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Related Courses and Activities

The following is some of the courses related to “Science and Society,” with which members of the “Integration of Science Knowledge” Special Committee are involved.

Comprehensive Subjects “Life Science and Society I/II”

Developments in biology and life science are accelerating in recent years. They have had tremendous impact on our understanding of microscopic life phenomena and the dynamics of ecosystems, and also on a variety of areas such as food, environmental and energy issues, medicine, and drug discovery. While producing such intellectual achievements and socio-economic benefits, developments in biology and life science have also given rise to new ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI). For these reasons, there are increasing needs to learn about the historical paths that biology and life science have followed and to discuss the current problems of life science in broader social perspectives.

This introductory course on biology’s relation to human society is designed to fulfill these needs. It gives an overview of the history of biology and life science and of the current social situation biology and life science are affecting. Instructors and students then enter a discussion based on these overviews. In addition, it examines mutual interactions between developments in biology and life science, on the one hand, and other disciplines and social changes, on the other. Several topics of bioethics will also be discussed.

“Life Science and Society I” for FY 2015 is scheduled for February 15 and 16, 2016. Please follow the link below for more details.

Interdisciplinary Lecture “Research and Society”

Research is often a social activity and cannot be separated from social, political and economic situations. In addition to acquiring expertise and skills in their own research fields, researchers need to be able to think about interactions between their research and society.

This course discusses basic ideas about ethical, historical, social, and policy aspects of research activities, and offers opportunities for participants to think about social issues related to research through mutual discussions. Participants are expected to express their views about research in relation to social issues and discuss with other participants.

In FY 2015, “Research and Society” will be delivered on September 1 (Tue) and 2 (Wed) at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS, Sagamihara City, Kanagawa prefecture) of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). For the detail of this course, please follow the link below.