Curiosity Widens Your World
Study at the School of Science

Takeo Horiguchi, PhD Dean, School of Science Hokkaido University

The School of Science at Hokkaido University currently consists of six departments: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences (Biology), Biological Sciences (Macromolecular Functions), and Earth and Planetary Sciences. These departments at a glance seem to be totally different, with no close relationship to one another since their subjects and methodologies are so different. However, I would like to stress that there is an important common feature uniting these departments—the scientific approach, based on each researcher’s intellectual curiosity. This might be the main difference between basic science-oriented departments and applied science-oriented departments.

Since its founding in 1930, the School of Science has continuously advanced global cutting-edge research, and over the nearly 90 years of its history it has produced numerous world-class studies, including the snow crystal research of Professor Ukichiro Nakaya and the development of a carbon–carbon coupling reaction by Professor Akira Suzuki, a Nobel laureate in chemistry. How are such research achievements even possible? I believe they stem from the intellectual curiosity of the researchers. Their interest in the mysteries of nature serves as a driving force for research, and coupled with their unwavering determination to gain insight into such questions, this ultimately leads to original research results. At the School of Science, intellectual curiosity is valued and developed so we can help build a new system of knowledge by discovering natural laws, rules, and principles as common assets of humankind.

Research means studying issues that currently have no solution, and it requires preparation. To unlock the mysteries of nature, it is essential that you acquire fundamental knowledge and understand what has been elucidated so far. When you do, it is important to do more than merely acquire knowledge; you also must master the ability to find a pathway to a solution by understanding what knowledge is necessary to reach the answer, and to figure out how to come by that knowledge. The School of Science offers a wide range of educational programs so that students can solidify their foundations and then navigate their way through a sea of studies under the instruction of faculty at the school, which undertakes global cutting-edge research.

We welcome students—those who are interested in nature and wish to unveil the hidden mechanisms of natural phenomena; those who would like to explain things logically; those who wish to explore truths that are not swayed by the currents of time; and those who really love to make observations or perform experiments and would like to keep doing so until a satisfying conclusion is reached. For such students, the School of Science at Hokkaido University can be the ideal place to study. If you would like to tackle the mysteries of the natural world yourself, please join us.

Academic background

1979 Graduated, Tsukuba University
1984 Graduated, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Tsukuba University
1984-85 JSPS Post-doctoral fellow
1985-1987 Univ. Natal, South Africa, Postdoctoral Associate
1987-1988 Univ. Witwaterssrand, South Africa, Postdoctoral Associate
1988-1993 Shinshu University
1993-present Hokkaido University