Almost thirty years after the collapse of the bubble economy, Japan is still unable to reestablish a real growth path. One factor behind this long-lasting sluggish economy may be the fact that society and social sciences are still unable to respond to new natural scientific phenomena. Behind the 2008 financial crisis is the mechanization of financial technology such as machine trading; the nuclear power plant accident has significantly delayed recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake; and now the world is plagued by a completely new virus. Especially for Japan, which has kept a high fence between humanities and natural sciences, it would be difficult to overcome the current crisis unless a true fusion of humanities and natural sciences were achieved in all aspects of politics, economy, and society.
Motivated by this consideration, main participants of this project have, on various occasions including during a presentation at a JST study group, advocated revising the Basic Act on Science and Technology, which has excluded the humanities. Now that the revision of the Basic Act was realized this spring, this project aims to create a new field of science that integrates life science and social science. We are designing a new type of cohort data that covers both life and social sciences and will use the data to investigate the interactions among economic and social activities, health, and happiness to look into the causality among them. By doing so, we intend to reveal the design of a society supported by "healthy longevity."
August 3, 2020 - July 31, 2022