Message from President

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  • Message from President

 The Biophysical Society of Japan was founded in December 1960, and made a new start as a general incorporated association in January 2014. I, born in the same year as the society, have worked as a researcher while positioning this society as the most important one since my postgraduate years. For the next 2 years from now, I will be involved with the management of this society as the president. It is truly my honor, and I will try my best for the further development of the society.

 What is “biophysics” which bridges between biology, a diversified discipline, and physics, a fundamental discipline aiming at expressing natural phenomena in a single mathematical formula?

 In the 50th anniversary project of the Biophysical Society of Japan held in December 2010 in Odaiba, Tokyo, I took the role of the chair in a panel discussion titled “The next 50 years of biophysics”, and discussed this topic with other participants from the same generation. On a special issue which was published in February 2012 to celebrate the 300th volume of “SEIBUTSU BUTSURI”, I served as a facilitator of a round-table talk on “the future of biophysics”, and discussed with the leading professors in this field.
 After the emergence of biophysics, life phenomena appeared to violate the second law of thermodynamics (in this sense living organisms were considered to feed on negative entropy), which are now fully explained by the laws of physics. I am sure that many of the members of the society must be wishing to clarify what makes complex and delicate life possible, from each of their perspectives.
 However, it is not easy to find an answer. We need to appropriately understand and integrate many different phenomena that occur at various levels, such as spatial scales ranging from the size of atoms or electrons constituting the body (10-15 m) to that of an individual object (101 m), as well as time scales ranging from photon absorption (10-15 sec) to evolution (1015 sec). Thus, not only using the conventional techniques and procedures, but also developing new ones is required. Traditionally, the members of the society have been good at developing and exploiting new techniques and procedures.
 In the 50th anniversary panel discussion, I mentioned that ‘As has been in the past, I hope the society continues to be a place for the active exchange of ideas on new measurement and analytical techniques’, as “prospects for the future of biophysics”.
 In order for the society, which is rich in history and tradition, to keep disseminating unique and original research results to the world, I would like to continue examining what the society can do, together with the executive board and society members.

 In the same discussion, I also mentioned that ‘It is important that young researchers are actively engaged in the society, as they always have been’.
 The vitality of young researchers has been the tradition and major characteristic (good feature) of the society. Whenever the society becomes larger (in terms of membership), the number of student participants to the banquet tends to decrease. Yet, many students continue to participate the banquet in our annual meetings to have various discussions even after the membership of the society exceeded 3,000. I really enjoy watching a mixture of well-established researchers and students who sometimes compete for the catered food in the banquet of our annual meeting. Despite the growing pessimism about the environment and future of young researchers nowadays, I would like to keep examining the roles of the society together with the executive board and society members, so as to help young researchers, who are the future of the society, stay active.
 Lastly, in order for the society to disseminate interesting facts about biophysics and for young scientists to have hope to continue their research, I would like to continue making efforts by obtaining cooperation from the executive board and society members. I would appreciate your understanding and continued support.

June 24, 2017
Hideki Kandori
Professor, Nagoya Institute of Technology