The University of Chicago and University of Tokyo cooperated on two events during the fall quarter of 2016.

The first was the First Joint Interdisciplinary Symposium which focused on Innovative Science and Social Ethics.  This was held at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo and presentations were made by, from the University of Chicago: Professors Mark Ratain (Center for Therapeutics), Keith Bradley (Argonne National Laboratory), Professor Tom Ginsberg (Law School), Professor James Ketelaar (Divisions of Social Sciences and Humanities), and Michael Kulma (Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives).  From the University of Tokyo, presentations were made by Professor Kaori Muto (Institute of Medical Science), Professor Naoto Sekimura (School of Engineering), Professor Hideaki Shiroyama (Public Policy), Professor Takahiro Nakajima (Institute for Adcvanced Studies) and Professor Naoto Sekimura (deputy Director General, International Affiars).  The sessions focused on Medicine, Law, Science and their various relations to ethics in the contemporary world.  This symposium was jointly sponsored by the Law and Medical Schools from both Universities, as well as by the Institute for Advanced Studies at Tokyo University and Argonne Laboratory and the Japan Committee at the University of Chicago.

The second cooperative event was the (third) Joint Graduate Student Workshop in Japan Studies.  This all-day conference was jointly sponsored by the Japan Committee of the University of Chicago and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo.  Last year’s workshop was held at Chicago, this year’s in Tokyo and next October there will be a follow-up gathering again in Chicago.  Five graduate students from each university presented their current work for open and general discussion. Intriguingly, and in the true spirit of international cooperation, students from Chicago all presented their work in Japanese while the students from Tokyo all presented their work in English.  The ensuing discussions were an admixture of both languages.

Both of these events were accompanied by informal gatherings where students, faculty and administrators from both Universities were able to exchange ideas and consider future gatherings.

Contributed by James E. Ketelaar (Professor of Japanese History, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College)

For more detailed information regarding the above conferences, please click here.