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Research institute in Japan releases trading cards of Japanese science ‘heroes’

Most trading cards feature pop culture references like Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, or even entertainment and sporting greats. But Japan is changing the game with the release of Japanese scientists and researchers’ trading cards.

74 researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) were featured in their own trading cards at the AIST Open Day in November. The cards were released in honor of their efforts and excellence in their respective fields of study.

The front part of each card includes a photo of the researcher, along with their name and position in the research organization. The back of the card contains information about the scientists’ work, as well as a fun detail about what they enjoy during their downtime.

Screengrab from YouTube

Attendees were also given the chance to receive cards at the event by interacting with the individual researchers and experiencing a little part of the scientists’ work. They were able to explore different subjects and use some equipment with the guidance of the experts.

Tajima Kazuki, Chief Senior Researcher of the Nanomaterials Research Institute at AIST, expressed his joy for the trading cards and how they will help them connect with those who are interested in science and technology.

He said, “I want middle and high school students to understand what researchers do. We want people to know that we also have interests outside of work.”

One student also shared that it was his dream to interact with researchers and learn more from them. He was excited about their cards as well.

“I’ve collected five cards. It was a valuable experience because, up until now, I never had the opportunity to meet and speak with researchers. Now I’m motivated to keep studying hard.”

The researchers’ trading cards are a valued takeaway for the attendees of AIST Open Day, not only because they were printed as a special collection to raise interest in science and technology but also because each card will remind these people of the learnings they acquired from the event and how to apply them in their lives.


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