From Azure Okinawa to Bitter Cold Boston
Sub-zero temperatures, deep snow and swirling winds greeted members of the OIST Graduate School and Communications and Public Relations Division at the 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts from February 14-18. Every year AAAS organizes the world's largest scientific gathering where researchers present their latest results and science journalists congregate to take notes.
The AAAS meeting is vibrant, multinational and multidisciplinary -- characteristics that also define OIST -- making it the perfect venue for promoting the University’s progress and opportunities for students. OIST’s impact at the meeting was certainly amplified by the contrast between the beautiful sunny vistas in the OIST movie, playing on a large screen at the stand, and the banks of snow and ice building up outside the convention hall. As the snow continued to fall, hundreds of visitors passed by the OIST stand at the AAAS exhibition to pick up brochures and dream of azure seas. Soon the OIST logo on the University's eco-bags became a familiar site at the meeting.
During the four-day event, Seika Kyoda of the Student Support Section, Harry Wilson, Manager of the Academic Services Section, and Neil Calder, Vice President for Communication and PR, crisscrossed Boston to give presentations at Olin College, Tufts University, Northeastern University and MIT. Student poster exhibitions at the AAAS venue were also an opportunity to talk to aspiring scientists and let them know what OIST has to offer.
An AAAS Meeting highlight was the awards event where OIST Board of Governors member Kiyoshi Kurokawa received the 2012 AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. AAAS honored Kurokawa “for his contribution to society by his remarkable stewardship of an independent investigation into the causes of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.”
“We were able to reach so many enthusiastic students coming from not only the Boston area but also from many other areas, including NY, Texas, California, and the UK,” said Ms. Kyoda, a member of the Graduate School Student Support Section. “We also spoke with a lot of people who were just fascinated with our very unique concepts and I am certain that they will spread the word about us around the world.”