“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.
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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Their work and discoveries range from how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen to our ability to fight global poverty.
See them all presented here.