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Top>Hakumon CHUO [2009 Winter Issue]>Faculty of Science & Engineering Symposium and Panel Exhibition. The Earth as Seen from Outer Space; Water within the Global Environment; Water and Life

Hakumon CHUOIndex

Towards the 125th Anniversary of our Founding
Pre-Events of Chuo Anniversary's 125th Anniversary

Faculty of Science & Engineering Symposium and Panel Exhibition
The Earth as Seen from Outer Space; Water within the Global Environment; Water and Life

On October 10th, a Faculty of Science and Engineering Symposium and Panel Discussion (hosted by the Faculty of Science and Engineering) was held in order to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Chuo University. The event, which was held at the Bunkyo Civic Center in the Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo, featured the themes of the earth as seen from outer space, water within the global environment, and water and life. Over 100 graduate students and other individuals filled the Main Hall which served as the venue for the symposium. Also, the area in front of the hall's entrance featured a panel exhibition summarizing the research results of graduate students from a total of 9 departments. The exhibition was a subject of great interest among individuals attending the symposium.

Prior to the symposium, the history of the Faculty of Science and Engineering from its founding until the present day was explained by Mr. Higashi Taguchi, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at that time. Dean Taguchi also introduced the Department of Biological Sciences which was newly established last year, as well as the renewed Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering after a name change from the Department of Civil Engineering that took place this year. Afterwards, university Chancellor & President Kazuyuki Nagai expressed the university's intention to actively engage in research for the resolution of environmental issues in the future. His speech included the following statement: "We have reached a point in time when we must consider how our university will work for the resolution of global environmental issues."

The symposium was conducted by the following 3 participants: Mr. Takanori Matsui (Space [Earth] Science), Director of the Chiba Institute of Technology's Center for Planetary Exploration & Research and former Professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate School; Mr. Norihito Tanbo (Environmental Science), Professor at the Chuo University Center for Research and Development Initiatives; and Mr. Naru Sasaki (Department of Nephrology), Professor at the Tokyo Medical & Dental University.

Attendees closely examine the panel exhibition of the Faculty of Science & Engineering

Attendees closely examine the panel exhibition of the Faculty of Science & Engineering

Director Matsui conducted a lecture on the earth as seen from outer space, stressing the importance of considering the history of the universe on a space-time scale of 13.7 billion years for perspective on viewing the earth from outer space. Director Matsui defined civilization as a method for creating and living within a human sphere and explained that the earth will continue to exist as a living planet for another 500 million years. Finally, Director Matsui emphasized that "the future of the human sphere depends upon our intentions."

Next, Professor Tanbo delivered a lecture entitled "Water within the global environment." He explained that approximately 2.7% of the earth's water is fresh water, and that 2.14% of that fresh water is contained in glaciers found at the poles of the earth. Professor Tanbo introduced the fact that a single person in Japan uses approximately 300 to 350 liters of water in his or her daily life, and he stressed that "Water is a medium. It is not a resource in the exact sense. Before developing water supply and sewage systems, we should clean up the water found in rivers."

Finally, Professor Sasaki gave a lecture with the theme of water and life. He explained that "cells are the true basis for life" and introduced the fact that the salt concentration within cells of the human body is identical to the salt concentration of the earth's oceans in ancient times. Professor Sasaki also explained that the liver receives 1/5 of the amount of blood flow that is produced by a heartbeat, and that the liver possesses functions that enable minute adjustment for the concentration of internal substances.

A Q&A session was held after the lectures, and participants raised questions that exceeded the field of science. For example, one participant posed the following question: Isn't it true that economic reasons will cause the extinction of humankind before the environment becomes uninhabitable? In response, Professor Tanbo made the following point: "Until now, the economy has developed based on the idea that the environment and nature are infinite. However, the human sphere is finite. Our way of thinking has been na誰ve."

Additionally, there was also discussion regarding differences in scientific research conducted by Japan and America. A comparison was made between the policies of Japan, which allocates large funding to applied research, and America, which emphasizes fundamental research. In regards to this point, an opinion was given that "Japan must separate its scientific policy from its technological policy."

Finally, the 3 speakers offered personal messages to students studying in the field of science. "Consider your own life. If you act now by considering the future, you will be able to realize your goals." (Director Matsui) "You can become a competent researcher by considering matters from a humanities perspective and studying within scientific fields." (Professor Tanbo) "As long as you are motivated, you will be able to find new frontiers in any field. Work passionately." (Professor Sasaki)

Also, a panel exhibition summarizing the research results of on-going work by graduate students and other young researchers was held in front of the entrance to the hall. The exhibition introduced a wide range of research results from the 9 departments contained in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. A diverse range of research fields were featured, spanning from research on the vast universe to the theory of elementary particles, a theory that seeks the origin of materials and gained attention as part of last year's Nobel Prize in Physics. Attendees actively posed questions to graduate students while studying the panels.

(Student Reporter: Yasuaki Komuro, 4th Year Student in the Faculty of Science and Engineering)