著者
伊藤 憲二
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究 (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.57, no.288, pp.266-283, 2019 (Released:2021-01-24)

This paper examines one of the most publicized scientific scandals in Japan before the end of WWII, Takeuchi Tokioʼs alleged discovery of artificially induced radioactivity in common salt. In 1936, Takeuchi, then an associate professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, claimed a discovery of a new way to produce a radioactive substance. According to his paper, he could induce radioactivity in common salt by a gamma ray from a radium source. When Takeuchiʼs patent for this alleged discovery was announced, Nishina Yoshio and other researchers at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) objected. A debate took place at a monthly meeting of the Mathematico-Physical Society of Japan in June 1941. The controversy ended when Takeuchi and Nishikawa Shōji conducted an experiment to confirm that Takeuchiʼs result was due to contamination from the radium cells, and Takeuchi withdrew his patent. This incident attracted much media attention: Newspapers and magazines published many articles on it. By examining the debates and the media coverage, this paper analyzes how Nishina and other nuclear physicists sought to set a clear boundary between acceptable and unacceptable studies of radioactivity, and shows that not only researchers, but also newspapers treated and demonstrated to the public the studies of radioactivity as something rationally verifiable, rather than magical or mysterious, indicating that the relation between the lay public and nuclear physics at that time was far more sophisticated than previously suggested. The paper concludes by discussing how such boundary work was possible in the given socio-cultural context.
著者
水沢 光
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究. [第III期] (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.53, no.272, pp.379-396, 2015-01-31

This paper analyzes the distribution of the Subsidiary Fund for Scientific Research, a predecessor to the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI), which operated in Japan from the 1930s to 1950s. It reveals that the Japanese government maintained this wide-ranging promotion system since its establishment during the war until well into the postwar period. Previous studies insist that, at the end of the war, the Japanese government generally only funded the research that it considered immediately and practically useful. In contrast to this general perception, my analysis illustrates that both before and after the war, funding was allotted to four research areas: natural science, engineering, agriculture, and medicine. In order to illuminate this continuity, I compare the Subsidiary Fund with another research fund existing from 1933 to 1947: the Grant of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The comparison demonstrates that the JSPS received externally raised capital from the military and munitions companies. However, while this group focused upon engineering and military-related research as the war dragged on, the Subsidiary Fund has consistently entrusted scientists with the authority to decide the allocation of financial support.
著者
平田 光司 高岩 義信
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究 (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.59, no.293, pp.38-52, 2020 (Released:2021-01-24)

Inter-University Research Institutes (IURIs) are supposed to be shared properties of the researchers of corresponding disciplines. The Institute of Nuclear Study (INS) affiliated to the University of Tokyo was the first IURI equipped with large scientific facilities. A newly found set of records, collected and archived by Hiroo Kumagai, a former professor of INS, gives us new insights and interpretation of the history of the INS and its successors. INS was designed to be managed democratically on the sole basis of the common will of all nuclear physicists in Japan (the autonomy of the research community). It conflicted with the principle of the autonomy of the university. It is shown that the conflict of the two different kinds of autonomy was one of the motivations to create a new, larger physics institute, the Laboratory for High Energy Physics (KEK). Because of this historical background, KEK and other newer IURIs could provide “virtual” autonomy for researchers, though they are formally the institutes operated by the government.
著者
渡邊 洋之
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究. [第Ⅲ期] = Journal of history of science, Japan. 日本科学史学会 編 (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
no.270, pp.169-181, 2014-07

This paper discusses some facts that were pivotal in the process of the introduction of Bluegill Sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus, into various places in Japan, however have not been considered in the existing literature. This paper points out that L.macrochirus escaped, and also was stocked, to the open water in Osaka as a result of experiments by a fisheries experimental station in the 1960s and early 1970s. In Shiga Prefecture too, the fish escaped into Lake Biwa as a result of experiments by a fisheries experimental station in about 1969. Neither Osaka nor Shiga are mentioned, by previous studies based on questionnaire research, as the prefectures in which L.macrochirus inhabited in the years between 1960, when the fish was first introduced into Japan, and 1979. In addition, anglers, who considered L.macrochirus an ideal game fish, stocked ponds and lakes in some prefectures with L.macrochirus in around 1970 on purpose to multiply the species. During this process, a network among not only local governments, fisheries experimental stations, and fish farmers, but also industries targeting anglers, such as fishing tackle makers and a magazine for anglers, was being formed, which however did not get established after all. These findings will contribute to enrich the basis of today's genetic research on the distribution of L.macrochirus in Japan.
著者
横田 陽子
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究 (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.59, no.293, pp.1-17, 2020 (Released:2021-01-24)

This paper examines controversy during the safety examination of the first commercial nuclear power plant (NPP) in Japan, the Tokai Nuclear Power Plant, focusing on the issue of major accidents. Politicians, bureaucrats, business leaders, and engineers generally pushed for the plantʼs construction, while scientists̶mainly physicists̶opposed it. At the time, nuclear power technology was a rapidly growing field, with the knowledge of its safety yet to be established. The controversy revolved around four key issues: 1) how to develop NPP technology; 2) how to mitigate the risk of a major accident; 3) how to estimate the potential effects of such an accident on people; and 4) how to determine the "safety" of NPPs. In addressing these issues, scientists consistently upheld the three basic principles on nuclear research and development in Japan, namely democracy, independence, and public disclosure, emphasizing the importance of free discussion and rigorous scientific standards. By contrast, advocates of power plants opposed such an approach and supported the approval of the construction plan on the basis of administrative procedures. In this way, the knowledge on reactor and radiation safety offered by scientists was intentionally and politically disregarded.
著者
水沢 光
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究. [第Ⅲ期] = Journal of history of science, Japan. 日本科学史学会 編 (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
no.272, pp.379-396, 2015-01

This paper analyzes the distribution of the Subsidiary Fund for Scientific Research, a predecessor to the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI), which operated in Japan from the 1930s to 1950s. It reveals that the Japanese government maintained this wide-ranging promotion system since its establishment during the war until well into the postwar period. Previous studies insist that, at the end of the war, the Japanese government generally only funded the research that it considered immediately and practically useful. In contrast to this general perception, my analysis illustrates that both before and after the war, funding was allotted to four research areas: natural science, engineering, agriculture, and medicine. In order to illuminate this continuity, I compare the Subsidiary Fund with another research fund existing from 1933 to 1947: the Grant of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The comparison demonstrates that the JSPS received externally raised capital from the military and munitions companies. However, while this group focused upon engineering and military-related research as the war dragged on, the Subsidiary Fund has consistently entrusted scientists with the authority to decide the allocation of financial support.
著者
山崎 正勝
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究. [第III期] (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.53, no.270, pp.199-210, 2014-07-24

Japan and the United States signed in 1968 a new atomic energy agreement through which US light-water nuclear reactors, including those of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company, were to be introduced into Japan. This paper studies the history of negotiations for the 1968 agreement using documents declassified in the 1990s in the US and Japan. After the success of the Chinese nuclear test in October 1964, the United States became seriously concerned about nuclear armament of other countries in Asia including Japan. Expecting that Japan would not have its own nuclear weapons, the US offered to help the country to demonstrate its superiority in some fields of science including peaceful nuclear energy to counter the psychological effect of the Chinese nuclear armament. Driven by his own political agenda, the newly appointed Prime Minister Eisaku Sato responded to the US expectation favorably. When he met in January 1965 with President Johnson, Sato made it clear that Japan would not pursue nuclear weapons. Although the US continued its support after this visit, it nevertheless gave priority to the control of nuclear technology in Japan through the bilateral peaceful nuclear agreement. This paper argues that the 1968 agreement implicitly meant a strategic measure to prevent Japan from going nuclear and also a tactic to persuade Japan to join the Nuclear Non -Proliferation Treaty.
著者
中村 士
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究. [第III期] (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.54, no.275, pp.192-214, 2015-10-24

A star map with an elaborate appearance was discovered in 1998 on the ceiling inside the Kitora burial mound of Nara Prefecture (hereafter we call it the Kitora star map). From archaeological evidence, this ancient tumulus is considered to have been constructed between the end of the 7th century and the beginning of the 8th century. We had a chance to make anew positional measurements of the 28-xiu constellations depicted on this circular star map, with the purpose of inferring their observed time epoch. As sky positions of stars are subject to change due to the precession, we can estimate when the stars in the Kitora star map were observed. We adopted a statistical least-squares approach to minimize the mean positional shift for all the 28-xiu standard stars, where the positional shift of a star means the difference between its measured position and the one calculated using precession theory. For a confidence level of 90%, the confidence interval of the observation year for the Kitora star map was found to be [123BC, 39BC], or approximately 80BC ± 40. This obviously indicates that the star map is of Chinese origin. Thus, in order to investigate the relationship of the Kitora star map to ancient Chinese star catalogs, we made a statistical analysis of Shi-shi's Star Catalog, the oldest star catalog in China. By applying to it the same analysis technique as the one adopted for the Kitora star map, we obtained the confidence interval to be [65BC,43BC]. Comparison of this interval with that for the Kitora star map strongly suggests that the latter was drawn based on the Shi-shi's Catalog. A similar analysis of the Korean star map stone-inscribed in the 14th century, Ch'onsang Yolch'a Punyajido, also showed nearly the same time epoch. Finally we discuss the political and social background why the Kitora star map was produced in such an early time in Japan.
著者
法貴 遊
出版者
日本科学史学会
雑誌
科学史研究 (ISSN:21887535)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.54, no.274, pp.37, 2015 (Released:2020-12-14)

The present article explores practical aspects of medieval ophthalmology in Cairo Genizah, by examining an exchange of letters (T-S 10J16.16) between two ophthalmologists (Abu Zikri and Abu 'Ali). In this document, written between the twelfth and thirteenth century, they talked about conditions and treatments of three eye diseases, i.e. ulcer of cornea (qarha fi qarniya), conjunctivitis (ramad) and trachoma (jarab). I compare their descriptions with the explanations found in major Arabic ophthalmological texts, and thereby reveal the practical dimension of their medical activity. At the stage of diagnosis, Abu Zikri's observation was based on the same pathological knowledge as described in the medieval Arabic medical texts, which was also shared by Abu 'All. However, when deciding the treatment plans, the two ophthalmologists, though still basing themselves on the same medical books, adopted different methods. Finally, at the stage of prescription, Abu 'Ali suggested the use of some medical substances that could seldom be found in the major texts. His knowledge of pharmacotherapy could come from his experiences (tajriba). Although such empirical knowledge might not have affected Abu 'All's basic physiology, its accumulation within the domain of pharmacotherapy could have influenced his decision about treatment plans.