Modern science has advanced based on the basic ideas of dualism and reductionism. This way of thinking entails dividing nature into small domains, deciding on problems that need to be solved, and then solving those problems. This methodology has been so effective that secrets of nature, hidden since the age of ancient Greece, have been uncovered one after another. This knowledge has been fed back into our society and has led to advances in technology for applying that knowledge to society. Thus, science and technology have driven the forward movement of civilization like the two wheels of a cart.
From about 1970, we’ve become more aware of global-scale problems, such as those involving the issues on environment, resources, and energy, which has thrown doubt on the underlying premises of a civilization composed of modern science and technology. Since then, we have pointed out the importance of viewing civilization from a broader, systematic perspective, and we’ve proposed the view that civilization is essentially a way of life that creates a new human sphere component within the earth system.
Based on this idea, we’ve emphasized that for the healthy development of civilization, we need to reconstruct the academic system that has become overly fragmented, so that we can build a new intellectual framework. This new approach, which has been called “Geo-Cosmology,” truly aims to integrate the humanities and sciences. This is an epoch-making attempt not seen since Descartes and Bacon and seeks new horizons for the previous scientific method of dualism and reductionism.
Specifically, this attempt started in 1995 with the “Century of Geo-Cosmology Forum,” an academic society which gathered together some of Japan’s greatest researchers across the humanities and sciences. The society has produced various results over the twenty some years that followed, but with many of its original members growing older, the society was discontinued in March 2017. The results have been collected in a voluminous work “Comprehensive Geo-Cosmology.” Since then, however, there have been calls from various fields expressing the desire to continue the society. In response, Chiba Institute of Technology (Chitec) has established this new research center to advance that valuable work.
Chitec’s founding spirit is “Contributing to the world culture with technology.” This is also the challenge of Geo-Cosmology. Future technological developments will require us to have the ability to design civilization on our own. This is not something that can be done without the panoramic perspective of Geo-Cosmology. In this sense, Chitec is the first Japanese college, which anticipate and address the future coming generation of science and technology .
Director, Institute for Geo-Cosmology, Chiba Institute of Technology