5th Kyoto University-Inamori Foundation Joint Kyoto Prize Symposium
July 22, 2018

Theme “Balance between Construction and Destruction in Life”


On 22 July, the fifth Kyoto University-Inamori Foundation Joint Kyoto Prize Symposium (KUIP) took place at Yurakucho Asahi Hall in Tokyo. The annual symposium had been held at Kyoto University since 2014, but was moved to Tokyo this year to mark the event’s fifth anniversary. Around 550 students, researchers, and members of the general public attended.

The fifth KUIP, themed “Balance between Construction and Destruction in Life”, featured four distinguished speakers, who discussed their academic achievements and cutting-edge topics in their fields. The speakers were: Dr Yoshinori Ohsumi, honorary professor of the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Institute of Innovative Research, who received the 2012 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences (Life Sciences); Dr Shinichi Fukuoka, professor of Aoyama Gakuin University’s School of Cultural and Creative Studies; Dr Shigekazu Nagata, honorary professor of Osaka University’s Immunology Frontier Research Center; and Dr Kazutoshi Mori, professor of the KyotoU Graduate School of Science. Based on the speakers’ request, this year’s symposium allocated half of the seats to high-school students. Reflecting this, the talks included inspiring messages for the next generation of scientists, all stressing the importance of basic research.

The presenters then took part in a panel discussion, moderated by Professor Fukuoka. With KyotoU President Juichi Yamagiwa also joining, the panel explored the fundamental question of “What is life?” based on the lectures delivered and questions submitted in advance from the high-school students, making it an engaging and thought-provoking session.

Audience feedback included: “It was exciting to listen to the intriguing and insightful discussion”; “Some speakers said that in high school they studied hard not only biology but also other subjects. So, although I am most interested in physics, I am going to study other subjects as well to expand my scope”; “I really felt the speakers’ passion for their research. I believe their messages touched the young audience”; and “Through the lectures, I learned a lot about how the mystery of life has been elucidated. The story about Johannes Vermeer was also quite inspiring”.

July 22(Sun.), 2018

Opening Ceremony

“Balance between Construction and Destruction in Life”

Balance between Construction and Destruction in Life

Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion