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Science is deeply embedded in society at large. Our life in contemporary society, which is often called the “knowledge-based society,” is unthinkable without the support of high-level expertise mainly in science and technology. Conversely, today‚Äôs scientific research at universities, research institutes, and other organizations is not feasible without social infrastructures such as funding systems and understanding from local communities. That is why future scientists and professionals should now be highly trained not only in specialized research skills, but also in the capacity to understand both the social impact of science and the social infrastructure of scientific research.

To fulfil these needs, SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies) has pursued education and research to nurture leading scientists and highly specialized professionals with both outstanding expertise and broad perspectives. To foster such “broad perspectives,” SOKENDAI is performing teaching and research activities in “Science and Society” which examine the social dimensions of scientific research. This “Science and Society” education originated in the School of Advanced Sciences in Hayama and has started to be extended, as the “Science and Society” Program, to all SOKENDAI students based in a variety of Inter-University research institutes.

This program is currently supported by the special grant of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) “Fostering the graduate education program towards the Integration of Science Knowledge” (2010-2015) and managed by the “Integration of Science Knowledge” Special Committee.