Nobel laureate calls for long-term govt support for researches

Nobel Prize-winning Japanese scientist, Akira Suzuki has appealed for the government to provide long-term financial and intellectual support for researchers and take a broader view of their work.

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2010, 14:18 PM IST

Tokyo: Nobel Prize-winning Japanese
scientist, Akira Suzuki has appealed for the government to
provide long-term financial and intellectual support for
researchers and take a broader view of their work.

Suzuki, 80, made the request at a meeting of the
governing Democratic Party of Japan`s panel on education and
science yesterday.

Suzuki, a professor emeritus at Hokkaido University, is
one of the three recipients of the 2010 Nobel Prize in
Chemistry, sharing the prize with fellow Japanese scientist
Eiichi Negishi, 75, a professor at Purdue University in the
United States, and American chemist Richard Heck, 79, a
professor emeritus at the University of Delaware.

Suzuki attended the DPJ panel session together with Ryoji
Noyori, the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner and the
current president of the state-backed Riken natural sciences
research institute.

Suzuki told the session that research cannot produce
results in the short term, requiring instead a long-term
investment. ``I`d like to ask politicians to see scientific
research from a broad and long-range point of view.``

He renewed his argument that science and technology are
indispensable for Japan, which he said depends on selling high
value-added products to other countries, having few natural
resources of its own.

Suzuki, worried that many young Japanese people are
moving away from science, also noted the need to provide
support in the intellectual field and encourage the young
generation to think about their dreams.

Noyori told the same session that Japan had taken the
lead in the organic chemistry field and that Suzuki`s Nobel
Prize win was considered likely by the rest of the world.

Noyori noted the need to promote bridging studies that
would apply results of basic research to industry, calling for
strengthening coordination among industry, government and
academia.

Later in the day, Suzuki paid a visit to Education,
Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Yoshiaki
Takaki at his ministry.

Takaki congratulated Suzuki for winning the Nobel Prize,
telling him that his award served as a major encouragement and
morale-boost to the Japanese people.

The minister also vowed to put energy into encouraging
younger scientists.

In response, Suzuki called for steady government support
for the young generation.

Last week, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences picked
Suzuki, Negishi and Heck as recipients of the 2010 Nobel Prize
in Chemistry for their work on reactions to create complex
organic compounds. The tool ``has vastly improved the
possibilities for chemists to create sophisticated chemicals,
for example carbon-based molecules as complex as those created
by nature itself,`` according to the academy.

PTI