Akira Yoshino


Interview, December 2019

Interview with the 2019 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Akira Yoshino on 6 December 2019 during the Nobel Week in Stockholm, Sweden.

Akira Yoshino answers the following questions (the links below lead to clip on YouTube):
0:00 – Do you remember a specific teacher?
1:42 – What is the most important characteristic of a good teacher?
2:33 – Who was your role model?
3:49 – How can we inspire children to pursue a career in science?
4:53 – What advice do you have for young scientists?
5:58 – What qualities do you need to become a successful scientist?
6:13 – How do you cope with failure?
7:02 – How did archeology become one of your biggest interests?
8:14 – Do you see any similarities between archeology and science?
8:55 – Has doing sports been important for you?
9:18 – How did you react to the news of your Nobel Prize?
9:52 – How well do you know John Goodenough?
10:38 – Has collaboration been important to you?
11:25 – What research are you doing now?
11:43 – What does sustainability mean to you?
13:20 – What are your thoughts about electric cars?
14:12 – What future do you see in the battery industry?

Telephone interview, October 2019

“It is very important to think every day”

Akira Yoshino was interviewed immediately following the announcement of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on 9 October 2019. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Chief Scientific Officer of Nobel Media.

Akira Yoshino, reflecting on what makes him so creative, suggests that the secret is to keep thinking. In this short phone conversation, he describes how it was his interest in the properties of new materials that led him to develop the world’s first commercially successful lithium-ion battery.

Interview transcript

Akira Yoshino: Moshi moshi.

Adam Smith: Hello. Am I speaking to Professor Yoshino?

Akira Yoshino: Yes, this is Yoshino speaking.

AS: Congratulations on the award of the Nobel Prize.

AY: Thank you very much, thank you very much. Amazing! Very, very, very happy!

AS: Thank you. You developed the lithium ion battery that first went on sale in 1991 and now powers our world. Why did you decide to work on batteries?

AY: The initial stage of my research is not for secondary batteries. The first step is new materials, electroconductive polymers.

AS: What are the great challenges ahead for battery production?

AY: Increasing of energy density. Yes, it is a very important technical issue. And also the durability is very important to improve.

AS: What is the secret of your creativity?

AY: It’s a very, very difficult question to answer. I think it is important to thinking every day.

AS: To keep thinking every day – never take a holiday from thinking.

AY: Yes, yes. That’s right, that’s right.

AS: Professor Yoshino, we very much look forward to welcoming you to Stockholm in December.

AY: On the … yes, December, December, yes. Thank you very much.

AS: Thank you. Bye bye.

AY: Bye bye, thank you.

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To cite this section
MLA style: Akira Yoshino – Interview. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Sun. 14 Jul 2024. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2019/yoshino/interview/>

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