Regarding the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry

Shigefumi Kuwahara

Shigefumi Kuwahara

I wish to extend my greetings on behalf of the Organizing Committee for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry (JSBBA). 

The members of the Tohoku region have been working together to prepare for the conference in Sendai for the first time since 2013, when we were recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, as the future is uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 conference will be held online except for some of the award ceremonies and award-winning lectures. We sincerely hoped to welcome researchers and students in the fields of chemistry and biology from all over Japan such as universities, public research institutes, and corporate research institutes to Sendai in the spring to directly share a wide range of research results from basic to applied fields. However, since the conference will be held online, we would like to provide opportunities for exchanging information that will be as satisfying as a face-to-face meeting by maximizing the advantages of an online event. The participation fee has been significantly reduced compared to the previous year.

Now I will explain the outline of the format of the conference. I hope many of you will participate and, at the same time, I would like to ask the members in the commercial sector for cooperation and support for events such as online exhibition of equipment, reagents, and books and the online-sponsored symposium (formerly the luncheon seminar) so that we can make this first-ever online conference of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry a success.

The award ceremonies and award lectures will be held locally on March 18 (Thursday), the first day of the Conference, at Hotel Metropolitan Sendai, which is a one-minute walk from the West Exit of JR Sendai Station. However, in addition to the annual award ceremonies and award lectures for 2021, the cancelled award ceremonies and award lectures for 2020 will be held at the same time, so the lectures held onsite will be limited to JSBBA Award, JSBBA Award for Senior Scientists, and JSBBA Award for Achievement in Technological Research for both years, and general participants will not be allowed to attend the award ceremonies and award lectures due to the restrictions to avoid the three Cs (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings). The award ceremonies and award lectures will also be streamed live using Zoom (the award ceremonies can be viewed free of charge by the general public as well as the conference participants and members). The award lectures for JSBBA Award for Young Scientists, JSBBA Award for Women Scientists, JSBBA Award for Women Corporate Researchers, and JSBBA Award for Young Women Scientists for both years will be streamed live on the second day of the Conference (March 19). We also plan to stream recorded videos on demand so that all the award lectures can be viewed at any time during the conference.

In addition to the on-demand stream of the general lectures that can be viewed at any time during the conference, we will set up a core time from March 19 to March 21 for the speakers and viewers to have direct Q & A sessions (using the Zoom Breakout Room). Also, we will newly set up an English Session in the lecture application classification table for this conference. This will encourage the members to take on the challenge of presenting research and asking and answering questions in English. We also ask non-Japanese members to actively participate in the conference. The conference symposium is scheduled to be held in real-time (the Zoom Webinar) from the afternoon of March 19 to the evening of March 21 to avoid overlaps with general lectures as much as possible. The sponsored symposium (formerly the luncheon seminar) is scheduled to be held in the same format as the conference symposium and will be held every day around noon from March 19 to March 21. For the exhibitions of equipment, reagents, books, an exhibition system will be set up within the special site of the conference from March 19 to March 21 (using Zoom). Members from commercial sectors are encouraged to use this. Company information sessions (Employer information sessions)-a place for exchanges between businesses and students-which is a popular annual event, is scheduled to be held in the same way as the exhibitions. In addition to the on-demand stream of research results, Nougeikagaku Meeting for High-school Students, with participants from a large number of high school students every year, will have core time on March 19 (Friday) for a question and answer session. The online award ceremonies will be held in the afternoon. The JSBBA 'Chemistry and Biology' Symposium, which invites prominent lecturers, and Frontiers Symposium, which is a place of exchanges for young agrochemical scientists, are scheduled to be held at the Zoom Webinar on the final day of the Conference (March 21).

Luncheon Symposium about the Gender Equality and Forum of the Academic Exchange Committee between Government, Industry and Academia are planned to be held on March 20 and 21, respectively. We regret to inform you that Transdisciplinary Joint Symposium, Luncheon Symposium about JABEE, BBB Luncheon Seminar, and the Banquet have been canceled.

I have explained the outline of the 2021 conference above. However, as we have only recently decided to hold it online, we expect some small changes to occur to the above schedule as we may need to adjust the plan in the future. We will notify you if there are any changes to the plan on the conference website. We will do our utmost to ensure that the circulation of information and the exchanges among all the participants proceed smoothly so that we can have lively discussions and exchange of information. However, if you notice any problems such as any inconveniences, please accept our apology and contact the organizing committee or the secretariat of the society.

As mentioned at the beginning, the participation of many researchers and students and the support of companies and organizations are essential for holding the conference. We will continue to do our utmost to hold an online conference everyone will be happy with, so we would like to ask for your cooperation in the exhibitions, sponsored symposiums, and Company information sessions (Employer information sessions), as well as in advertising.