Vol.5 No.4 2013
−293−Synthesiology - English edition Vol. 5 No. 4, Mar. 2013Edited by Synthesiology Editorial BoardPublished by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)Letter from the editorWe deliver to you Synthesiology Volume 5 Issue 4. There are five research papers in this issue. One paper is about earthquakes and tsunamis; two papers are about international standardization, one for fuel cells and the other for hazardous chemical substances; one paper on the development of metrology standard; and one on the development of a new material. All the papers are written with focus on the synthetic approach that is the signature of this journal, on the products for which R&Ds were conducted after clearly visualizing the social values that the technology may bring forth. I think they are worthy papers that will bring satisfaction to the readers.The paper (by Yukinobu Okamura) on the giant Jogan tsunami that occurred in AD 869 presents a major topic in the field of disaster prediction and prevention, as it drew social attention after the Great East Japan Earthquake. There are “problems in announcing study results to society” as stated in the subtitle. Pertaining to the scale of the Jogan tsunami, “the research results … were submitted by AIST to the Earthquake Headquarters in the spring of 2010,” but the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred during the time when “the headquarters conducted the evaluations for about one year, for earthquakes along the entire Japan Trench,” and the “the possibility that a giant tsunami might strike the Ishinomaki, Sendai, and the Fukushima coasts” was not communicated (quotes from the paper). Although the researchers may be confident about their research results, the common sense until now was that a result is not accepted as a scientific result unless it is objectively evaluated by some peer review process (and therefore, unreviewed result should not be released to society). On the other hand, considering that “in society, for society” is recognized as one of the objectives of science and technology R&D in the 21st century, efforts must be made to quickly release the research result that may have great impact on the society. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, there has been much mass media coverage of earthquakes and tsunamis, and this may reflect the fact that the researchers are working actively from the perspective of speed. The objective and thorough review of the research results and speedy announcement and publicity of the research results may be contradictory. At AIST where the social demonstration of technology is considered as part of the work of the open innovation hub, this contradiction is a major issue that must be overcome. This issue will be taken up again in Synthesiology. Please send us your comments and continue your support.Editor in ChiefShingo IchimuraSynthesiology Editorial BoardEditor in Chief: S. IchimuraSenior Executive Editor: N. Kobayashi, M. Seto Executive Editors: M. Akamatsu, M. Tanaka, H. Tateishi, S. Togashi, Y. Hasegawa, K. Naito, H. TayaEditors: H. Akoh, S. Abe, K. Igarashi, H. Ichijo, K. Ueda, A. Etori, K. Ohmaki, Y. Owadano, M. Okaji, A. Ono, A. Kageyama, T. Kubo, C. Kurimoto, K. Sakaue, T. Shimizu, K. Chiba, E. Tsukuda, H. Nakashima, K. Nakamura, Y. Baba, J. Hama, K. Harada, Y. Hino, N. Matsuki, K. Mizuno, Y. Mitsuishi, N. Murayama, M. Mochimaru, A. Yabe, H. YoshikawaPublishing Secretariat: Publication Office, Public Relations Department, AISTContact: Synthesiology Editorial Boardc/o Website and Publication Office, Public Relations Department, AISTTsukuba Central 2, Umezono 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8568, JapanTel: +81-29-862-6217 Fax: +81-29-862-6212 sURL: http://www.aist.go.jp/aist_e/research_results/publications/synthesiology_e*Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.