My appointment as president for fiscal 2021 and 2022 was recently decided at our 67th regular general meeting and 447th meeting of the board of directors. While this important role may be more than I deserve, I would like to make every possible effort toward the further development of the traditions of the Japan Oil Chemists’ Society (JOCS).
Since last year, the social situation has been turbulent due to the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 infection, and everyday life has changed significantly. Nowadays, it is not easy to ensure safety and security in daily life, and there are restrictions in every situation. For many, the “comfortable living” that once existed may be becoming a distant memory.
On the other hand, this situation has also caused positive behavioral changes. Due to the influence of COVID-19, online business has expanded, resulting in “unexpected time”, which is triggering the creation of new ideas and businesses. We were forced to cancel various events and change the holding method. However, as a result of deciding to hold the annual meeting online in March of last year and proceeding with preparations through trial and error, we were able to obtain the same number of participants and profits as before. The effect of holding online was much higher than expected, with an average of more than 100 hearings for each presentation and the ability to diversify advertising formats.
The “Future Concept Committee” (2017), which I chaired, positioned “maximizing the annual meeting” as a pillar from the perspective of sustainable development of the JOCS, and proposed solutions for that purpose. In response to this, the “Annual Meeting Reform Promotion Committee” (chaired by Professor Kouichi ASAKURA, Keio University) was established, and reform tactics are being implemented at any time at subsequent annual meetings. The burden on the executive committee of the annual meeting, the convenience and capacity of the venue, and the bias in the number of presentations for each session, which were troublesome issues at that time, can be easily solved by holding online, and thus the results of the activities of this promotion committee are highly expected at this year’s annual meeting.
In addition to various policy proposals, the Future Concept Committee also formulated a vision based on the following three characteristics of the JOCS.
-We cover a wide range of science and technology fields
-We have many researchers and engineers belonging to companies, compared to other academic societies
-We aim at science, technology, and products that are very closely related to daily life
The proposed vision is “The intersection of scientists and engineers breaking new ground in oleo science to support comfortable living” (did you know that it is at the top of the JOCS homepage?), representing that the JOCS has an open atmosphere, where various researchers and engineers are free to interact with each other and create a starting point for technologies and products that support new academic fields and healthy and comfortable lives. Indeed, it is a group that focuses on “comfortable living” and can regain the daily life that was lost in the COVID-19 disaster and contribute to the creation of a new daily life.
We have promoted “improvement of the quality of our journals” as well as “maximizing the annual meeting”. Due to the wise judgment of seniors, the “Journal of Oleo Science (JOS)”, which consists of only scientific articles, was first published in 2001. After that, the electronic version of the journal was started, and it became a purely English journal and began receiving an impact factor since 2010. Then, in April of this year, the JOS has been accepted for indexing in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This clearly shows that our journal has a high international influence and has an appropriate and accurate peer review function. It is expected that the number of submitted papers will increase and the content will be expanded soon.
Based on our vision, let’s overcome the current COVID-19 crisis and continue to grow into a more attractive and sustainable academic society by further promoting flexible and multifaceted cooperation among members. In addition, let’s make full use of the characteristics of our society and create a starting point of “comfortable living” and contribute to the promotion of SDGs as a public interest incorporated association. Next year, the 2nd World Congress on Oleo Science will be held as a commemorative project for the 70th anniversary of the JOCS. We look forward to your continued understanding and support in the future.
(National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Director of Chugoku Center)