Sir Martyn Poliakoff, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, with Professor Anzai, President of JSPS

Sir Martyn Poliakoff, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, with Professor Anzai, President of JSPS

This week the Science Council of Japan (SCJ) is hosting the G-Science Academies meeting in Tokyo. It is a key platform through which national academies of science engage with each other. This meeting includes the G7 academies (USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan), and includes additional observers from Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, South Africa and the African Academy of Sciences. The annual meetings result in joint statements on policy issues.

This year, three statements are under discussion on the following topics:

The statements will be issued by the G-Science academies in April 2016. They are intended to influence government and other policy makers, and raise awareness of the key scientific issues, and will be shared to inform discussions at the G7 Heads of State summit to be held 26-27 May 2016.

Professors Trevor Robbins, Uta Frith, and Martyn Poliakoff

Professors Trevor Robbins, Uta Frith, and Martyn Poliakoff

On Tuesday 16 February the Royal Society delegation (led by the Foreign Secretary Sir Martyn Poliakoff, accompanied by Professors Uta Frith, Trevor Robbins and Steve Sparks) participated in an event hosted at the British Embassy in Tokyo, on “Diversity and Research Careers: UK-Japan science & innovation seminar”, encouraging collaboration between scientists in the UK and Japan. Professor Uta Frith gave a presentation on “Pride and Prejudice: Breaking down Barriers in Science”, including a video on unconscious bias and a video in which Dame Athene Donald FRS and Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Royal Society University Research Fellow, retrace the lives of women who published in science and inspired others to follow them.

On Wednesday the delegation also met with colleagues from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) the equivalent of the Research Councils in the UK.