Awards & Prizes

DATE2023.02.17 #Awards & Prizes

MTI Presidential Chair Laboratory receives the Chemistry Communication Award 2022 Jury's Special Prize (Groups)



The “Molecular Technology Innovation” Presidential Chair Nakamura Laboratory at the Department of Chemistry at the Graduate School of Science has been awarded the "Chemistry Communication Award 2022 Jury's Special Prize (Groups)" by the Japan Union of Chemical Science and Technology. The award-winning theme was "visible chemistry," science communicated through electron microscopic images. The prize was given in recognition of the 20 years of activities of the Laboratory and its parent organization, the Department of Chemistry, for utilizing cutting-edge chemical research as a tool for science communication.

Videos of the MTI Presidential Chair Nakamura Laboratory

People want to see the movement of molecules with their own eyes. To make this possible, the Laboratory has developed a single-molecule atomic-resolution time-resolved electron microscopy (SMART-EM) technique that is pioneering a research field that could be called "visual molecular science." Their educational film "The Moment Crystals Form” received an award at this year's Science and Technology Film/Video Festival. Their high-speed films reveal molecular shuttle movements and the dynamic behavior of deep blue quantum dots. Their work distributed on YouTube and other media platforms has received both domestic and international acclaim. The documentary film "The Sound of Molecules: A scientist and a musician" depicts how Professor Nakamura and his musician friend crossed paths thanks to science and music. The film was shown in theaters in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, a truly rare accomplishment for the Faculty of Science. By sharing the researchers’ excitement with the public through these films, the Laboratory was able to attract the attention of a wide array of audiences, ranging from junior and senior high school students to the general public. The academic papers describing the research results were also widely read around the world, demonstrating that academic papers themselves can be a tool for "chemistry communication.

In order to tackle “science phobia,” the laboratory is continuing to develop "visual molecular science," a bridge between cutting-edge science and science education. We wish the laboratory further success in both research and education.

Chemistry Communication Award 2022

(Written by Professor Shinichi Ohkoshi, Department of Chemistry)

Translated by Office of Research Strategy and Development