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Breaking down academic boundaries and taking on real-world challenges

Hisashi Yamamoto
Trustee (Research Initiatives)
Deputy Director of the Institute for Academic Advancement

What does research at Chubu University aim to achieve? When I think about this question, the following words come to mind: "Twenty or thirty years from now, there will be no more academic disciplines such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology in the university." This is a quote from a senior colleague whom I greatly respect. I think that these are wise words, for in the future, an abundance of new disciplines are sure to emerge between the gaps of those that already exist. As an example, the emergence of chemical biology, which finds it roots in the fields of chemistry and biology, is still fresh in our memory. Taking the pursuit of diversity to the extreme will give rise to a myriad of new disciplines such as this. If young people make traditional disciplines such as chemistry and physics their goal in life, they will lose their way in the future. If they make these existing disciplines their lifelong goal, they will surely be left behind. Of course, even if the academic study of the fields of biology, chemistry, etc. as we know them may cease to exist, the challenges of the specific goals of these disciplines will remain.

In the future, when approaching research, it will be natural for us to confront issues that are directly related to society, rather than to existing studies.

At Chubu University, we would like to take up such real-world issues. For example, if you want to be useful to society, you can set your sights on new technologies in medicine. Or, you could unravel the mysteries of an entirely new organism. The study of biology, chemistry, physics, or even mathematics and economics, may be necessary for you to pursue and fulfill that goal. But the study of a new discipline that is guided by those goals should feel quite different from the study of traditional disciplines.

The Research Centers for Advanced Studies and the Chubu Institute for Advanced Studies are engaged in research that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines. At the Chubu University Academy of Emerging Sciences, we are working to make use of mathematics in a variety of applications, as it is becoming increasingly important as a foundation in research. Looking forward, it will be important for us to create our own new fundamental disciplines and delve into them in pursuit of our goals and dreams. This will be crucial in our future society, and it will ultimately lead to the development of even further disciplines. I would like to create a place for such learning.

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