J-GLOBAL         Last updated: Feb 12, 2019 at 11:29
The University of Tokyo
Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies
Job title
PhD in Primatology(Kyoto University)
Other affiliation
Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP), RIKEN


Osamu Sakura. b.1960, Tokyo, Japan. Professor at the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan. Getting PhD in 1992 from Kyoto University, Japan, by behavioral ecology of wild chimpanzees in West Africa. After finishing doctoral thesis, I have shifted my field to rather historical and philosophical areas, especially on the reception of sociobiological ideas in Japan.
Recent activities include popularization and education of sciences. Teaching experience at Freiburg University, Germany, and Yokohama University, Japan. Publishing includes more than a dozen of books (written in Japanese), around 50 academic papers, many articles in popular magazines and newspapers, as well several times of TV appearance as science interpreter. Advisory board member for academic journal Biology and Philosophy since 1998.

Research Areas


Academic & Professional Experience

Mar 2017
Team Leader, Science, Technology and Society Team, Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP), RIKEN
Mar 2018
Dean, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo
Professor, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo

Published Papers

Jordan Amadio, Guo-Qiang Bi, Paul Frederick Boshears, Adrian Carter, Anna Devor, Kenji Doya, Hermann Garden, Judy Illes, L. Syd M. Johnson, Lyric Jorgenson, Bang-Ook Jun, Inyoung Lee, Patricia Michie, Tsuyoshi Miyakawa, Eisuke Nakazawa, Osamu Sakura, Hagop Sarkissian, Laura Specker Sullivan, Stepheni Uh, David Winickoff, Paul Root Wolpe, Kevin Chien-Chang Wu, Akira Yasamura, Jialin C. Zheng, Karen_S. Rommelfanger, Sung-Jin Jeong, Arisa Ema, Tamami Fukushi, Kiyoto Kasai, Khara_M. Ramos, Arleen Salles and Ilina Singh
Neuron   100(1) 19-36   Oct 2018   [Refereed]
Fujishima Yoko, Sakura Osamu
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FASHION STUDIES   5(1) 197-209   Apr 2018   [Refereed]
Sakura, O.
Journal of Information Processing and Management   60(10) 757-760   Jan 2018   [Invited]
Otaki Yurina, Ueda Kazuhiro, Sakura Osamu
JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION   143 719-730   Feb 2017   [Refereed]
Tamami Fukushi, Taichi Isobe, Eisuke Nakazawa, Yoshiyuki Takimoto, Akira Akabayashi, Laura Specker Sullivan, Osamu Sakura
The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics   442-456   Jan 2017   [Refereed]
2018 Taylor & Francis. It is often said that neuroethics as a discipline did not begin until 2000, although there are clear roots for the discipline much earlier (Illes and Bird, 2006). Ethical concerns about interventions into the brain are dis...


Similarities and varieties : a brief sketch an the reception of evolutionary theory and sociobiology in Japan.
Biology and Philosophy   13    1998

Books etc

5 : designing media ecology
Mizukoshi, S., Mouri, Y., Sakura, O. and Miyata, M. (Part:Joint Editor)
『5』編集室   Jun 2014   
The Future of Bioethics: International Dialogues
Akabayashi, A.(ed) (Part:Contributor, "Public Participation as a Potential Counter Strategy against Unethical Optimism" (Isobe, T., Mizushima, N. and Sakura, O.))
Oxford Univ Press   Mar 2014   ISBN:9.7802E+12
Applied Ethics: Perspectives from Asia and Beyond
Ishihara, K. and Majima, S. (eds.) (Part:Contributor, "Ethics of neuro-modulation: possibility and necessity of neuroethics."(Fukushi, T. and Sakura, O.))
Center for Applied Ethics and Philosophy, Hokkaido University   2008   ISBN:9784990404604
Gene vs Meme
佐倉 統
Kosaido Publishing   Aug 2001   ISBN:4331850056
Where Did We Come From? Where Will We Go?
佐倉 統, 木野 鳥乎 (Part:Joint Work)
Bronze Publishing   Aug 2000   ISBN:4893092073

Conference Activities & Talks

Toward a cultural studies of AI and robots [Invited]
Sakura, O.
An IEEE Workshop: Japan's Vision for Ethically Aligned Design   5 Mar 2018   IEEE
Media in Globalized Asia [Invited]
Sakura, O. (Opening Address)
UT-SNU-NCCU SYMPOSIUM   24 Nov 2017   
Concluding panel & discussions [Invited]
Kanai, R., Price, H.(Co-chairs), Ema A., Gal, D., Nishida, T., Sakura, O., Shiroyama, H., Tallinn, J.(Panelists)
Beneficial AI Tokyo   12 Oct 2017   
How to Grasp Social Shaping of AI in East Asia
Sakura, O.
The 28th AI&Society_Meeting   12 Oct 2017   
EU Human Brain Project [Invited]
Sakura, O. (Respondent), Salles, A.
the Global Neuroethics Summit   Oct 2017   Emory University Center for Ethics & Korea Brain Research Institute

Research Grants & Projects

Why Canadian neuroethics got the highest status in the world? Implications to the governance of science and technology
MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), Japan: Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research
Project Year: Apr 2013 - Mar 2017    Investigator(s): Osamu SAKURA
Evolutionary approach to the coginition and information diffusion of radiation risk: from basic research to social implication
MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), Japan: Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A)
Project Year: Oct 2013 - Mar 2016    Investigator(s): Osamu SAKURA
Radiation Risk Communication between Experts and Local People: An Interdisciplinary Study in the Humanities, Social and Medical Sciences
MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), Japan: The Initiatives for Atomic Energy Basic and Generic Strategic Research
Project Year: Oct 2012 - Mar 2015    Investigator(s): Keiichi NAKAGAWA
MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), Japan: Strategic Research Program for Brain Sciences
Project Year: 2008 - 2012
Social and ethical aspects of human biology.
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research
Project Year: 2005   


Graduate School, Division of Natural Science, Kyoto University
Faculty of Literature, The University of Tokyo

Committee Memberships

Jun 2014
5: Designing Media Ecology  Editorial Board
East Asian Science, Technology and Society  Advisory Board
Biology and Philosophy  Advisory Board