Mar./2011
(STRATEGIC PROPOSALS)
Research into Social Wish -Discovery of Social Wish through Panoramic Observation for task-driven Innovations in the Era of Sustainability/CRDS-FY2010-SP-08
Executive Summary

It is expected nowadays that scientific and technological innovations improve the sustainability. However it is difficult to elaborate definite subjects of research and development supported compatibly by science and society which meet this expectation. It is proposed here that the elaboration of research subjects should be based on social wishes that are conditioned upon both being shared by people and being scientifically assured to improve the sustainability. Research subjects based simply on scientific assurance for sustainability satisfy only necessary but not sufficient condition for sustainability. They only cover partial requests from sustainability but not all because each of disciplinary scientific knowledge only picks up subjects relevant to the particular discipline, and sometimes worsen other aspects. We shall never enumerate all research subjects necessary for sustainability if we seek them within scientific knowledge. We should turn our faces toward society in order to overcome the difficulty, enumerating them through social wishes which are less systematic as science but not disciplinary, hence possibly covering all requests from sustainability when they are detected by panoramic or disciplinarily integrated observations. Social wishes, however, are generally expressed verbally and obscure. Our proposal is implementation of a research to discover social wishes by panoramic observation in scientific way.

Social wishes which are to be the bases of elaboration of research subjects should not be of individual interests or for special benefits, but should be that recognized publicly by people. Social wishes, however, are not necessarily apparent, but can be potential. When a social wish turns apparent and shared by people, it can be an evidence for a research subject to be publicly supported. One of the most important points of the presently proposed research into social wish is to establish scientific methods to discover such potential wishes.

The discovery of social wishes suggests actions in future which are scientifically assured to improve the sustainability. Actions based on the discovery will affect society and nature to raise some changes, which are again observed panoramically and confirmed if the results are adequate. New social wishes will be detected through this confirmation. Repetitions of observations of social wishes and actions based on them create a circulative process. Such recursive structure linking science and society in a loop permits an evolutionary improvement of sustainability. Task driven innovation for sustainability must be accomplished in this structure.

As mentioned above, the research to discover social wishes includes disciplinarily integrated or panoramic observation of society and nature, forecast of wishes arising in future and realization of common understanding of those wishes among people. Consequently, collaborations among researchers of different disciplines including humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and life sciences, engineering sciences and others are requisite.