Round Table : Academic challenges and opportunities for early career researchers approaching SDGs

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Kyoto University will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2022, and throughout its history as an academic institution of higher education, it has upheld a commitment to research across all the major academic domains.  This has taken place through developing a multidisciplinary academic culture based upon free dialogue that predates the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)*.  Any important contribution to the SDGs and future societies beyond them requires the development and creation of those that foster “places of learning” where a diverse mix of students, faculty/staff members, researchers and research administrators can fashion new ideas and flexible academic systems within a dynamic environment.

 For over 175 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. Springer Nature supports librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies.

At present global society faces an array of complex existential issues: environmental degradation, the scarcity of resources, climate change, and the rise of global pandemics.  New situations and conditions urgently demand that experts provide swift scientifically backed solutions and modes of action to respond to the exigencies of our times.  Historically, universities and academic publishers have been responsible for cycles of specialized knowledge production.  Yet now, there is a need to go beyond conventional cycles that have maintained fragmented specialized fields and open up new paths of academic research and publishing attuned to the demands of rapid change.  Forging new relationships and alliances between universities and academic publishers can encourage young researchers to take up the challenge of original research activities and help create sources of wisdom that push academic research in new directions.

To foster the dialogue, Kyoto University and Springer Nature will host a roundtable discussion entitled “Academic challenges and opportunities for early career researchers approaching SDGs” in which Sir Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of Springer Nature, will participate.  This will be an opportunity for young researchers at Kyoto University to share the challenges they confront producing relevant original academic research that at times can be ‘disruptive,’ but passionately challenge existing paradigms, redefine social agendas, and respond to the demands of our times.

*SDGs: Sustainable Development Goals are the 17 Goals for sustainable development, ratified by the 193 member states of the United Nations in 2015, for delivery by 2030.


Date:Wednesday, March 24, 2021  16:30 - 18:30

Zoom Webinar (limited to the first 500 registrants)

*If you apply after the number of participants exceeds 500, you will receive the live online streaming video through YouTube.

Recording video is temporarily available here


Registration fee:Free


Opening Remarks

Keynote:  Philip Campbell(Editor in Chief, Springer Nature)"Researching, communications and impacts for the UN Sustainable Development Goals"

  • How researchers are engaging with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and how editors and publishers can help them not only publish their research but also make a broader impact outside academia. He will include food as one very broad and important example: the future of food from land and oceans. This topic involves many academic disciplines across the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. He also highlights the need and opportunities to connect the results of research with policymakers, stakeholder groups and the wider public.

Case studies by early career researchers from Kyoto University

Takaya Ogawa  (Program-Specific Assistant Professor for Graduate School of Energy Science)

Julie Ann Delos Reyes  (Program-Specific Researcher for Center for Southeast Asian Studies)

Hisashi Endo  (Assistant Professor for Institute for Chemical Research)

Hart Nadav Feuer   (Program-Specific Senior Lecturer for Graduate School of Agriculture)

Round-table discussion

Moderator:  Mario Ivan Lopez  Associate Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University 

Advisors: Yasuyuki Kono, Vice President of Kyoto University (International Strategy) and Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University / Antoine Bocquet, Managing Director, Springer Nature 

Q&A with Audience


Philip Campbell

Editor in Chief, Springer Nature

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Sir Philip Campbell has been Editor-in-Chief of Springer Nature since 2018 and previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Nature between 1995 and 2018. Prior to this he was the Founding Editor of Physics World in the UK and Physical Science Editor for Nature. Sir Philip received his PhD from the University of Leicester and his doctoral and post-doctoral work was on the physics of the ionized upper atmosphere. He has worked with multiple international organizations including the UK government, the EU and the US National Institutes of Health on science and its impacts on society. He is an elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a former Trustee of Cancer Research UK and a Founding Trustee and former Chair of MQ: transforming Mental Health. Sir Philip was knighted in 2015 for his services to Science.

Mario Lopez

Associate Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University

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Mario Lopez is a researcher at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University since 2009. His research interests include the Humanosphere Potentiality Index (HPI), which addresses the coexistence of environmental sustainability and the welfare of human beings, as well as the transnational flow of nurses and care workers from the Asia Pacific region to others in response to the demand for such workers in super-aging societies. He has contributed to international academic journals, particularly on the subject of migrant workers in Japan. He has been involved in the Visual Documentary Project, which aims to supplement academic research on Southeast Asia and to build bridges between filmmakers and researchers working in the region. He is currently a member of the Japan-ASEAN platform for transdisciplinary research.

Yasuyuki Kono

Vice President of Kyoto University (International Strategy) and Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University

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Kono Yasuyuki joined the Center for Southeast Asian Studies in 1987. Since then, he has engaged in research on natural resources management, rural livelihood studies, and human-nature interactions in Southeast Asia. Together with colleagues in other disciplines, he is also advocating a new research field, “sustainable humanosphere studies,” which considers the state of science and society based on their relationship with our natural environments. He is currently the head of a large-scale international program, Japan-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (JASTIP), in which he promotes interdisciplinary studies and transdisciplinary activities with colleagues in ASEAN countries. He has also served as Vice President for international strategy since 2018.

Antoine Bocquet

Managing Director of the Springer Nature 

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Antoine Bocquet is Vice President Institutional Sales, Japan, Southeast Asia and Oceania for Springer Nature, based in Tokyo, and has over 20 years’ experience in the academic publishing industry in the Asia-Pacific. He also holds the position of Managing Director of the Springer Nature companies in Japan. He is responsible for all Institutional sales in the regions of Japan, Southeast Asia and Oceania, and during his career has led publishing programs in Asia, founded a medical communications business in Japan and been a book commissioning editor. An Australian by birth, Tony holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo (Physics) and is a graduate of Griffith University in Brisbane. He has lived permanently in Japan since 1994.

Takaya Ogawa 

Program-Specific Assistant Professor for Graduate School of Energy Science

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Julie Ann Delos Reyes

Program-Specific Researcher for Center for Southeast Asian Studies

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Hisashi Endo

Assistant Professor for Institute for Chemical Research

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Hart Nadav Feuer

Program-Specific Senior Lecturer for Graduate School of Agriculture

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