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takakimf
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Obokata Haruko and Riken
takakimf   5/10/2014 9:29:13 AM
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I agree with the Junko Yoshida's position that Riken had acted hastily in making decision on the Haruko Obokata's articles in the Nature Journal.  Riken's action had muddied the great tradition of Japanese science program, and the entire Riken committee members should resign from their posts.  Riken has no right to destroy the future of young Japanese scientist by making an accusation damaging to her credential without a thorough investigation.  IMHO there was no detailed proof produced by the Riken committee to support their position that the Nature articles were falsified.  The problematic items that Riken had pointed out had nothing to do with the key findings that Haruko Obokata wanted to convey to the world scientific community.  Haruko Obokata did not say that her STAP is easy to replicate.  She asked that other scientists experiment her methodology to perfect this area of science for curing difficult disease.  Her experiment was witnessed by folks at Harvard and is not her imagination.  Haruko Obokata's apology in her press conference should not be perceived as admission of guilt.  It should be accepted as her sincerity in her dedication to STAP project, and that she was being truthful.  Haruko Obotaka was courageous.  The scientists worldwide should give her as much support as possible to take unnecessary pressure off of her, and erase incorrect image of women in science.

junko.yoshida
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Re: News conference next week by Yoshiki Sasai
junko.yoshida   4/18/2014 5:35:22 PM
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Sasai's press conference took place in Tokyo two days ago.

Here's the report on that press conference:

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201404160060

I don't particularly feel that this resulted in solving the mystery, though.

Etmax
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Re: Women in Science
Etmax   4/17/2014 1:34:10 PM
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Junko, I grew up as the underdog, bullied daily at school and beaten often. It made me  mindful of what people go through and now I become the dog with a bone when I think someone is travelling through life with defective attitudes. I don't doubt that sometimes my reasoning may be defective, which is why I prefer to have people ask themselves the questions I do. They will then either put their questions to me setting me on the straight and narrow or alternatively at the very least rethink their own position.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Women in Science
junko.yoshida   4/17/2014 12:24:25 PM
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@Etmax, very well put. I love people like you who would challenge those who express predjudice (mostly out of ignorance and inexperience in dealing with a variety of people with different backgrounds).

Instead of writing them off as being ignorant, we do need to ask them questions -- just like you did. I applaud that effort and I keep reminding myself that I need to do the same.  

Etmax
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Re: Women in Science
Etmax   4/17/2014 12:10:14 PM
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Hi Junko, I'll never forget while working at NEC (Nippon Electric Corp) in the '80's I was talking about something, can't remember exactly what and the subject somehow got onto people that had done us some wrong, and this guy suggested any race was ok except for those damned Indians (not native Americans), that were such (expletive).

I said "well how many Indians have done you wrong?" and he mentioned one person that had done something not well received, to which I said "so from a sample of one they are all bad??" I suggested there were another 700 million to choose from (it was the '80's). I then asked how many people had done him wrong and he listed I think 2 of his own countrymen, to which I said well then by your own standard your countrymen are worse don't you think? He changed his stance after that, I hope it stayed with him.

It was basically a case of him coming from Asia and having been brought up with a whole lot of predudices and carried them with him to Australia that is as much of a hotch potch as the USA and peoples he had not encountered or heard much of back home were ok, but the cultural background entrenched some strong reservations of the old.

That personality trait I am afraid is global. What I call intolerance to difference, and indifference to tolerance :-)

junko.yoshida
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Re: Women in Science
junko.yoshida   4/17/2014 11:00:43 AM
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@Etmax, you wrote:

The problem is that too many people become too dogmatic about it all and forget that even an accurate generalisation may only be true for as few as 10% of any group. Also they forget that there are very few totally wrong standpoints, all have been honed through the ages to address a particular range of issues relating to every day life.


What a thoughtful observation. Thanks. I totally agree!

Etmax
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Re: Women in Science
Etmax   4/17/2014 6:51:14 AM
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Dear Junko, I too try to avoid broad generalisations as they generally don't give a good picture of the ones outside the box. That said, deep rooted cultural differences between groups are a useful tool for understanding what is going on in the human world.

The problem is that too many people become too dogmatic about it all and forget that even an accurate generalisation may only be true for as few as 10% of any group. Also they forget that there are very few totally wrong standpoints, all have been honed through the ages to address a particular range of issues relating to every day life.

I come from an extremely multicultural family (Italian, French, Hungarian, Russian, German) and I never say anything of course but I smile as I see the little matches light up :-)

I guess really all I'm saying is I understand why these things go on, that is the thought processes that leads to them and while I may have a different view or would take a different path, It's ok I get it.

Re the decades for individualism to pervade all, the increasing mixing of people from everywhere will see to that :-) There may be a time not too far ahead where the country in which you go to university will be as natural a choice as what cuisine you prefer.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Women in Science
junko.yoshida   4/16/2014 12:15:13 PM
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@Etmax, I usually refrain from broad generalizations as a rule of thumb for a journalist, but I thnk you have a point here. It will take decades for "individualism" to get rooted in Asian culture. I still believe that the scandal itself was triggered by a sloppiness in the papers submitted by the scientist, but the way the mob attack took place on her is definitely rooted to the lack of individualism among the Japanese people and the Japanese media.

Etmax
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Rookie
Re: Women in Science
Etmax   4/16/2014 7:31:29 AM
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I took an important position in a company a few years back and part of the intro was a Dunn & Bradstreet personality test. I took the test in Singapore and there were around 20 Singaporeans as well as 5 Americans and myself (Australian)

The outcome was that all 20 Singaporeans were within 2-3% of each other in the various traits that were measured, and the other six were all over the place with variations up to 60%, an indication of the individuality so prevalent in Anglo/American/Autralian society.

My guess would be that some 80-90% of Japanese would be within 10% of each other.

I'm not putting that forward as a negative by any stretch of the imagination, just highlighting the different levels of cohesion between Asia and the west.

I means that they are less likely to go against accepted tradition instead largely following cultural norms.

The inventor of the Blue LED was one of those right outside the box, he challenged his company for rights to his invention which was very "un-Japanese" if I may say that certainly not meaning disrespect. It will take decades I believe before most individuals flourish (as individual that is) in Japan, but then they will be much more prepared to voice their opinions even when unpopular an dI think these types of scandals will be a thing of the past.

I hope no one takes offense to what I am saying, it is only intended as a causal analysis of various cultural aspects that possibly underlie this scandal.

Sheetal.Pandey
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Manager
Re: Women in Science
Sheetal.Pandey   4/15/2014 6:56:27 AM
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I support that women angle. Its quite difficult to set the facts right if your are a woman in these societies. If it was US, woman would be given fair chance and woman would also not let herself become victim.

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