How do we interpret the concept of catalysis? Is catalysis understood differently across disciplines?

Catalysis (/kəˈtæləsɪs/) is the process of increasing the rate of a chemical reaction by adding a substance known as a catalyst (/ˈkætəlɪst/), which is not consumed in the catalyzed reaction and can continue to act repeatedly. -- Wikipedia

The GOAL of this symposium is to bring together researchers from various fields to extend our views of catalysis; to link theoretical, experimental, and computational approaches to better understand the phenomenon known as "Catalysis" and the complexity that we observe on Earth and beyond.


Dates: Monday-Friday, 3-7 February, 2020


  • Earth-Life Science Institute: Ishikawadai Building #7 (ELSI-1) and #8 (ELSI-2), Ookayama Campus, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Digital Hall: West #9 Building, Ookayama Campus, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro, Tokyo, Japan

Scientific Organizing Committee: Ryuhei Nakamura (co-chair), Kosuke Fujishima (co-chair), Yamei Li, Irena Mamajanov, Kristin Johnson, Christine Hernlund, Tony Jia, Ruiqin Yi, Harrison Smith

Local Organizing Committee: Ryuhei Nakamura, Kosuke Fujishima, Thilina Heenatigala, Kyoko Akiyama, Asako Sato


Shuji Akiyama (Institute for Molecular Science, NINS)

Carmen Gaina (University of Oslo)

John Hernlund (Earth-Life Science Institute)

Jill McDermott (Lehigh University)

Bénédicte Menez (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris)

Toshiko Ichiye (Georgetown University)

Eric Smith (Earth-Life Science Institute)

Shuji Nakanishi (Osaka University)

Ager Joel (University of California, Berkeley)

Takafumi Ueno (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Yoshiya Ikawa (Toyama University)

Yan Qiao (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Sheref Mansy (University of Alberta)

Tomoko Matsuda (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Benjamin Carbonnier (Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marnee)


All attendees are requested to fill the following registration form, this will (1) tell us how to list your name and affiliation for your badge, (2) inform us whether you will attend the banquet so that we know how much food and drink to order, (3) allow you to submit a poster abstract if you wish to do so, and (4) give you an opportunity to inform us about any special needs or assistance you may require. There is no registration fee for this event (although there will be a separate charge to attend the optional banquet).

Note: If your browser is having difficulty rendering this embedded registration form, please click here to go directly to the registration form.

"NOTE: Poster abstract submission is a separate form from the registration, and can be found below. If you wish to present a poster, both forms must be completed by Nov. 22."


Our poster sessions will be a lively and active event that will take place every afternoon. It is an integral part of the symposium. The deadline to submit abstracts for the poster session is Nov 22 nd. Poster display boards and necessary attachment hardware will be provided. Our poster boards are optimized for A0 size in portrait orientation (841mm wide × 1189 mm tall).


2/3- Monday Afternoon (Early career researcher's day)

  • *12:00 - 13:00 Early career researcher's day registration
  • *13:00 - 14:40 Ice breaker & Flash talks (ELSI-1 Agora)
  • *14:40 - 15:00 Coffee break
  • *15:00 - 16:30 Short presentation and group discussions (ELSI-1 Agora)
  • 16:30 - 17:15 ELSI-1 and ELSI-2 Lab tour
  • 17:30 - 19:00 Mixer event (ELSI-2 lounge)

Events with "*" means students and early careers researchers only

2/4- Tuesday (Main symposium)

  • 9:00 - 10:00 Main symposium registration all attendees
  • 10:0 - 11:30 Main symposium keynote (Digital Hall)
  • 11:30 - 13:30 Lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:00 Session 1 (Digital Hall)
  • 15:00 - 15:15 Coffee break
  • 15:15 - 16:45 Session 2 (Digital Hall)
  • 17:00 - 18:00 Poster session: even number (ELSI-1 Gallery)

  • 2/5- Wednesday (Main symposium)
  • 9:30 - 11:30 Session 3 (Digital Hall)
  • 11:30 - 13:30 Lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:30 Session 4 (Digital Hall)
  • 15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Group Discussion (ELSI1, various rooms)
  • 17:00 - 18:00 Poster session: odd number (ELSI-1 Gallery)
  • After - Banquet (ELSI-1 Agora)

2/6- Thursday (Main symposium)

  • 9:30 - 10:00 Feedback on Group Discussion (Digital Hall)
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Session 5 (Digital Hall)
  • 11:30 - 13:30 Lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:00 Session 6 (Digital Hall)
  • 15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break
  • 15:30 - 16:30 Poster session: free poster time (ELSI-1 Gallery)
  • 16:45 - 18:00 Panel discussion to decide Aftershop themes and Closing remarks (ELSI-1 Agora)

2/7- Friday (Aftershops)

  • 10:00 - 11:30 Follow-up sessions on scientific questions raised during the symposium
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Prior to the main symposium, we will have a half-day event just for graduate students and early-career postdocs (Less than 5 years after recieving the Ph.D) to present their research in the form of a flash talk and through discussion sessions. However, we will have a lab tour and a social mixer event at the end of the same day which will be open to all symposium attendees.

We will provide travel grants* to a limited number of early career researchers/students for their attendance. If you would like to be considered, please complete the registration and poster abstract submission by Nov 22.

*The grant will be provided as per diem to cover the cost of lodging and local expenses throughout the symposium week (2/2-2/7)


The aftershop is an assembly of small group sessions held on the final day (2/7, 10:00-11:30) of the symposium week to follow up on various research topics or questions that spontaneously arose during the symposium’s discussion session. Topics for the Aftershop will be announced at the end of panel discussion on the last day of the main symposium. We will have up to six rooms booked to allow for spontaneous attendance of researchers/students who share the similar scientific interest.


The 8th ELSI Symposium will be held in Digital Hall and ELSI-1on the Ookayama Campus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in Meguro, Tokyo, Japan. Please refer to the Google Map below for detailed locations.

  • Lectures and sessions involving all participants will be held at Digital Hall, near the entrance of the campus close to Ookayama Station.
  • Poster Sessions will be held at the ELSI Gallery in the ELSI-1 building.
  • Group Discussions will be held at ELSI-1.
  • The registration desk is held at Digital Hall throughout the symposium (open from 9:30-11:00)
  • ELSI Tour (Monday, February 3rd) will launch from the Agora in ELSI-1
  • Symposium Banquet (Thursday, February 6th) will be held at Agora in ELSI-1.


Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. All event attendees and staff have the right to a space that is free of all forms of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and/or retaliation. Participants who are requested to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. If you wish to report harassment, suspect that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the organizing committee as soon as possible.


Please contact ELSI symposium organizers if you have any questions:

sympo8 [at] elsi.jp *replace at with @