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‘Scholarship’ and ‘Science and Technology’– What is academic research?

■Academic research is the cornerstone of the formation of new culture.

Academic research is the pursuit of truth and fundamental principles that explain all phenomena occurring in nature, humanity and society. It is an activity of intellectual creation carried out through free thought, intellectual curiosity, and a spirit of inquiry. Since ancient times, human beings have continued to question, “What is the universe?” and “What am I who asks?” These questions all arise from an insatiable desire to ‘learn’ – common to all mankind. Human beings have learned how to systemize new technology and knowledge, developed analytical and comprehensive methodologies and discovered new principles and laws in response to these questions. With these as cornerstones, it is necessary to continue to expand the horizon of human knowledge, working towards the establishment of an unbiased and unfettered blissful human society while at the same time expanding our views of nature and pioneering ultramodern fields of learning. The fruits of academic research will become the basis for future academic developments – the accumulation of which will become the cornerstone of the formation of new ‘culture’.

■Academic research is a driving force pioneering the future.

It is the very nature of academic research not to focus on solving problems, but rather to focus on uncovering new problems to be solved. Research that requires long steady effort is in much higher demand than problem solving research projects limited in scope by time constraints. The newest of the new seeds of science and technology are born from within such sustained and deep academic research. It may be said that the very intellectual assets accumulated through academic promotion in the 21st century – also called the century of ‘knowledge’– are an important source of national strength and will provide the driving force behind pioneering a hopeful future. This in turn will ensure the continued development of the economic activities and lifestyles of our nation’s citizens.

■Creating new sciences in the 21st century and contributing to society

Academic research varies greatly and can range from the small-scale and groundbreaking to large-scale research projects carried out by a research team. But, no matter what the scale, research is fundamentally always conducted based on the individual creative thinking of each researcher involved. Also, we must not forget that this individual creative thinking comes about through day to day discussion and teamwork between researchers. In order to propel academic research, researchers need continuous discourse with one another and opportunities to work together must be arranged. It is important that these opportunities are supported by long-lasting policies. Through pioneering new and advanced interdisciplinary fields of research under collaborations that cross the boundaries separating different fields of research along with conducting cutting-edge academic research in astronomy, material science, energy science, life science and other fields of natural science, NINS aims to contribute to society by creating new sciences in the 21st century.

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