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JST organized a Scientific Session at the 2022 AAAS Annual Meeting
Department for Promotion of Science in Society
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting was held virtually from February 17 to 20, 2022. JST organized a Scientific Session titled “Building a resilient society through evidence and trust”. In line with the theme of the 2023 AAAS Annual Meeting "Empower with Evidence", the session shared experiences of scientific evidence-based decision-making processes during a novel coronavirus epidemic in Japan. In-depth discussions were held on how trust between science and society should be built and how scientists can contribute to developing a resilient society in which social and economic values.
The session consisted of two parts: recorded presentations by three experts and a live session. The live session was facilitated by Dr Miyoko O. Watanabe, Executive Director, JST, and featured insights from Professor Hiroshi Nishiura, Kyoto University and Dr Chieko Asakawa, Director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), on Japan's perspective on linking scientific knowledge to social empowerment. Dr Jacqueline Meszaros, Science and Technology Advisor for Natural Hazards, Disasters, and Resilience, National Science Foundation (NSF), provided a US perspective on how NSF promotes research that addresses social issues in a co-creative manner with a diverse range of stakeholders. Mr. Atsushi Arakawa, Director of the Department for Promotion of Science in Society, JST, also introduced JST's programs and initiatives for co-creation linking science and society.
The panel discussion focused on how a 'bridge of trust' can be built between science and society, and what scientists can do towards this end. The panelists stressed the importance of scientists focusing on Science with Society and continuing to communicate scientific findings to citizens and society. Furthermore, the panelists noted that continuing concrete efforts from normal times to foster a preparedness mindset among a wide range of professionals, citizens, and policymakers for the next crisis to come should be one solution, and to this end, the need for funding agencies, science museums and other relevant institutions to support scientists in their respective capacities was raised amongst the panelists.