The 18th(2002) Award

Award Ceremony
Opening Address
Report on the Process of Selection
Address by His Majesty the Emperor
Congratulatory Address
(Prime Minister)
Congratulatory Address
(Minister of Education)
Acceptance Address
(Professor Masatoshi Nei)
Awards the 2002 International Prize for Biology
JSPS Homepage
NEI Homepage


Congratulatory Address

Ms. Atsuko Toyama, Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture

Distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen:

I am truly delighted that the awards ceremony for the 18th International Prize for Biology is taking place here today, in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress.

The International Prize for Biology was established in honor of the 60th year of Emperor Showafs reign, in order to commemorate his long years of biological research and to promote research in the field of biology. Every year, this honor is bestowed on a scientist who has achieved outstanding accomplishments in biological research and has made great contributions to the advancement of science throughout the world.

I understand that Dr. Masatoshi Nei, who has just been presented with this prize, performed research over many years on the genetic diversity of populations and evolutionary relationships among organisms on a molecular level, and that he has laid the theoretical foundation of current molecular biology. His superb work, which has contributed tremendously to all the biological sciences, is indeed most deserving of recognition by the International Prize for Biology-which is awarded for highly original, vanguard research. This is because Dr. Neifs research has provided the theoretical infrastructure for todayfs molecular evolutionary biology, a field on the razor edge of which outstanding scientists are compering fiercely, throughout the world. I am delighted to express my wholehearted congratulations to Dr. Nei, and to wish him every success in his future research.

As intellectual and creative work carried out in search of truth, scientific research has intrinsic cultural value and is critical in opening up entirely new frontiers of inquiry and achieving breakthroughs that can change the complexion of future society.

For this reason, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is working to make Japan ga nation richly endowed in scientific and technological creativity.h In this pursuit, the Ministry places particular emphasis on the life sciences as a priority field. We are actively promoting basic research that is both pioneering and cutting edge, and are advancing R&D that yields richly creative results at the worldfs highest level of excellence. I would like to urge all of the distinguished researchers gathered here today to redouble their efforts so as to advance further scientific research around the world.

In closing, I should like to express my respect and gratitude to the members of the International Prize for Biology Committee and to all the other individuals who have worked so hard in the administration of this celebrated award.

Thank you.