31 Jan 2014

OIST Cafe Comes Home to Okinawa

The first OIST Café in Okinawa kicked off on Friday, January 24, featuring a lecture on English academic presentations by OIST English Teacher, Kevin Hunt, and a talk on science careers by Dr. Hiroshi Takagi of OIST’s Cellular and Molecular Synaptic Function Unit. The event also included a briefing session on the possibilities for graduate education at the university. The audience of 39 participants paid rapt attention throughout.

OIST Cafés present “a science café with English language training for students of science and technology”, and have been held nationwide. Following Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, and Fukuoka, the science café came home to Okinawa to hold its 5th meeting at OIST. Kevin Hunt lectured on effective ways to structure academic presentations, and specifically how to deliver a main message clearly. He asked the participants to work with each other and they had animated discussions about communication methods, using scientific materials. Dr. Takagi introduced his studies and wide research experience. His educational background spans a wide range of disciplines, including biology and theoretical biophysics. Dr. Takagi has studied and worked in research and academic institutes overseas. “I owe all my opportunities to the people I met along the way”, Dr. Takagi said. He also talked about OIST, and the audience agreed that OIST attracts world-class scientists with its excellent research infrastructure and the congenial climate of Okinawa.  

OIST Café drew participants from many professional backgrounds. “I wonder if an English presentation seminar for teachers can be given on our campus,” a high school teacher suggested enthusiastically.  A high school participant said, “I was reminded about the importance of meeting and connecting with other people. My impressions of Okinawa with its warm-hearted people and wonderful environment were reaffirmed.” OIST Café will continue to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to network and to talk about science and methods of communicating it.

By Mayumi Nishioka


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