Chemistry Winner Akira Yoshino Gives Nobel Lecture


Chemistry winner Akira Yoshino gives Nobel lecture

Japanese scientist Akira Yoshino delivered his Nobel lecture on Sunday in Sweden. Yoshino is one of the three winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The Nobel lecture is an opportunity for winners to speak about their work and the significance of their research.

Yoshino gave a lecture titled "Brief History and Future of Lithium-ion Batteries" before an audience of about 1,000 at Stockholm University.

He said people all around Japan are excited about his selection especially as a person of industry.

He said the award is a great gift to his family who have supported him over the years.

Yoshino referred to his background and said he became fascinated with chemistry in elementary school after reading a book written by Michael Faraday, "The Chemical History of a Candle."

He also said he began basic research on lithium-ion batteries after joining chemical manufacturer Asahi Kasei by using plastic developed by another Japanese Nobel laureate Hideki Shirakawa.

Yoshino recalled his days steeped in experiments to improve the safety of lithium-ion batteries. He noted that he was convinced lithium-ion batteries could be put to practical use when they did not ignite, even when given a shock.

He presented a video to show his vision of the future, when self-driving electric vehicles are widely used that can be recharged with renewable energy.

He concluded his lecture by saying that innovation will enable the achievement of a sustainable society very soon and the battery will play a central role.

Following the lecture, Yoshino was joined by his co-winners on stage and the audience applauded them.

A 19-year-old student said it was a great lecture. She said she was touched by the passion of Nobel winners, especially by Yoshino's ideas about saving energy and an eco-friendly future.

A 26-year-old student said he was impressed by the process of Yoshino's discovery through his trials of different materials as well as his strong determination to pursue advancement.