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Science  28 Nov 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5906, pp. 1309
DOI: 10.1126/science.322.5906.1309e

REFORM PLATFORM. “I haven't had the chance to tell if I feel tired or not,” says Toshihide Maskawa of Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan, explaining his hectic schedule since the announcement on 7 October that he had won the Nobel Prize in physics. One new responsibility is advising Japan's Ministry of Education on how to strengthen basic research and foster scientific creativity.

The panel of advisers, which includes his co-laureate Makoto Kobayashi of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Tsukuba, physics laureates Leo Esaki (1973) and Masatoshi Koshiba (2002), chemistry laureates Ryoji Noyori (2001) and Koichi Tanaka (2002), and medicine laureate Susumu Tonegawa (1987), met for the first time on 7 November. One of their first pearls of wisdom, according to Shigekazu Matsuura, an official in the ministry's Research Promotion Bureau, was that “some [Japanese] professors really hope not to be upstaged by their students' accomplishments, even though this is shirking their responsibilities.”

(L to R): Esaki, Koshiba, Kobayashi, Tanaka, Tonegawa, Noyori, and Maskawa.

CREDIT: 2008 MAINICHI NEWSPAPER CO., LTD.

The group will meet at least once more before offering formal advice to the ministry.

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