About Science Agora

Concept

Concept

Science Agora is an open arena for people from different sectors who desire a future society consistent with science. Aggregated in this arena are independent, self-motivated individuals involved in activities that connect people to different areas, sectors, and different generations and nationalities. Science Agora is a platform for people to build a future society where science is inherently rooted through collaboration and mutual respect for diverse values.

* The term "agora" is Greek for gathering place.

We promote Science Agora 2015 with the following vision, which defines future Science Agora“Let us build a society harmonized with science”The 10th anniversary Science Agora 2015 is attracting attention as a platform for co-producing value through good science communications among multiple stakeholders in society. For this objective, we categorized the stakeholders of Science Agora 2015 into five sectors (policymakers, scientists, businesspeople, the media, and the general public) to try to meet the various needs as exemplified in table 1.

Table 1:Envisioned expectations

Sector Expectations as contributors Expectations as an attendees
Policymakers
  • Listen to the voices of other policymakers, scientists, businesspeople, the media, and the general public for implemented or prepared policies and acquire useful insights, new opinions, and partners
  • Offer to help develop an understanding of policy by scientists, businesspeople, the media, and the general public
  • Offer to help in the career development of young people who pursue careers as policymakers
  • Obtain useful insights, new opinions, partners from scientists, businesspeople, the media or the general public for policymaking practice of their own
  • Develop their own careers by making use of the experience in the policymaking field
Scientists
  • Listen to the voices of other scientists, policymakers, businesspeople, the media, and the general public about research and acquire useful insights, new opinions, and partners
  • Offer to help develop an understanding of scientific issues by other scientists, businesspeople, the media, and the general public
  • Offer to help in the career development of young people who pursue careers as scientists
  • Become aware of activities other than their own discipline (trans-disciplinary)
  • Become aware of activities by policymakers, businesspeople, the media, and the general public (trans-sectoral)
  • Acquire useful insights, new opinions, and partners from other scientists for a new direction in their own research
  • Develop their own careers by making use of the experience in the science field
Businesspeople
  • Listen to the voices of other businesspeople, scientists, policymakers, the media, and the general public for their business and acquire useful insights, new opinions, and partners
  • Offer to help develop an understanding of business issues for other businesspeople, scientists, the media, and the general public
  • Offer to help in the career development of young people who pursue careers as businesspeople
  • Acquire useful insights, new opinions, and partners from other businesspeople, scientists, the media, or the general public for the business of their own
  • Develop their own careers making use of the experience in the business field
The media
  • Listen to the voices of other media, scientists, policymakers, and the general public for their activities and acquire useful insights, new opinions, and partners
  • Offer to help develop an understanding of media issues for other media, scientists, businesspeople, and the general public
  • Offer to help in the career development of young people who pursue careers in the media
  • Find topics that might be included in the reports.
  • Acquire useful insights, new opinions, partners from other media, scientists, businesspeople, or the general public for press reports
  • Develop press report careers by making use of the experience in the media field
General public
  • Listen to the voices of the general public, scientists, policymakers, businesspeople, and the media about their activities and acquire useful insights, new opinions, and partners
  • Offer to help develop an understanding of original issues related to their activities for the general public, scientists, businesspeople, and the media
  • Offer to help in the career development of young people who pursue careers in civil activities
  • Acquire useful insights, new opinions, partners from the general public, scientists, businesspeople, or the media for their civil activities
  • Develop careers by making use of the experience in the civil activities field

Outline of Science Agora 2016

1.Date:
3rd (Thu), 4th (Fri) ,5th (Sat) ,6th (Sun) November
2.Host:
Japan Science and Technology Agency
3.Venue:
Odaiba area, Tokyo

Vison, Issues shared and Themes of Science Agora 2016

Science strongly affects modern industries and people’s lives and it has become one of the important elements building society increasingly as well as politics, business or arts. Raising the vision of Science Agora, “Let’s build a society harmonized with science”, we put our cordial wish to build a future society with an appropriate use of science as one of a variety of building blocks of society.

Toward the accomplishment of Science Agora’s vision, there are issues that we think all people must share and work on in the immediate future (with a view to about 5 years). They are (1) Transformation of society led by science, (2) Transformation of science led by society (3) Harmonization with risk. It is about the perceptions of the times that: First, advanced science is about to significantly change society. Second, society is about to significantly change the form of science. And third, culture and climate that can harmonize the risks and benefits in either context will become increasingly important.

In 2016, under the perceptions of the times above, we focus 3 themes. They are (1) New medical care, food, and life that will be created by advanced science, (2) Collaboration between education, culture, art and sports, and science, and (3) The future role of science learned from the 5 years of the 3.11 disaster reconstruction. We will muster the new approaches involved in science for medical care, food, and life that form the basis of our lives, new approaches that are born in new frontiers observed in collaborations between education, culture and art, and sports and science and the efforts made with a focus on Tohoku, and think about the future of our society.

(Note) Here, we use the term “science” as a generic term of intellectually inquiring activities and their outcomes including science based technology and technology oriented science. It is the same meaning as the term “science and technology” generally used.

Vison, Issues shared and Themes of Science Agora 2016

Figure 1: Vison, Issues shared and Themes of Science Agora 2016

■Vision

This is the target philosophy that Science Agora aspires for the next 10 years (2015-2025) or so. It is confirmed that Science Agora is for every one of those who seeks to voluntarily become involved in cooperating in the creation of a society that is in harmony with science.

Let’s build society harmonized with science

Science strongly affects modern industries and people’s lives and it has become one of the important elements building society increasingly as well as politics, business or arts. Raising the vision of Science Agora, “Let’s build a society harmonized with science”, we put our cordial wish to build a future society with an appropriate use of science as one of a variety of building blocks of society.

■Issues shared toward 2020

Toward the accomplishment of Science Agora’s vision, there are issues that we think all people must share and work on in the immediate future (with a view to about 5 years). They are (1) Transformation of society led by science, (2) Transformation of science led by society (3) Harmonization with risk. It is about the perceptions of the times that: First, advanced science is about to significantly change society. Second, society is about to significantly change the form of science. And third, culture and climate that can harmonize the risks and benefits in either context will become increasingly important.

1. Transformation of society led by science

Development in technologies, such as ICT and biotechnology, is about to significantly change the social systems and culture on a global basis. Sometimes violently and sometimes quietly, the destruction of old customs and the creation of new culture have been progressing. We should not let them alone and blindly accept them. The need for us to ask ourselves, discuss, and create cooperation on the kind of world we want to live in has increased more than ever. Let’s sow the seeds and grow constructive activities that will promote responsible participation in the future society.

2. Transformation of science led by society

Diverse spreading of the frontiers of science has infinite possibilities. The size of the impact that the increase in the highly uncertain social problems connected to the information network that penetrated into every corner of society on a global basis has on the activities of science is immeasurable. The key words are “Open and Flat.” By opening the scientific activities closed in the conventional specific communities and gaining commitments from a diverse range of people, the power to create new values will increasingly grow. Let’s sow the seeds and grow the defiant activities that go beyond the boundaries of areas and communities.

3. Harmonization with risk

Risks will become the driving force to open the way to a new society. When advanced science has a significant influence on the future society, there will be, of course, risks and benefits. When a society changes the scene of advanced science, there will also be risks and benefits. In order for the stakeholders involved in science to cooperate in the respective positions and contexts, how should risks and benefits be harmonized? Scientific thoughts and rich sensibility will be required. Let’s sow the seeds and grow defiant and clever activities.

■Themes in 2016

In 2016, under the perceptions of the times above, we focus 3 themes. They are (1) New medical care, food, and life that will be created by advanced science, (2) Collaboration between education, culture, art and sports, and science, and (3) The future role of science learned from the 5 years of the 3.11 disaster reconstruction. We will muster the new approaches involved in science for medical care, food, and life that form the basis of our lives, new approaches that are born in new frontiers observed in collaborations between education, culture and art, and sports and science and the efforts made with a focus on Tohoku, and think about the future of our society.

1. New medical care, food, and life that will be created by advanced science

How will the improvements in the advanced ICT infrastructure and the Social Security and Tax Number System change our medical care and life? In 2016, besides the development of the ICT base, we will strongly feel the connections of various regions around the country, as well as the global connections in everyday life. Development of the ICT can become the driving force to promote such environmental changes both in a positive and negative way. This year, let’s muster the new approaches involved in science for medical care, food, and life that form the basis of our lives and think about the future of our society.

2. Collaboration between education, culture, art and sports, and science

Toward the Olympic and Paralympic year of 2020, societal expectations for science is increasing higher. Meeting the expectations, how can the future science be transformed through collaborations with education, culture and art, and sports? Let’s muster new approaches that are born in new frontiers observed in the collaborations among stakeholders involved in science and think about the future of our society.

3. The future role of science learned from the 5 years of the 3.11 disaster reconstruction

The earthquake disaster reconstruction has not ended yet. What kind of cooperation and outcomes has the advanced science created with other sectors during the five years of efforts? How can they create the future society? Let’s muster the efforts with a focus on Tohoku and think about the future of our society.

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