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Home > Policy > White Paper, Notice, Announcement > White Paper > JAPANESE GOVERNMENT POLICES IN EDUCATION, SCIENCE, SPORTS AND CULTURE 1997 > Scientific Research Chapter 1 Section 2 3

Scientific Research: Opening the Door to the Future
Chapter 1 Conceptual Foundations for Promoting Scientific Research
Section 2: The Contribution of Scientific Research to Establishing a Nation Based on the Creativity of Science and Technology
3. Goals for Science and Technology Administration

As discussed above, awareness of the importance of basic research has been growing in recent years on both the national and international levels. Other changes are also apparent.

First, there is a growing range of fields in which basic research is closely linked to applied and development research, such as bioscience, where basic research results lead to immediate practical benefits.

Second, in more and more fields, research is coming to depend on cooperation among numerous institutes and researchers. This is especially true of so-called big science, including accelerator science and research on nuclear fusion, research in the human genome (a set of chromosomes containing all the genetic information required to construct an organism), brain research, cancer and AIDS research, and strategic research, such as environmental science.

Third, a growing number of multidisciplinary fields, such as the global environment, bioscience, and information, demand joint effort encompassing the humanities and social sciences as well as natural sciences and their derivative areas of science and technology.

If progress in these areas is to be taken into consideration, it will be necessary to promote comprehensive, balanced policies that keep in view the entire range of scientific research and take account of interrelationships between natural sciences and the humanities and social sciences.

This view is reflected in the three principles underlying MESSC's approach to promoting scientific research:

(1) respect for researchers' autonomy,
(2) the development of a research base that encompasses all fields from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences, and
(3) the integration of research with education and human resource development.

Key aspects of policy are implemented on the basis of these principles and recommendations from the Science Council, a board set up to advise the Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture. Overall coordination of the policies of Japanese government organs involved with science and technology, except those that relate solely to the humanities and social sciences, is provided by the Council for Science and Technology, which advises the Prime Minister. This board is chaired by the Prime Minister and composed of relevant ministers, including the Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, together with various experts. Deliberations by the Council for Science and Technology also cover scientific research in universities, which is essential for the advancement of science and technology in Japan. Secretariat services are provided jointly by MESSC and the Science and Technology Agency.

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