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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Apr. 2014)


Attendance by Haruko Obokata via the internet

Female science students from Waseda attend a lecture by female researchers

Attendees listen attentively to the remote broadcast from Unit Leader Obokata.

On February 5, a female-only conference was held for female students studying science and engineering at our university in the Center for Advanced Biomedical Sciences. The conference was attended by more than 150 female students. This conference was started 2 years ago by Professor Haruko Takeyama (Department of Life Science & Medical Bioscience). Every year, 2 female researchers are invited to speak. This year’s conference featured a lecture by Associate Professor Hiromi Yokoyama (the University of Tokyo), as well as participation from Research Unit Leader Haruko Obokata (RIKEN; completed the Doctoral Program at the Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering in 2011 and holds a PhD in engineering from Waseda University), who recently announced the discovery of STAP cells. Obokata participated from the RIKEN’s Kobe Office via internet connection.

Associate Professor Yokoyama is a pioneering researcher in the field of scientific communication and handles public relations for the Atlas Research Group which discovered the Higgs boson. Since the conference was attended by female students only, Associate Professor Yokoyama discussed the experience of marriage and childbirth as a female researcher, topics which she does not usually address in her lectures. She also introduced words spoken by researchers who impressed her at the experiments for elementary particles.

When speaking with students, Unit Leader Obokata revealed the hardships she endured to have her thesis published in the scientific journal Nature. “Now that I am active as a researcher at RIKEN, I realize the truly high quality of the curriculum for fundamental experiments at Waseda,” said Obokata when discussing her memories of Waseda University.