Message from Executive Director

End-to-End Science

Under climate change and gradual progress in social vulnerability, how can science and technology contribute to enhancing water-related disaster resilience and sustainability? Issues that stand at the border between the field of science and that of political or social decision-making have been discussed in the context of “Science for Human and Society.”

M. Gibbons argued about conceptual differences in scientific knowledge and categorized it into “Mode 1” and “Mode 2.” The former is produced as academic, investigator-initiated and discipline-based knowledge production while the latter is a scientific activity for application apart from any traditional discipline by aggregating knowledge in context-driven and problem-focused ways. Similarly, defining theoretical and experiential knowledge activities aiming to recognize phenomena as “cognizing science” and those aiming to produce and improve phenomena as “designing science,” the Science Council of Japan proposes a new scientific field dedicated to the discovery of “social wishes,” which aims to reveal critical issues for social problem resolution using scientific methods. In Future Earth towards promoting cooperative work between society and the science community, researchers from wide-ranging fields and various stakeholders share practical issues, co-design and co-produce research and co-deliver the results to understand and resolve global environmental problems.

As symbolized by “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (C. P. Snow),” it is considered inevitable for disciplines based on different scientific principles to be isolated from one another since human information processing ability is limited. To break through the situation, I would like to propose “End-to-End Science.” By making full use of information technology, it would be possible to integrate data and models, exchange scientific knowledge, and promote dialogue among different disciplines, thus realizing consilience. At the same time, advanced two-way communication between science and society should be materialized so that science can act beyond its realm and interact with society, which leads to the establishment of End-to-End Science. This is a paradigm shift needed to enhance disaster resilience and sustainability and for science and society to achieve.

July 30, 2021
KOIKE Toshio
Executive Director of ICHARM