Investing in Science, Investing in Humanity
“No other generation has lived at a time like this, with the amount of dramatic change that is coming. There will be upheaval in every way that makes us human, from anti-aging to CRISPR therapies to quantum computing,” asserted Peter Gruss in an interview with Sustainable Japan by The Japan Times. The potential of science, technology, and innovation to meet pressing societal challenges was never so clear as in these last few years.
Within the context of Japan, but also balanced against a global view, Dr. Gruss and The Japan Times reporter Tomoko Otake will discuss the importance of investing in research excellence for the benefit of humanity.
Research is an essential source of human knowledge and technology innovations. Scientific discovery has lengthened life expectancies, fed the world, and taught humanity about our planet and the universe. Sustainable public funding for basic research decades prior is also to thank for the unprecedented speed with which COVID-19 vaccines have been developed. Basic research in general prepares humankind for the challenges of the future. So, if reversing climate change and curing disease are all possible, it is researchers who will uncover the ways.
Many countries are stagnating in global science and technology competitiveness. Underlying problems include underinvestment in research-intensive science and technology; challenges in recruiting and retaining top science and technology talent; insufficient innovation initiatives from universities; sub-optional talent circulation between academic and industry; and administrative inefficiencies. Peter Gruss is a passionate advocate for change in Japan, and this session will discuss ways that countries can restore their competitiveness in science and technology and the global importance of investing in research excellence.
Bringing researchers together and giving them the tools and money they need will be critical to the future of humanity. The job of governments is to catalyze progress with forward-thinking policy and substantial investment, while businesses must foster innovation and meaningful collaboration. Our world faces enormous global challenges. Excellence in basic research and international cooperation coupled with knowledge transfer and technology development provide the best platform for innovative solutions to emerge and benefit humanity.
Peter Gruss, President and CEO, OIST
Tomoko Otake, Senior Writer, The Japan Times