It is a great honor and a pleasure for me and our team to greet the participants of the 17th International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction and the 14th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry in Sendai, Tohoku University, Japan.
In my memory of WRI, I attended the 6th Water-Rock Interaction in Malvern, UK in 1989 (Secretary General: Dr. W. M. Edmunds). It was my first time to join the WRI family and this took place just after I obtained my PhD. It was an extremely fantastic meeting and I really enjoyed the sessions as well as the field excursion. Particularly, I found that the WRI meeting was extremely friendly and I was able to create close relationships with many young researchers (PhD students) as well as talk with big leading professors.
It was great experience for me. In whatever country of the world this event has been held, it has been always interesting. And my research career has since developed hand in hand with WRI. It is therefore a great honor to be able to host the WRI meeting in Sendai again in 2021. I really want to share the WRI atmosphere with all of you and provide a great opportunity to enhance the motivation of young researches and students all over the world regarding research.
In 2021, we will hold for the first time a joint event of the two largest IAGC Working Groups (WRI, Water Rock Interaction, and AIG, Applied Isotope Geochemistry) meetings. We hope to create pleasant and friendly relationships amongst participants to facilitate the exchange of ideas, meetings and communication for both young and senior scientists as well as students. We are currently developing an interesting scientific program for you, and, of course, field trips. In the framework of our conference, we will also introduce Japanese culture to you. We hope to open a window to Japan for you, so that you can experience first-hand Japanese hospitality.
In August, it is the festival season in Tohoku District (Northeast part of Japan). You will be able to enjoy fantastic and emotional summer festivals at this time in this region. In Sendai, we have the ‘Tanabata’ Festival, which is an event related to the stars. It is based on the legend that only once a year, Hikoboshi (Cow herder) and Orihime (Weaving Princess), two lovers, would be allowed to meet each other at the shores of the heavenly river (Milky Way). The moment would take place on the night of July 7th in the lunisolar calendar (Actually, August 7th in current calendar). The ‘Tanabata’ Festival is held every year from the 6th to 8th August. Since it will overlap with the WRI meeting you will be able to see very beautiful decorations of bamboo trees along the streets in Sendai. You will also be able to make a wish upon a star. This, we can all discuss the latest and cutting-edge scientific topics during the day and at night you can experience Japanese culture and mythology.
Due to pandemic of COVID-19, we are still under unusual life in 2020. The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed to 2021, and many of the academic conferences, not only domestic but also international, were canceled or conducted Online. Mass media named this lifestyle the “New Normal”, which is Putting on a mask, Online teaching, Telework, and ….
We decided to postpone WRI-17 and AIG-14 until 2022.
Water-Rock Interaction, which focuses on very wide range of interactions between fluids and solid materials in and on the Earth. However, the most important interaction in our community is human-human interaction beyond countries and generations. Our community of Water-Rock Interaction has great and long history of human interaction.
We will organize the next conference in 2022 in Sendai, Japan.
We expect to have vaccines and medications to overcome and live together with this Corona Virus. We are thinking of all possibilities for this international conference, including Face to Face, Online and Hybrid, but I strongly hope to meet all of you in Sendai smiling in the summer of 2022.
NORIYOSHI TSUCHIYA 土屋範芳
Secretary General of WRI-17