The man behind the Re-create concept is a molecular biologist by trade, published in Nature and recipient of multiple awards for his findings. He is also a renowned writer, his work bridging the gulf between the two cultures of science and the humanities. Currently resident in the US, Dr. Fukuoka is continuing to develop his reputation both as a pioneering scientist and as a science communicator, using the traditional tools of the arts to engage and inspire the general audience.
Shin-Ichi Fukuoka, born in 1959 in Tokyo, is a Japanese biologist, currently Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, and a visiting professor at Rockefeller University in New York City. Since graduating from Kyoto University, he has built up an impressive portfolio of scientific achievements. His first major finding, the discovery of a luminal hormone which plays an important role in the digestive tract, won him the Asahi Shimbun Science Promotion Prize in 1987 and The Japan Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry Society Award for the Encouragement of Young Scientists in 1997.
Since then, he has continued to pursue research in exocrine pancreas, secretory pathways in the cells, membrane-anchored proteins, tryptophan metabolism in the brain, and mad cow disease (BSE). A GP2 gene knockout mouse model he created was used to demonstrate the involvement of GP2 in gastrointestinal immunity; the findings of this research were published in Nature.
To date, Dr. Fukuoka has published more than 80 original papers in prestigious scientific journals, including Nature, and his contributions over a number of scientific fields have been recognised by several awards, including the Funahashi Science Award (2000), the Naito Memorial Award for Science, the International Society of Tryptophan Research Best Poster Award (2006), and the Aoyama Gakuin Academic Award (2007).
Dr. Fukuoka is more than just a man of science. Inspired by the seminal 1959 Rede Lecture by C.P.Snow, “The Two Cultures”, which argues that the traditional separation of science and the arts slows progress and achievement, he has written a number of books which introduce the rich world of science to the general reader. His unique style has won considerable acclaim in Japan, with writers of fiction and science commentary alike praising his ability to use beautifully written prose to communicate abstract and challenging scientific concepts. His current book sales total more than 1.5 million copies.
His works include Seibutsu to Museibutsu no Aida (Between Organic and Inorganic), a narration of the twisted history of the DNA era and his own research career. The book won him the Suntory Prize for Social Science and Humanities, and is now listed by many high schools as recommended reading for students. To date, it has sold over 750,000 copies in Japan. Other publications include Douteki Heikou (Dynamic Equilibrium) and its sequel, Douteki Heikou 2. In this series, he discusses the principle of “dynamic equilibrium” as that which allows organisms to be organic, flexible, and sustainable, and calls attention recent biological findings which suggest that not every aspect of life is controlled by genes. Organisms, instead, can find themselves free from the determinative power of DNA. His latest book, Dynamic Equilibrium Dialogue, sees Dr. Fukuoka in discussion with leading figures from a number of fields, including Jared Diamond, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hiroshi Senju, and Kengo Kuma.
Dr. Fukuoka is also the originator of the Re-create concept. His love of Vermeer has taken him all over the world to see the original works of art—an endeavour documented in Vermeer: Hikari no Oukoku (Vermeer: Realm of Light)—and inspired him to develop a process, based on histogram analysis and extensive testing of original materials, which would allow us to see masterful artworks as they would have originally looked, in all the colour and contrast of the freshly painted canvas. Here, too, Dr. Fukuoka brings together two cultures to (re)create art by drawing upon expert artistic insight with state-of-the art digital mastering and printing technologies.