Thursday, 2 September 2010

Tokizane Award to Prof. Kaoru Inokuchi

Attending Neuro2010 meeting in Kobe from day before yesterday. The scientific session has started from yesterday.

What was happy for me was Inokuchi-sensei was given Tokizane Award from the Japan Neuroscience Society, and talked at Award Lecture. He was originally a bacterial geneticist, and changed his field when he read a book written by late Prof. Nakaakira Tsukahara, a decipline of Tokizane-sensei.

The book "Plasticity and memory of the brain (in Japanese)" was published by Iwanami-shoten in 1987, two years after his sudden death by the accident of Japan Airline on August 12th in 1985, owing to the enormous effort by Tsukahara-sensei's deciplines, Prof. Fujio Murakami and Prof. Yoichi Oda, together with Tsukahara-sensei's wife.

This year, the book was re-published as a pocket-edition, cheaper than the original one. This is because an editor in Iwanami read an essay written by Inokuchi-sensei, and felt that this is the book that must be read over generation.

Although the premature death of Tsukahara-sensei was tragedy, his scientific insight, philosophical mind, and experimental ideas can be transmitted even to young people who read this book. The memory can also be stored in books.

Last night at the dinner party cerebrating awardees of Tsukahara Award, an award for young researchers under 45 year old given from the Brain Science Foundation, founded partly by Tsukahara-sensei's wife,  I did a speech mentioning above.

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