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2010 PARTICIPANTS

kaaokaYasuyuki Kataoka
Tokyo Institute of Technology
 

In December 2010, two Japanese newly became Nobel laureates. I was humbly given a wonderful opportunity to join ``Nobel Week'' held at Stockholm with 25 young researchers representing 18 countries. The exquisite words from Nobel laureates are deeply engraved on my heart which were given during the face-to-face conversation at reception parties. In communicating with other excellent young researchers, who have not only achievements in their research area but also philosophies of their own as a researcher, I was inspired in various ways.

Throughout these magnificent experience, I decided to keep always the following three important researcher minds. The first mind is ``finding research''. Professor Negishi, the Nobel laureate of Chemistry Prize, said that it is indispensable to have broad knowledgeto look various academic fields cross-
sectionally and discover a new research field. In order to find a new field where one can become a pioneer, it is important to set up antennas to various topics and always possess a bold spirit of challenge. In addition, Professor Suzuki, who is also the Nobel laureate of Chemistry Prize, said that there are still big rooms to do more efforts to find our own interests. Although finding the one is difficult, balancing between broadening and limiting the interest would help to discover it. Regarding this issue, a delegate from USA, a 18-year extraordinarily outstanding young researcher, had an interesting philosophy which limits his interest to only three things; studying math thoroughly, believing his religion and reading newspapers. Iconsciously consider it significantly important to take the balance between the effort to gain new things and the courage to discard something that I am extremely interested in.

The second mind is ``enjoying research''. All the laureates told me that facing the intellectual curiosity with pure mind and practicing the original and creative ideas should
be the basic attitude of a researcher. Keeping the attitude to research would be rather difficult as people get old. I am totally fascinated with the laureates who still purely enjoy the pursuit of their own intellectual curiosity even though their research life might be busy with other work. Plus, Professor Geim told me that keeping playful mind to play with research is important. When he got the Ig Nobel Prize 10 years ago, in order to show the impact of the result, he showed a bizarre experiment to float frag.(!?) As a result, the research gets more attention unexpectedly from the young and old, men and women. Their words lead me to be a researcher who can purely pursue intellectual curiosity, keep playful mind, and enjoy overall research.

The third mind is ``expanding research''. Professor Negishi emphasized the importance to train language ability and have a spirit to challenge a global field. As he does, I would like to keep exposing myself to a challenging field and fulfill achievements. I also felt that visioning the relevance between research achievement and human life and connecting them are indispensable. Professor Negishi and Professor Suzuki had had the image to apply cross-coupling reaction technology to industrial field since it was on the basic research stage. Their forethought gave me the importance to map out the long-term vision
regarding how the research is going to reach to human life.

Currently, I am working as a researcher in a company and challenging in a new field. Although it is a thorny path, I would like to constantly keep above three researcher minds. Hereby I would like to show my best gratitude to The Japan Prize Foundation, all the members of SIYSS and my friends and family who thoroughly supported me.

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