Science has traditionally been divided into such categories as physics, chemistry and biology. Scientists have treated specific problems in their own research areas as distinct from each other. However, science and academic framework remain not at all static. The divisions in modern science have become intermeshed in a variety of ways. The important requirement is to solve the problems regardless of which scientific disciplines need to be invoked.
A "mission-oriented" research field named Material Science has evolved in the last few decades on the basis of joint activity of physics and chemistry. Material Science examines the nature of materials by invoking a mix of knowledge of physics and chemistry. One of the revealing examples of the interdependence is found in biophysics and biochemistry. The nature of biological materials is studied by applying various physical and chemical techniques. Now the knowledge and techniques of the three branches in science, physics, chemistry and biology, are linked and applied simultaneously in Material Science.
In view of such trends in basic sciences, i.e., the evolving structure of the academic environment, Department of Material Science was established in 1993 as the youngest department in Osaka City University.* Specialists in physics and chemistry meet together in the Department. The faculty and stuff are actively pursuing fundamental research at the forefront on the nature of materials: Structures, properties and functionalities of materials are elucidated and the materials with novel functionalities are constructed on the basis of the methodology of physics and chemistry.
The graduate and undergraduate education in the Department is closely linked with the forefront of the researches of current concern. The subject offerings of the Department provide a strong comprehensive background in basic materials sciences. The students in the Department are believed to understand materials world generically on the basis of both physics and chemistry and develop sciences and technology of the 21st century with the interdisciplinary point of view.