The Nanoscale Function Group would like to offer their deepest condolences to everyone affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Northern Honshu.
The recent earthquake has caused substantial damage to infrastructure, power, water and transport networks over a large area. Ibaraki prefecture (where Suzi used to live) is helping a huge influx of refugees from the north while they themselves have limited supplies of petrol and food. Whilst the immediate humanitarian needs are quite rightly foremost in people's minds, our group is also thinking of how we can help academics and students in the affected area. The impact on academic institutions in Japan has been highlighted in Nature.
Many have expressed pride at the response of the Japanese people in the face of such an unprecedented disaster, sharing what little they have. Here in Ireland we have been discussing our unprecedented economic disaster in recent months, but the earthquake in Japan highlights how much we still have and how much we can share.
Suzi is offering scientists with overlapping research interests, who are affected by the earthquake, the opportunity to spend some sabbatical time in the Nanoscale Function Group in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake (details here) and she is encouraging the rest of the research community in Ireland to do the same. Whilst it is difficult to provide salaries at short notice it is possible for us to provide research facilities, local support and in some cases accommodation.
In Germany they are also trying to offer co-ordinated support across all German research institutions, major funding bodies, German universities and the Ministry of Science. See the Nippon Science Support Network.
If you are a scientist in Northern Honshu who would like to spend some time in our group, or if you are a colleague here in Ireland willing to host a scientist from Japan, please contact us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
"HFSP fully endorses moves to provide opportunities for colleagues in Japan to continue their work with the support of the international community. For our part we will ensure that HFSP awardees affected by these events can continue their projects, for instance, by sending their lab members to collaborators in other laboratories or extending formal deadlines for using HFSP funds. We encourage scientists and institutions around the world to consider how they can help."