TEDxKyotoUniversity 2016 1st Speaker Interview – Dr. Hiroaki Isobe

Sosuke: Hello everybody, and welcome to our first TEDxKyotoUniversity speaker interview! This is Sosuke Ichihashi, and today we have Dr. Hiroaki Isobe. For those who do not know him, Dr.Isobe is an expert in Astrophysics and Astronomy. Good evening Dr. Isobe, and thank for being here today!

Isobe: The pleasure is mine.

S: As  you all know, Dr. Isobe is an Astrophysicist. Dr. Isobe, how did you become interested in space, and in Astrophysics?

I: I became interested in Physics in my junior high school years, but my interest in space was already there since my childhood. I read a picture book called “Space” by Satoshi Kako. And as 6 years old child, I was fascinated by the great unknown that was space, we know as much about space as I understood that book back then. Thus I studied physics which I believed was a step closer to learning more about space. In high school, my interest in space deepened; I became interested in its ultimate form, its origin; the ultimate elementary particles. As my knowledge broadened after I entered university, I began to understand how complex and diverse space really is. I decided to focus on studying the sun, a familiar subject, yet we are far from knowledgeable enough about.

S: I see. There’s definitely a lot to be learned about space! Dr. Isobe, can you tell us about your research regarding the sun?

I: I started my career studying solar flares and explosions; I was interested in the physics of such phenomena. Over the years, my research shifted to studying space weather; how solar flares, among other solar phenomena, affect space, and according the infrastructure we have up there. As you know, we have satellites, space stations and telescopes orbiting our planet,  all of which provide services that are vital for our lives. Studying how solar phenomena affect space weather, and accordingly our space infrastructure is my current field of research.

Another project I am working on right now belongs to the Synergetic Studies for Space, a unit Kyoto University created recently. I’m currently researching space from Humanities and Social sciences point of view, in a new field called “Space Anthropology”.

S: Space Anthropology, is it? That sounds interesting!

I: Yes,  It’s still a new field and I really enjoy working on something novel, something that has not been done before.

S: I’m looking forward to hearing more about Space Anthropology in the future. So Dr. Isobe, What can we expect to hear from you in your TEDx talk?

I: I’ll talk about the insights and revelations I gained from studying space, how it changed my perspective in viewing things.

S: I’m certainly looking forward to it! So Dr. Isobe, do you have any closing comments or advice for students interested in Space?

I: Even though focusing on your fields of study is important, you  should still be open for  other interesting topics. While other fields may seem less interesting the deeper you are in your research, I believe that if you look hard enough, you will find several topics that will hold your interest, topics that may be completely unrelated to your research. Space is related to everything, and even if your are not a space related major, if you’re interested, you should study about space, you’ll discover that space can connect to your field in various ways.

S: I see. Thank you for your time Dr. Isobe, and again, thank you for joining us today.

This concludes today’s interview, thank you for reading, and stay tuned for the video of this interview, and for our next interviews!