Message from the Director

Towards the Establishment of Data-Centric Science
Genshiro Kitagawa
President, Research Organization of Information and Systems

By the dramatic developments in information and communications technology (ICT), the contemporary society is undergoing a huge, unprecedented transformation. Particularly in recent years, huge amount of complex data is constantly being  generated almost automatically in all fields of society, and we are entering the age of Big Data.

Then what are the implications of the age of Big Data for science?  In the first place, the fundamental methods of science and technology was based on theories and experiments originated from the accumulation of knowledge and experiences that Newton described as “the shoulders of giants.” Since the middle of the last century, the development of computers has brought about huge growth in “computational science.” Now, the question is what stories we can tell with these immense amounts of data, and there is a rush to establish what has come to be known as the fourth scientific methodology: Data-Centric Science.

In such an age, our organization, which works from the perspective of information and systems and approaches this with the aim of revealing the fundamental principles of phenomena, from the natural world to the human and social world, has focused on the idea of data-driven science. In 2013, we started the Research Commons Project in order to continue and further develop the transdisciplinary research integration center pioneered by our past projects. We would like to thank everyone who supports the challenge of the Research Organization of Information and Systems in our aim to conduct academic research for a new era.

Our Work as an Inter-University Research Institute

The Research Organization of Information and Systems was established in 2004 as a parent institution of  the National Institute of Polar Research, the National Institute of Informatics, the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, and the National Institute of Genetics, based on the principle of examining complex problems faced by our society from the perspective of information and systems. As an Inter-University Research Institute, each institute, with its own community of researchers, is promoting cutting-edge and transdisciplinary research, while fulfilling its role of joint use of research resource and collaborative research.