Remarks on the Occasion of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry (JSBBA)


Shuji Adachi

Our annual meeting is being held in Kyoto this year for the first time since the 2012 meeting, five years ago. The Conference will be held for four days, from March 17 (Friday) through March 20 (Monday), 2017. On the first day, the awards ceremony (excluding the Encouragement Awards), awards speeches, “Visionary Agrochemistry 100” (a symposium on our Centenary Project), and the 43rd JSBBA “Chemistry and Biology Symposium,” followed by a banquet, will be held at the Westin Miyako Hotel, Kyoto. The Westin Miyako Hotel, Kyoto, the venue of our awards ceremony and other conference events, is located two minutes from Keage Station on the Tozai Line of the Kyoto City Subway. The JSBBA will commemorate the centenary of its founding in 2024. In connection with our centenary celebrations, we have undertaken a variety of projects, one of which is the “Visionary Agrochemistry 100” symposium, being held on the first day of the conference. We can come across varied discussions on several representative topics on the directions of basic and applied research conducted by the Scholarly Activity Enhancement Committee, which has identified areas of near-term focus for the agrochemical research community and introduced new members and high school students associated with Nougeikagaku Meeting for High School Students. Similar to last year, the JSBBA “Chemistry and Biology Symposium” will be held until the time of the banquet. We welcome Prof. Satoshi Ōmura, joint recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and Prof. Sakayu Shimizu, a past president of the JSBBA, as the speakers of this event; they will deliver keynote lectures on their search for useful organic compounds, produced by microorganisms. Although traditionally intended for a general audience, this symposium has been planned this year primarily for the benefit of our members. Please be sure to come and join us.

Over the next three days, from March 18 to 20, our venue will relocate to Kyoto Women’s University (35 Imagumano Kitahiyoshichō, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto); a variety of events, including general lectures such as oral presentations, symposia, the Encouragement Awards Ceremony, and an exhibition will be held. From Kyoto Station’s Hachijō Exit and Shijō Kawaramachi, the Princess Line Bus helps in conveniently accessing Kyoto Women’s University, with an approximate travel time of 10 minutes. Alternately, the university is located 15 minutes to the East from Shichijo Station on the Keihan Main Line, and 5minutes to the East from Higashiyama Shichijo stop on the Kyoto City Bus line. All general lectures will be delivered as oral presentations. Depending on the number of papers submitted, we hope to ensure that speakers have the maximum possible time for their presentations; our plan is to give 15 minutes for each presentation, this would include Q&As and speaker rotation. We look forward to listen to enriching papers that would trigger lively discussions. In addition, as a new initiative based on a survey answered by our members, the Organizing Committee has set a 15-item agenda. We express our deep gratitude to those who have contributed to a total of over 100 opinions. We would like to humbly apologize to the members whose requests could not be accommodated. We will hold the symposium in parallel to the general lectures. We will prepare a program for the event, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. In addition, the venue will be providing a rest area with drinks and refreshments; so, please take the chance to relax and recharge your batteries.

The Nougeikagaku Meeting for High School Students, exhibitions, luncheon seminars, Forum of the Academic Exchange between Government, Industry and Academia, and mixers, which have become a fixture at our meetings, will once again be held, as usual. The Nougeikagaku Meeting for High School Students is substantially growing every year. Our plan is to begin the Conference with presentations on the morning of March 18, followed by an awards ceremony and a party which will end at 15:00 hours. We would like to thank everyone for encouraging our young students once again this year. The Forum of the Academic Exchange between Government, Industry and Academia, a major feature of the JSBBA, will be held on the afternoon of the third day (i.e., Sunday, March 19). A mini poster session will be held in the venue at the same time. In addition, after all the events are done, we will be organizing an evening mixer event to provide the conference attendees with an opportunity to mingle with each other and relax; note that this event will be free of charge. In an atmosphere that is quite unlike the banquet, I hope that everyone will be able to get to know each other better. As always, we will also hold luncheon seminars. We invite you to use this opportunity to gather information distinct from the one you gained in the general lectures or symposia. Two luncheon symposia on substantial topics-Gender Equality and the Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE)-are being planned. Please make an effort to participate in these as well. From the evening of the final day of the conference (Monday, March 20) into the following day, the Agrochemistry Frontiers Symposium for younger researchers and students will be held at the KKR Kyoto Kuniso Hotel (Address: 27-3 Higashi Sakurachō, Kojinguchiagaru Higashiiru, Kawaramachi, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan). We expect that this will be an opportunity for lively exchanges among younger researchers, instructors, graduate, and undergraduate students. As we are also planning an excursion on the afternoon of March 21 for those who are interested, please be sure to join us.

From the 2017 Kyoto meeting, the organizational arrangements of the JSBBA’s Annual Meetings will undergo a major change. That is, we have decided that over the next five years, our meetings will be managed jointly by two professional conference organizing providers with whom we have entered into a collective agreement in cooperation with three members from the Conference Team and Organizing Committee who will share this role. The Kyoto meeting will be the first conference after the transition to this new system. In the event that things do not run smoothly, we beg your pardon for the inconvenience caused; further, we would appreciate any positive suggestions or guidance as to how we can improve the Conference. The Organizing Committee of this meeting has benefitted from the cooperation of many members of our Kansai Branch. Every member of the Organizing Committee is working with enthusiasm to zero in on a template for all our annual meetings, which will be held over the next five years. We humbly ask for the warm support of all of our members.

Although the timing of our meeting from March 17 to 20 is a little early for the season of cherry blossoms, it does fall on the weekend of the Spring Equinox National Holiday. It is not easy to secure accommodation in Kyoto, a city that welcomes large numbers of tourists throughout the year. While further guidance is listed on the Society website, I would urge that you book your hotel reservations in advance.

Last but not least, I want to express my heartfelt thanks for the support that we have received in organizing this Conference-the large donations on the part of numerous companies and organizations, the exhibits, luncheon seminars, advertisements, and more. With the plan for “Visionary Agrochemistry 100” underway, the JSBBA is also getting ready to usher in a new century since its founding. I pray that this year’s meeting will prove to be a starting point of a change, and am sincerely looking forward to everyone’s participation.