The 2021 GYA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and International Conference of Young Scientists will be held in Tokyo, Japan, from 16 – 21 May 2021 with the theme “Harmonizing Reason with Sensibility: Regenerating science for an inclusive and sustainable future”. The meeting will be hosted by the Young Academy of Japan, with support from the Science Council of Japan (SCJ).
Although countries have started moving toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, more effort is needed to bring about truly transformative changes around the world. Scientific research is still at times fragmented and trust in science is fragile in many places. A new generation of researchers needs to regenerate science in order to tackle the global challenges we are facing. The GYA will meet in Tokyo in 2021 to discuss ways to transcend disciplinary silos; to spark a global interdisciplinary dialogue to reform the science system and rethink the contribution of science to society. The GYA is an interdisciplinary science academy: Through collaboration between the natural, physical and social sciences, as well as engineering, medicine, the arts and humanities, it aims to develop a more human-oriented perspective on science and scholarship.
Science does not need to be only a rational, impersonal and utilitarian force. Connecting science to emotional intelligence, common sense and cultural sensibilities will forge new bonds with society and restore trust. It is also important to go beyond a superficial opposition between tradition and science. Taking into account human intuition, technical skills, neglected disciplines and indigenous knowledges will enrich science and broaden our knowledge base. Our host country, Japan, which has integrated scientific and traditional perspectives for over 150 years, can inspire the global community to contribute to the continued revitalization of science. Science and research are important for fostering innovation and economic growth, but have much more to offer. Science unleashes curiosity, inspires action and helps giving meaning to the world. Only by harmonizing reason with sensibility will the future be truly inclusive and sustainable.