Nine months in Sendai after big Japanese earthquake

Recently I was invited to International Conference of New Science Created by Materials with Nano Spaces. The conference was organized in Sendai, Japan by my long-term colleague Katsumi Tanigaki. When the invitation came, I immediately accepted it as a gesture of my full support to Sendai science after big Japanese earthquake. The conference was in fact originally planned in spring but after the earthquake and the series of tragic events that followed it was not even clear if this conference will be organised at all. But yet, I attended the conference and once again enjoyed the great Japanese hospitality merely nine months after the earthquake. Nine months is an important time period in human life. In nine month new life is born. And that is exactly what I felt when I arrived at Sendai. The research activities were lively as ever and just looking at the city, laboratories or energy of local people I would never guess what happened here. It truly requires the determination, discipline, coherence and organizational skills to re-bounce in such a short time!

On the way back I couldn’t help myself not to make some comparisons with Europe. We certainly miss some of these qualities when dealing with problems at home. Just look at the way Europe is approaching towards problems in the Eurozone. The reaction-time was slow with an unacceptable delay and when they finally came they are largely chaotic and insufficient. So, this brings me to the point, what can we –European partners – learn from our Japanese partners in LEMSUPER project. Well, apart from being jointly involved in the research of current “hot-topics” in the field of superconductivity I hope that I’ll be able to transfer some of their working culture also to my laboratories.