The International Institute for Advanced Studies offers the greatest features for providing forums for mutual understanding and close contacts among researchers in different academic disciplines. Based on this feature, the IIAS has the principal research objectives of excavating and developing new realms of sciences and the humanities for the next generation by accumulation of knowledge in many academic fields through interaction of outstanding researchers.
After reorganization of national universities and national research institutes as corporations, a significantly larger ratio of research expenses is provided by competitive funding. Under the justification of promotion of science and technology, large research funding is granted to particular tasks and fields of national policies, and as a result, there is a growing tendency that researchers are concentrated in such particular tasks and fields. Considering the situation in which Japan is now placed, it is undoubtedly necessary to promote such “problem solving type” research, but if too much focus continues to be placed on “problem solving type” research as we are witnessing now, while detailed knowledge can be accumulated in particular fields, such knowledge will eventually be depleted. This is because under such conditions, we cannot expect breakthroughs that create new concepts and large scale developments in the sciences.
In contrast, research based on the idea of individual researchers is “problem excavation-type” research, which is basic academic study. In many cases, new tasks (new realms of sciences) of “problem solving type” research emerges from the results and knowledge of “problem excavation-type” research. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a balance between “problem solving type” research and “problem excavation-type” research.
Under such circumstances in Japan, our research projects have a great significance in that they could explore, discover and develop new realms of sciences for the next generation beyond even the boundaries of natural science and the humanities or social sciences.
By providing a forum for discussion among outstanding researchers both in Japan and overseas through our research projects and/or conferences, we want to transmit not only research results and novel information to Japan and overseas but also to present to researchers and academic societies, the possibility of development of sciences and important issues for the future of sciences.