The Japan Science Society: Bringing Science to You
For nearly a Century, the Japan Science Society has been fervently pursuing its goal of making science accessible to the greater population. Founded on June 13, 1924 by approximately 200 scientists, after receiving authorization from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the JSS embarked on its mission to inspire a keen interest in the sciences in all walks of life.
The Society recognized early that the coming acceleration in technology will introduce unprecedented challenges to our way of life, and the surest way to cope with them is to empower a new generation of minds, and galvanize their passion with the wonders of science. Among these challenges are the explosion of data science and artificial intelligence, climate change, and the aging population of Japan.
One of the primary functions of the JSS is to closely monitor the changing social climate as it pertains to science and science education, then tailor programs based on its findings. In support of this effort, the JSS has received support from the Nippon Foundation since 1988, and then established the Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant to facilitate projects in line with its mission:
- Support and facilitate positive advances in science and technology for the benefit humanity and the planet.
- Maintain a thorough understanding of modern social attitudes to determine how to best disseminate scientific developments.
- Maintain a group of specialists who possess the expertise necessary to communicate scientific advances to the public in an engaging manner, accessible to everyone.
- Scout the next generation of young scientific minds who are making contributions to research and technology.
- Build teams that can solve social problems locally and globally; conduct workshops and seminars to encourage collaboration which will speed advancement of our knowledge base.
- Develop international relationships between scientists/engineers via the contribution of educational and other materials.
|1921||The Society for the Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge published the first edition of Scientific Knowledge, which continued until 1950.|
|1924||The Society for the Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge established as a foundation.|
|1939||Collecting and Breeding, a monthly periodical, was first published, and continued until 1990.|
|1941||The Second World War necessitated the temporary cease of all operations. The issue of scientific books continued..|
|1944||Merged with the Japan Science Society at the Tokyo Institute of Technology to establish The Japan Science Society foundation|
|1975||Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation (currently The Nippon Foundation) Chairman, Ryoichi Sasakawa and Science Council of Japan Chairman, Seiji Kaya re-started the dormant foundation.|
|1976||Japan-issued Wildlife (monthly) first published (until 1984).|
|1988||Started the Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant Project with support from the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation.|
|1999||Commenced the Education and Research Library Project to donate texts to universities in China.|
|2007||Developed a series of sensory experimental equipment and started scientific touring exhibitions nationwide (until 2013).|
|2012||Received authorization as a Public Interest Corporation from the Cabinet Office and became a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation, the Japan Science Society.|
|2013||Donated sensory experiential equipment entitled Here Comes the Typhoon! to the National Science and Technology Museum in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.|
|2014||Donated sensory experiential equipment entitled Solving the Puzzle of Light! to Hofu Science Museum Solar.|
1. The Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant
The JSS began funding young researchers in 1983, and has supported over 8,300 projects, totaling ¥48 billion in grants, to date. These grants support graduate students, foreign students, women in science, as well as research in fields in which it is difficult to otherwise obtain grants. We look for innovative and creative research projects that show promise for large-scale impact and social benefit. We also provide support for travel expenses when Sasakawa Grant recipients wish to present their findings overseas.
2. Education and Research Library Project
In 1999, we started donating Japanese texts to Chinese universities and have donated over 3.5 million textbooks to date. We collect these books from publishers, libraries, schools, and private collectors, then donate based on need to schools and research institutes in China.
The library project has allowed us to establish an exchange program in which young people in both China and Japan compete via essay contests with varying themes that involve both countries. This exchange promotes both an understanding of Japan, scientific study, and facilitates friendship between nations.
3. Developing the Next Generation: Connecting Science and Society
Science Mentor Project
The JSS offers mentors to senior high school students through its Science Mentor Project. The objective is to share the satisfaction gained from a career in science and cultivate the next generation of scientific professionals.
Professionals in science, such as university professors, volunteer one year of personal research guidance to approximately 20 senior high school students outside of the normal school curriculum. They teach students basic research principles and practices, and cultivate their interest in becoming the next generation of scientists by experiencing firsthand the wonders of the scientific world.
“What if the earth was a cube?”
This is the question specialists in biology and meteorology attempt to answer in this highly visual video that serves as a teaching resource. The JSS sends out lecturers to give engaging classes in Earth science with this curious question as the foundation of the material.
Scientific Research Database
Have you ever wondered what experiments you can do with a PET bottle? Or would you like to know what you can find by a river in the Spring?
Is there an experiment I can do to learn about a pendulum?
Our [fun!] scientific research web-based database is organized into two main sections: 1) Scientific Experiments and 2) formative experiences, both categories are filled with information that anyone can enjoy.
The Scientific Experiments database was created for children who have not yet experienced nature, and parents/teachers looking to create these experiences for their children. All experiments can be done with familiar materials, and experimenters are guided by illustrations, photos, and video. These experiences help learners to:
- Understand how games, styles of play, and toys have been passed down through generations
- Recognize the importance of our five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
This site was created by teachers, university professors, parents, and various members of the community involved in child education. We continually strive to improve the site, and we welcome you to visit and contribute!