Address by the President
University of Yamanashi
The Japanese Society of Neurochemistry (JSN), founded in 1957, is the world's oldest society advocating "neurochemistry" and has led the world's neurochemistry from its inception to the present. The basic philosophy of JSN is "to elucidate the mechanisms of the brain and disease through chemical substances and/or molecules," and this philosophy is unwavering. In order to realize this philosophy, we have been carrying out our activities based on the basic policy of "deep discussion" and "fostering young researchers". Thanks to the members, as well as to the professors who have served as president, director, chairperson, and committee members, this excellent philosophy has been strongly and long inherited, and today, JSN is creating a major trend in the field of brain research. I strongly agree with the basic philosophy of the society and do not intend to change the major trends that have been established so far. However, I am determined to aim for even greater heights and to have the courage to reform where changes are needed.
This is my second time as President of JSN. The last time was for two years starting in 2019, just as the world entered the era of the New Normal with COVID-19, the change from Heisei to Reiwa. I was eager to create new JSN, but COVID-19 prevented me from doing so. There is a popular song that goes, "If it's your second time in love, do it a little better" (sorry for being old-fashioned), and since I am President for the second time, I would like to steer the JSN a little better. The banner of the last meeting was "Inheritance and Reformation of Tradition. This time, I would like to make it "Inheritance of Tradition and Sustainable Development.
First, let me talk about the inheritance of tradition. As I mentioned earlier, JSN has a great tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation. In order to carry on this tradition, I feel it is necessary to visualize the history of our society. The International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN) has a position called Historian, and they are making good use of this position by properly documenting their history (JSN has a longer history than ISN). I am not indulging in nostalgia. I feel that there is much to be learned from history, and in the response to COVID-19, the lessons learned from past pandemics played an important role, along with the role played by modern science, such as the new RNA vaccine. I believe that by properly documenting the path JSN has taken and learning from it, there will be new and sustainable development. I would like to create such a system.
In terms of development, the time has come for the JSN to play a truly significant role. The science, technology, and environment are now in place to realize the basic policy of the society since its inception of curing diseases through molecular chemistry. I would like to pave the way for JSN to take the initiative in realizing this policy. In addition, a number of new technologies have emerged, such as big data analysis technology and AI, which have the potential to significantly change conventional science, and more new technologies are expected to emerge in the future. How to deal with these new technologies and strategies will be a major challenge for JSN in the future. I, too, would like to address this issue. I believe that even with these new technological advances, there will only be fewer detours, which will ultimately lead to "curing disease with molecules. However, it may not be that easy. I would like to pave the way for sustainable development, including the above, by "discussing" the above, which is one of the policies of this society.
The problems that Japan is currently facing, such as a declining population, shrinking economic activity, and the resulting stagnation of science and technology due to a decrease in research funding, have a significant impact on JSN as it is. Although we are not a large society in terms of the number of members, we are a group of members full of sharp and advanced ideas. We believe that "people are everything. We intend to make the most of our society's policy of "nurturing people" and to join forces with our wonderful members to lead not only our society but also brain research and medicine. We look forward to your continued guidance and encouragement.
April 3, 2023
Department of Neuropharmacology, University of Yamanashi School of Medicine