The followings may help to further increase the scientific visibility of ISEI in both national and international science communities.
(1) Employ high-level engineers to support technical innovations
One of the most important problems appears to be insufficient personnel. The present number of faculty at ISEI is grossly insufficient for maintaining the array of modern instruments at state-of-the art levels. In US and Europe, it is inconceivable that a modern laboratory can be operational without competent technical support teams. Because this is a common problem among Japanese institutions, a joint action with other research institutes and universities is encouraged to the Ministry of Education to make immediate efforts to find solutions to this critical problem.
(2) Encourage more graduate students to come to ISEI
As already noted earlier, having more graduate students will help ISEI scientists and is beneficial to the earth science community. In order to overcome the problem, efforts from both within ISEI and outside of the institute may be important. In this regard, attempts by E. Nakamura to recruit graduate students to the PML (internship: a month basic geochemistry training for undergraduates, predoctoral fellowship: annual collaborative research program) is a valuable and creative step forward. Similar attempts should be expanded to other branches of ISEI where lack of student activity is more serious.
(3) Research targets representing ISEI
Research topics in ISEI are diverse and communication among the scientist in different branches (in some case even within a branch) can be lacking. It is advisable that ISEI develop a few important institute-wide research targets (projects), which will increase scientific visibility of the institute (i.e., the dynamics and its ultimate fate of the early magma ocean). The targets may be identified by internal discussion of the ISEI staff members so that scientists in more than one branch can collaborate. By having such inter-laboratory research targets, communication among the ISEI staff member would become more fruitful. Considering the maturity of ISEI and its infrastructure supporting the high level activity as a research institute, it is highly expected that its leadership role in earth science communities will continue both in Japan as well as in the world.
(4) To increase communication with the geodynamics community
Since most ISEI scientists are studying topics related to global material circulation and evolution of the earth, it is advisable that more communications be developed between scientists in the geodynamics community (e.g., seismology, mantle convection and planetary evolution, etc.). M. Kono, who was appointed ISEI director in 1999 can play a key roll to link ISEI scientists with this community. In particular, his presence could be a unique occasion to develop a mutual interest among scientists who study geomagnetism, geochemistry and high-pressure mineral chemistry in problems related to physics and chemistry of the core-mantle boundary, origin of the geodynamo and its secular variations, etc.
(5) Guest house accomodations
Having a good guesthouse (Sanshukusho) is a great advantage of ISEI. It is very well maintained, located within campus, warmed by hot spring and serves reasonable breakfasts at an incredibly inexpensive fee. It is hard to imagine that ISEI has succeeded as a national joint-use research institute without having such a nice guesthouse. As the nature of ISEI changed from joint-use type to professional collaboration-type institute and the number of foreign visiting researchers increased, it may be time to modify the accommodations in the guesthouse slightly. Standard conveniences may be needed for visiting scientists (i.e., writing desk, TV, telephone). Alternatively, it may be useful to consider building a separate visitor house for long-term users (i.e., furnished apartment houses with cooking facilities).