Chief Executive Director
Mohri Mamoru, Ph. D.
Chief Executive Director
Miraikan considers science and technology to be one of many cultures in human society, each of which develops wisdom. Miraikan opened in 2001 based on this philosophy as a place for open discussion. Each permanent exhibition in Miraikan has been created and overseen with leading researchers so that all who visit may consider the role and potential for science and technology, and together design a society of the future. Furthermore, the museum cooperates and collaborates with organizations worldwide in creation of special exhibitions to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of science and technology as a part of culture.
Another focus Miraikan emphasizes is the cultivation of Science Communicators (SCs) who connect all people to science so that, together they can build a sustainable future. We continuously train and produce SCs through our daily science communication activities that, include creating opportunities for dialogue on science and technology, and encouraging cooperation in numerous roles both inside and outside the museum.
Miraikan is also a research center, a unique initiative for a science museum. Across the corridor from the exhibit hall, the research facility allows visitors to observe scientists up close as they conduct advanced experiments in countless areas of research. The researchers proactively host events, workshops, and science communication activities in cooperation with museum staff in order to promote better understanding of their research.
The role of science museums throughout the world is changing rapidly with the dizzying pace of change in society. Miraikan hosted the Science Centre World Summit 2017 as the first time in Asia, to further promote a global viewpoint in science museums. After deepening the discussions among museum leaders, educators, government personnel, and business people from throughout the world, the "Tokyo Protocol*" was compiled as an action plan and behavioral guideline for science museums to assist in the realization of a sustainable future. Miraikan works with science museums of the world to undertake the role to create a sustainable society by science communication activities such as collaborative exhibitions, involving the world's youth, and creating partnerships among all areas of society based on the Tokyo Protocol.
Miraikan will continue to serve as a venue for science communications open to the world, to consider its role in science and technology, and to incorporate the wisdom of numerous domains in order to contribute to the future society for all of humanity. In this, we ask for your ongoing understanding and support.
- Tokyo Protocol
What impression do you have of Miraikan? Many people probably think of it as a place where children can enjoy science, while looking at and touching exhibits. However, I believe Miraikan is slightly different from what you might expect. We would, of course, like as many children as possible to visit us, and I also hope that more high school students, university students, and adults will enjoy Miraikan as well.
Miraikan is a place where all of us can imagine the future of society, while thinking about the present, through the lens of science and technology. Our slogan is “Science Changes People; People Change Worlds.” I truly hope that those who visit Miraikan will come away with experiences that make them see the world they know in a different light. I am looking forward to your visit.
What new roles are required of museums in the coming age? The fundamental role of most museums is to carefully preserve historical and cultural artifacts for future generations, research and exhibit them, as well as educate people and disseminate information about them. However, Miraikan has no such collections. Without any collections, we also do not have any research organizations. Instead, we have many staff members with diverse skillsets, and they are a bridge between our visitors (society) and science and technology.
As our name, “Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation,” suggests, we deal with science and the future (“mirai” in Japanese). Our “exhibits” do more than simply involve objects and video content related to cutting-edge research in science and technology. Instead, we present integrated, multi-media exhibits that enable visitors to hear directly what researchers have to say, and to experience proof-of-concept experiments firsthand, with the help of our Science Communicators, as well as to engage in dialog and co-creation with a wide range of people through our many programs. In other words, Miraikan is your public facility that serves as a tool for fostering person-to-person dialog and for promoting discussions about a more creative future, in relation to the challenges we face that are highly related to science and technology.
It is unique for a museum to have such an ambition. That is true not only among science museums, but worldwide. We are different in nature compared to conventional museums and art centers. Nevertheless, faced with ever changing social conditions in contemporary society, I believe that this new kind of museum plays an important role for civil society by thinking about the future. To put it another way, only with the participations of many different people, who are themselves involved with society, does Miraikan have a reason to exist. I sincerely hope that you will visit Miraikan in person or online, interact with the many “exhibits” we feature, and think about the future, your future, with us.
Sakaki Hiroyuki, Ph. D.
Human beings have thrived over millions of years by creating and using various tools to secure food, clothing and shelter. Through these efforts, we, human beings, discovered methods of making metal wares and also the universal laws of the motion of objects; these discoveries led to the invention of the steam engine, railways and so on, giving birth to the modern society. Then we created electrical technology and science, and, in later stages, unraveled the core physics of photons, electrons and atoms. On the basis of these findings, drastic advances have been made in various fields, such as materials science, power engineering, and information-and-communications technology. Moreover, since the discovery of DNA structures in the mid-twentieth century, mysteries of living organisms have been unlocked, resulting in the transformation of medical sciences.
Although these advances in science and technology have allowed a large portion of people to enjoy affluent life, they have created serious problems such as the depletion of fossil fuels and global warming. While advances in transportation have greatly facilitated the movement of goods and people, they have also invited the spread of diseases such as COVID19. Moreover, the smooth flow of information enabled by the internet has led to such issues as internet addiction and abuse.
By getting the advice and support from frontline researchers, we, the Miraikan, keep constant efforts to offer opportunities and materials to help visitors easily grasp the course of progress in science and technology which human beings have made through creativity and ingenuity; we also help visitors envision the direction and possibilities of future evolution of science and technology. Furthermore, we offer opportunities to understand major issues that the world is confronted with, and hints to examine what measures human beings should take to make the 21 century a better age for the Globe.
Nowadays, electronic access to a vast amount of information through the internet has become powerful. We, Miraikan, are improving our on-line delivery of information. We believe, however, that visiting Miraikan and spending hours to see and directly experience exhibits and the actual work up close, while having dialogue with science communicators and/or companions, will enable visitors to get something that cannot be learned from the internet; we are confident that visitors will acquire deeper understanding of science and technology and balanced thoughts on the future of humanity. We sincerely wish that you will visit Miraikan and enjoy a fruitful time.