Ochanomizu University and the University of Strasbourg (France) celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of their partnership agreement this year. The University of Strasbourg’s Professor Jean-Pierre Sauvage—who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016 for the design and synthesis of molecular machines—gave a special presentation entitled “Molecular Machines: From Biology to Artificial Systems” on November 12 as part of a series of commemorative events. Prior to the lecture, President Kimiko Murofushi conferred the title of Distinguished Professor, specially appointed by the President on Professor Sauvage.
A total of 136 people—including 44 elementary, junior high and senior high school students—attended the lecture. Audience members appreciated Professor Sauvage’s thoughtfulness in ensuring that his presentation was easy even for younger attendees to understand. He conveyed the fun and excitement of chemistry through explanations accompanied by numerous slides that incorporated computer graphics of molecular machines. His recounting of the fine collaboration he enjoyed with his co-researchers who shared the Nobel Prize with him was also impressive.
Student representatives from Ochanomizu University’s junior and senior high schools expressed their appreciation by presenting Professor Sauvage and his wife with bouquets following the presentation. There was a lively Q&A session with the audience, with questions even from the junior and senior high students, and the presentation exceeded its scheduled time.