Science Adventures in Japan

My two months in Japan hosted by Nagoya University’s Research Center for Materials Science are almost at an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and have learned a lot, both about Japanese culture and the remarkable science going on here in Nagoya and the rest of Japan.

My principal host on this adventure is Prof. Kunio Awaga, whose work sits at the interface between coordination chemistry and materials science, has been an exceptional guide. Our many lunches and “tea-times” have been a welcome tether during my stay. I have also appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the rest of the exceptional science going on in Nagoya, including emerging collaborations with the groups of Prof. Susumu Saito and Prof. Shigehiro Yamaguchi which seem super interesting and impactful.

I’ve also had the opportunity to explore beyond Nagoya, with excellent experiences talking science with Prof. Mitsuo Sawamoto at Chubu University, Prof. Makoto Ouchi (and his excellent – and humorous – colleagues!) at Kyoto University and Assistant Prof. Yasuhiro Kohsaka at Shinshu University. Hopefully some super collaborations to come out of those trips as well, especially with Yasuhiro’s interesting monomer collection!

Thanks to everyone who has been an exceptional host during my time here in Japan – I’m very appreciative of the hospitality and looking forward to my next visit!

UK Government Clamping Down on Plastic Waste (Eventually)

It was great to see that Theresa May and the UK government are taking the issue of plastic waste seriously. While it will be impossible to break our addition to plastic completely, replacing non-degradable petroleum-derived plastics with sustainable alternatives is the best route forward to saving our world from this plastic threat.

While 2042 is a long way off, it is great to see a clear indication of the importance of this as a target, including funding for research into sustainable plastics innovation. Check out the link below for the original story:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42639359

Sayonara Mike!

We’ve recently bid a fond farewell to Mike as he spends the next two months as a visiting professor at Nagoya University in Japan!

The University of Edinburgh and the Graduate School of Sciences at Nagoya University have strong links through a joint degree program so hopefully this will be the start of some fruitful collaborations. We recently had some researchers from Nagoya visit Edinburgh for a joint symposium in November: Prof. Yuko Okamoto (Biophysics), Dr. Keiichiro Imura (Solid-state Physics), Dr. Yusuke Nakanishi (Physical Chemistry), Prof. Kunio Awaga (Solid-state chemistry). Hopefully Mike will have similar success in getting everyone excited about polymers!

Feel free to contact Mike while he’s away (he’s only 9 hours ahead of GMT) and he’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

As he’s away for December and January we moved our Festive Dinner forward to November. Everyone was having too much fun to remember we still need a new group photo, but thankfully Yuechao got a picture of Mike enjoying himself:

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