Message from the Chair

Message to Students Interested in Science

HANAOKA, Fumio

The Department of Genetics, School of Life Science in SOKENDAI (the Graduate University for Advanced Studies) fosters true scientists. For those who are considering a career in science, I would like to explain what scientists and basic science are, and how students are educated in postgraduate school.

The English word “science” is derived from “scientia” which means knowledge in Latin. Scientists are committed to the enhancement of human intelligence, and their work is called “basic science”. “Applied science” is the use of scientific processes and information discovered in basic science as the means to achieve a useful result for humans. Applications are always developed on the solid foundation of basic science, therefore basic research is absolutely invaluable.

No matter what kind of science they are involved in, scientists truly love research, just as a dog loves to chase a frisbee. Those who are driven by thought, and those who are interested in how to apply basic knowledge for new purposes would make good scientists.

Alternatively, if you don’t know what kind of career to choose, continuing to study in the postgraduate school could be an option. Your research will not always go well, in fact, it is unlikely to go well. Through trial and error, however, you will be successful if you keep trying, and these experiences will lead you to be a better scientist. I would also encourage female students to consider a career in science. Although needless to mention famous examples such as Marie Curie, there is no gender gap in scientific abilities.

Although most scientists are working in universities, research institutes and research department of companies, they are needed to solve problems in diverse fields. For instance, DNA testing is essential to investigate crime. Human resources grounded in life sciences are also needed in the fields of finance, insurance, patents among others. We are living in an unsure world where many unexpected things happen. Now is the time for scientists to explore these diverse fields and to address difficult issues in collaboration with people from different backgrounds.

Undergraduate students learn knowledge and theories already proven. In contrast, postgraduate students conduct their own research themes. They show the world new discoveries and inventions by writing papers. Participating in this process makes you become an independent scientist. While mentors must play an important part in providing technical instructions as well as intellectual support, postgraduate students can develop and create their own methods, improvements, and deliver new theories.

Please visit our website for details of research themes of the Department of Genetics.

We are looking forward to meeting committed and enthusiastic students.


HANAOKA, Fumio
Head, Department of Genetics, SOKENDAI


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