The Falling Walls Engage Hub Japan offers a space for exchange and collaboration on Science Engagement and Communication in Japan. The Hub is hosted by the Tokyo Institute of Technology Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) and managed by Director of Communications and Associate Professor Thilina Heetingala.


The Falling Walls Engage Hub Japan was launched on 17-21 October 2022 in Tokyo and Okinawa. This 8th Hub launch was a wonderful opportunity to explore the Science Engagement ecosystem in Japan and the internationalisation of the field with national and international practitioners, scientists, policy-makers and students.

As an inaugural event, ELSI hosted a symposium on 17 October 2022 with 40+ university representatives and practitioners to discuss challenges and opportunities in Science Communication. In addition to local participants, a group of 4 international participants from Canada, the UK, Malta and Kenya joined the week-long program. The Hub program was held back-to-back to the 4th edition of the Japan SciCom Forum, a yearly event aiming at inspiring and boosting the cohesion of Scicomm in Japan and hosted by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) on 21 October 2022.

As part of the Japan SciCom Forum, we invited Hub participants Douglas Keddy (Western University & Falling Walls Engage Hub Canada), Mohamed Daoud (University of Malta & Falling Walls Engage Winner 2020), Shane McCracken (I am Scientist, Get Me Out of Here & Falling Walls Engage Winner 2018), Sara Koyabashi (Miraikan – the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) and Edna Muthamia (Okayama University & Falling Walls Engage Hub Kenya) to discuss perspectives on Science Engagement, dialogue and participation.

Re-watch the full session at the Japan SciCom Forum here.

Find out the full program on ELSI’s Falling Walls Engage Hub Japan’s website.

We thank our cooperation partners ELSI, the Japan SciCom Forum and OIST for the joint efforts in making this launch event a great success.

Thilina Heenatigala

Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)

Thilina Heenatigala (he/him/his) is the Director of Communications and science communication lecturer at Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Tokyo, where he leads the outreach team and science communication projects and teach the graduate course. Thilina is also the Manager of the Falling Walls Engage Hub Japan. His current research interests are public engagement evaluation, science & society strategies at research institutions, and decolonising science efforts. He’s a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) by supporting Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) and Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) to focus on astronomy outreach and education in developing countries. He also supports IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) as a reviewer for annual global projects on astronomy for development.

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