The Kyoto University dominates the news cycle this week around the world, as they recently proved that mutts do not support people who are mean to their owners. Led by comparative cognition professor, Kazo Fujita, a test used people to test dog’s psychology. They tested 54 dogs and found that when an owner asked for help and was helped by an individual who then offered the dog a treat, man’s best friend was happy to take the treat. Conversely, when an individual denied help to Fido’s owner, he in turn declined treats from the stranger. This proves that canines are perceptive, attentive and responsive to how their owners are treated and will respond accordingly.
This is not the first time that Kyoto University dominates the news cycle. Earlier this month on June 7, they hosted a TEDx conference. TEDx conferences are educational events featuring formidable subject matter, with experts presenting a variety of content in talks lasting a few minutes to almost an hour. These TEDx conferences call for exceptional content and presenters. Among the speakers; Juichi Yamagiwa, the President of the University, who is best known for his research of gorillas and their social conducts, as well as Masahiro Kihara, former deputy director for the Department of Health Planning, Health Policy Bureau and a renowned health scientist working research for diseases including HIV/AIDS, genetic predisposition to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Also featured was professor Yutaka Yamauchi, a high-level work-interactions focused researcher with work experience in the United States, France, and Japan. The conference cost 400 yen and sold out.
A recent headline made by Kyoto University was just last year, when scores of uniformed police squelched a left-winged university student movement in a dormitory. There were three arrests on suspicion of obstructing public officials. It is believed that those left over activists from the 60s and 70s are fringe activists. It is difficult to be perfect, and in a long line of Kyoto University in the news cycle it is at least relieving that negative news do not dominate.
In addition to research, conferences and controversy, Kyoto University has a long history since its inception in 1869 of making headlines. Their alumnus includes a former president, Lee Teng-hui, who is called the “father of Taiwan’s democracy.” This school has educated two former Prime Ministers of Japan; Hayato Ikeda who served as Prime Minister from July 19, 1969 until November 9, 1964 and Fumimaro Konoe who served three separate terms as 34 and 38, as well as 39th Prime Minster. Kyoto University has fostered the education, work ethic, and diligence of these students and the government has invested heavily in its research. The strong support for this institution has yielded ten Nobel Prize winners, the following which are the most notable.
Hideki Yukawa: The first Japanese Nobel laureate who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1949 for his work of his theory of the interaction between protons and neutrons.
Sin-Itiro Tomonaga: He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 for his work in the development of quantum electrodynamics.
Kenichi Fukui: This individual received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981 for independent investigations into the mechanisms of chemical reactions.
Shinya Yamanaka: He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012 for his work on stem-cell research
Ryōji Noyori: They received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001 for the study of chirally catalyzed hydrogenations.
Other Nobel Laureates include Susumu Tonegawa who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1987, Aung San Suu Kyi who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, Makoto Kobayashi who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008, Toshihide Masukawa who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008, and most recently, Isamu Akasaki who the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014.The second oldest Japanese University, Kyoto University, was also the alma mater of countless exceptional philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, authors and will undoubtedly continue to be in the news.
By Olivia Uribe-Mutal
Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen
Examiner: Kyoto University dogs: Experts say canines are good ‘jerk’ detectors
Japan Times: Riot police raid Kyoto University dormitory
Image Courtesy of Ting Fang Li’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License