Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (Nobel Week) Report

On January 10th, Ms. Maika Itsuno reported back her experiences at the Nobel Awards ceremony. She was honorably chosen as one of the only two Japanese university students to be permitted to attend the ceremony last December. As an undergraduate student, who studies iPS cells to apply for dementia, on her first half of her visits, she taught and spoke to the high school students in Stockholm about her studies. She reported happily that a few students, who were able to speak with her said that one day they wanted to study iPS cells as well.

She was also able to speak with Dr. Honjo Tasuku, this year’s Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine. She reported that he spoke with passion about the importance of fundamental research and that he hopes that this award will bring back young scientists to become more interested in fundamental researches. “Fundamental research may be sober, but it is the most important part.”

She enjoyed the after parties with the young scientists around the world and promised to come back to Stockholm next time either as winners of the award, or as members of the Nobel selection committee. After Ms. Itsuno came back to Japan, she has been spreading her experiences to the younger generations in Japan. She wishes to be able to share her experiences as much as she can, so that she can raise the possibilities of the current high schoolers in becoming interested in winning the Nobel Awards in their future.