasure to welcome everyone to Tsukuba Global Science Week 2021. We are very happy to be able to once again bring everyone together for the eleventh time.
In 2019, we launched Tsukuba Conference, whose basic spirit is similar to that of TGSW. For instance, young scholars are showcased and highlighted in both. TGSW is a stage to discuss research and its contribution to society, while Tsukuba Conference, whose main theme is “Science and Society,” provides a platform to debate social needs and the research necessary to meet these needs. The 2nd Tsukuba Conference 2021 is being held in September of this year. TGSW will be a satellite event of this conference.
The history of the University of Tsukuba extends back almost 150 years with the Meiji government’s establishment of Japan’s first institution of higher education, a national teacher-training school. We were reborn as a comprehensive institution of higher education when we were relocated from Tokyo to Tsukuba City nearly five decades ago in October 1973.
Since its inception, the University of Tsukuba has aimed to be open to society and the world, and to pursue transdisciplinary education and research. In accordance with these principles, we are delighted to host TGSW which gathers together participants not only from a diverse range of academic fields but also from many different countries. Initially focusing on the medical sciences, TGSW has evolved to offer sessions in a wide variety of fields ranging from the natural sciences to the humanities with prominent researchers from more than 30 different countries.
TGSW is a platform to introduce world-class research conducted jointly by our faculty members with fellow scientists throughout the globe, including those in public and quasi-public institutions based in Tsukuba Science City and our international partners. But TGSW is more than that. The upheaval of globalization has brought a variety of global challenges, such as those related to public health, food scarcity, energy, environmental risks, never-ending wars and poverty. Solving these challenges requires trans-border collaboration for innovation so that the greater community of scientists, regardless of disciplines, citizenship, ethnicity, gender, faith, or world view can join forces to work closely together. TGSW can serve as an invaluable forum for exchanging views on how to address these challenges in a way that breaks down traditionally conceived barriers.
The scope of TGSW is indeed broad and far reaching. By bringing together internationally renowned researchers and young aspiring researchers and students throughout the world, it covers a wide range of topics and facilitates active exchanges across borders and disciplines. TGSW is also an ideal international networking opportunity for transdisciplinary, trans-organizational and trans-border collaboration.
Our social systems are in the midst of rapid upheaval as a result of the global pandemic. We must consider the post-pandemic future of humankind. At this extraordinary time, when the world is facing such important, shared challenges, it is indeed the mission of TGSW to deepen diverse academic discussions and networks. Out of necessity, we are once again hosting TGSW online for a second year in a row. We welcome the participation of a much wider audience beyond all borders.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you for your participation and sincerely hope that the range of sessions on offer will create fruitful conversations for us all.