• Jiji, Kyodo


Motoko Kotani, executive vice president for research at Tohoku University, has been elected the next president of the International Science Council, according to the Science Council of Japan.

Kotani, a member of the SCJ, is one of the first two Japanese nationals given executive posts at the ISC, which brings together scientific organizations worldwide, including national academies.

"It's a great privilege. I'm feeling a heavy responsibility," Kotani told an online news conference Thursday. She expressed a view that Japan's academic and scientific contributions to the world led to the elections.

Kotani, who specializes in mathematics and geometry, will participate in the management of the ISC as president-elect until 2024. After that, she will serve as president for three years.

Also, Sawako Shirahase, a council member of the SCJ and professor of sociology at the University of Tokyo, was elected vice president for finance of the ISC.

Both Kotani and Shirahase were elected to the executive posts in the recent ISC General Assembly meeting.

Established in 2018, the ISC is the world's largest nonprofit academic organization, having as members over 140 national and regional scientific organizations, such as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Some Japanese nationals had taken up executive posts, including president, at the former International Council for Science, a predecessor of the ISC.

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