Symposia & Forums

IUMRS-Themed Forum


This discussion seeks to broaden our perception of the potential depth and scope for materials research in the innovative and creative development and application of new technology towards resolving the multiple conflicting issues soon to be faced as the global community develops and evolves, with massive consequences for human health, sustainable living, economic stability, and ecological and environmental impacts for the planet. Many new opportunities exist for invention and brilliant study and analysis, and ingenious implementation of new materials or processes, in fields far from our individual disciplines, addressing topics such as sustainable water and food resources, changing climate, changing land use, bio-engineering, medical technologies, science literacy, and analytical applications of 'big data'.

The Forum begins with a Keynote presentation by Prof. Makoto Taniguchi, describing exciting examples of the issues of global scope and timely importance that are being addressed by the work of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature and its collaborating organizations. This talk will suggest to us many new opportunities for great Materials Research.

Several notable scientists will then form a discussion Panel, whose brief initial presentations will include suggestions from their own fields for important interdisciplinary research topics that could creatively be applied to resolving some of the future global issues. We will then ask them to comment on the realistic practical, economic, and political factors that must be addressed if these great ideas are to be brought to life.

At several points, questions and comments (and new suggestions) from all attendees will be invited.

Tuesday, August 26.

16:00 - 16:05
Introductory Remarks:(John Baglin, Chair)
16:05 - 16:50
Keynote Presentation

"Human-Environmental Security in Asia-Pacific Ring of Fire: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus".

Makoto Taniguchi
Project Leader, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
16:50 - 17:40
Discussion Panel

"Materials Research on Selected Urgent Topics".

Richard C. Flagan
California Institute of Technology
C.N.R Rao
International Center for Materials Science and Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.
Masahiro Yoshimura
National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Yasushi Matsufuji
Fukuoka University
Atsushi Terazono
National Institute for Environmental Studies
Each Panelist will
  • (i) Outline his own field of action, and
  • (ii) Select "Key Challenges" ideal for Materials Innovation, (see chart below).
  • Humanitarian impact expected ?
  • Opportunities for 'thinking outside the box' ?
  • Economic feasibility / longevity ?
  • Who makes the projects happen?
  • Near-term? Long-term?
17:40 - 18:00
Open Comments and Discussion. Thoughtful participation by all attendees is encouraged.
  • What "Challenges" should be added to the chart below?
  • Major possible links with the ICSU-UNESCO "Future Earth" Program?