ELSI’s Director Yasuhito Sekine receiving the Inoue Prize for Science. Credit: Courtesy of Inoue Foundation for Science


ELSI Director Yasuhito Sekine was awarded the 40th Inoue Prize for Science for the research subject ‘Discovery of habitable environments in the Solar System and understanding of their formation mechanisms.’ The award winners were announced on 14 December 2023 by the Inoue Foundation for Science, and the award-giving ceremony was held on 2 February 2024.The Inoue Prize for Science is presented to researchers under 50 (as of the application deadline) who have made outstanding achievements in basic research in the natural sciences. In 2023, five researchers were selected for this award.

Prof Sekine said, “I am very honoured to receive this prestigious award. My research is on the possibility of life in space, an interdisciplinary theme that includes Earth and planetary science and space exploration engineering, chemistry, and life science. I would be pleased if you would know that such pure and interdisciplinary natural science research is now being conducted at Tokyo Tech on the eve of discovering extraterrestrial life. I also hope to contribute to increasing Japan’s presence in the world in these academic fields.”

The award recognises his important academic contributions to elucidate a viable environment for life in the solar system and his outstanding achievements, including playing a major role in several international solar system exploration programs.


Prof Sekine addressed the audience at the award ceremony. Credit: Courtesy of Inoue Foundation for Science.