Introduction of the Japan Scientists' Association

 

Contemporary world gradually needs the role of science and scientists.  The rapid development of scientific technology has made possible things that never have been foreseen, mass and speedy disposal of information as well as peaceful utilization of outer space, by means of computers.  That surely is a great contribution of what human brains produced to the human society.  On the other hand it must be pointed out that the use of scientific results for wars and criminals, e.g. nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, has shed blood of people and brought irrevocable misfortune on human beings.  Scientific technology also has been exploited in unregulated production and development to cause environmental pollution problems, which extend on a global mass scale and threaten human existence.

              In order to harness and develop science for human beings, it is necessary for scientists especially to conscience their social responsibility, synthetically develop every field of science, and work the society to peacefully use the fruits.

              The Japan Scientistsf Association was established and has been acting for these purposes.  Hoping independent and synthetic development of Japanese science consistently since its foundation in 1965, to carry out its social responsibility, the Association has been tackling several problems: peace and disarmament problem like as elimination of nuclear weapons, environmental conservation to defense human life and living, protection of university autonomy, and establishment of right and position of scientists.  Since acceded in 1971 to the World Federation of Scientific Workers (established in 1946 by the first President F. J. Currie et al.), the JSA has been boosting exchanges with world scientistsf movement and playing important roles in several activities as elimination of nuclear weapons.  It also makes research contacts with UNESCO and a variety of international NGOs.

              The JSA consists of 47 branches established in every prefecture, chapters or sections in universities, schools and national and public research institutes, which are taking various activities.  In those activities participate scientists in all areas of human, social, and natural sciences (such as researchers, educators, technicians, lawyers, physicians, graduate students, etc.), tackling several issues from synthetic viewpoints different from other academic circles or associations in each science.

              We consider that collaboration of scientists in all areas of human, social, and natural sciences is crucial to make it possible to unravel and solve a lot of difficult problems.  The Association monthly publishes a synthetic academic journal gNihon no Kagakushah (Japanese Scientists).

 

Thank you.

Activity beyond the fields of Science and for Society in the 21st century

The Japan Scientists' Association

1. Exercising the common sense of scientists

While the 20th century brilliantly begot a rapid development of scientific technology, it brought world people tribulations from two cruel world wars, political oppression such as fascism and colonial administration, serious economic crisis, and wide range of poverty. In such circumstances people has sought peace, human rights, and democracy, better lives, and strived to establish better society. Especially the appearance of nuclear weapons which might accomplish human beingsf ruin impelled a lot of intellectuals including top-rated researchers, e.g. A. Einstein and H. Yukawa, to peace movement. They discussed gsocial responsibility of scientistsh as an actual issue.

Though society has been ameliorated by efforts of many people, we still are confronted with several problems: serious international economic disparities, wide range of poverty and repressed human rights, and regional conflicts and disputes. It further should be noted that highly developed scientific technology has brought forth novel issues, namely, aerial, marine and ground pollution and global warming. Those sequentially arising environmental issues urge us to settle the hard question if we are able to design development preserving global environment. In addition the significant progress of molecular biology, especially cloning technology and gene operation, has raised a problem concerning bioethical codes. We are facing a never seen phase of problematic relationship between science and society. Scientists and researchers have a heavy responsibility to remedy such circumstances.

Taking over the spirit of our forerunners that had lead postwar scientific movements, we will be trying to solve range of social issues in cooperation with various people exercising the common sense of scientists.

Recent activities:

Various investigations and studies for preventing global warming

In order of setting up COP3 (The third Conference of Parties of the UN framework Convention on Climate Change) in Kyoto, December 1997, besides participating in organizing Climate Forum, in which more than 200 groups nationwide assembled, contributing to activities such as study and lecture meetings and data accusation, we published several books, organized some symposia and made investigations and suggestions. The Association has biannually published books gThe Prospect of Environmenth for synthetic study of and proposal to Japanese environmental policy, and also published gReference Documents of Environmenth to contribute to the action and research of environment protection.

The global environment conservation

While precious ecosystem off the coast of Nago City, North Okinawa Island, as the inhabitant of dugong can be seen has been conserved, US Marine Corps has a planning to therein construct a Marine air base following the relocation of the US Futemma base. Considering the investigations around this area in May and November 1997, the JSA pointed out the base construction might create entirely a good deal of damage to areafs ecosystem and living conditions of the residents. Since then the construction problem drew international attention among environmentalists, which influenced the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) to adopt a recommendation in October 2000 which calls on the US and Japanese governments to make an examination and protection.

As a forerunner in the problem of medicine-effected AIDS

The Association earlier tackled the problem of medicine-effected AIDS named gthe most tragic pharmaceutical affair in the 20th centuryh before this problem was noticed in society. Organizing 23 times research meetings to exchange information and make the question clear, cooperating on the appeal of cultured persons, the JSA thrived to shed light on the truth and settle the affair. It is also tackling to elucidate new medicine-effected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease et al so as to eradicate medicine-effected diseases.

Seeking the image of university in the 21st century

The JSA has made several research activities so as to develop Japanese science in the autonomous and democratic way since its inauguration. It recently published gRights and status of scientistsh (1995), documents and explanation of the rights of scientists, and gSeeking the image of university in 21st centuryh (2000), total examination on the idea and principle of university, actual university problems and reformation questions. The Association will try to continue to make advices for better university.

Financial assistance for research

In 1990 the JSA research fund was established aiming to assist research subject that is hard for usual public research expenses or funds to support. Through this fund we hope that researchers could pursue the purpose of the JSA, namely comprehensive development of science and technology, and the results grow up beyond the JSA.

2. Scientists working in different disciplines gather

Although you surely specify the subject for developing study, donft you think that you possibly fail to view the relationship of your own study with whole areas of science and society? We trust that only advanced specialization together with proper integration should derive the true progress of studies, but there are few chances to discuss or communicate with other persons working in different disciplines.

The JSA has 6000 membership from various fields of humanities, social science and natural science, which features the Association as a rare nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Japan and even internationally. Its activities are as follows: publication of monthly general scientific journal gNihon-no Kagakushah (Journal of Japanese Scientists), research activities through research committees established for specific tasks, nationwide symposia and study conferences.@@We also biennially organize the Comprehensive Scientific Study Convention (CSSC) to summarize these activities, where many researchers gather from various areas to vividly present and exchange their experiences, and it is not rare that problems yet unknown to community are first disclosed. Through these interdisciplinary activities we try to directly deal with social and theoretical requests, inspecting current and development of the field of specialization, actively engaged in create a new field of learning.

Many members of the JSA realize as a charm seizing an opportunity to dialog with researchers in different disciplines. Young researchers and graduate students step away from the research room that is apt to be small world to discuss with researchers in other fields, and think with a broad outlook to seek the desired image of learning in the next age. Why donft you participate in such activities?

Efforts

a. Interdisciplinary fest gComprehensive Science Study Conventionh

The CSSC held biennially is the biggest event where lots of scientists nationwide gather beyond the fields of learning. The members make vivid presentation and discussion on their own studies and coordinated research in the JSA concerning on socially requested subjects.

b. International activities, boosting exchanges with Asian scientists

The JSA has been involved in the activity of World Federation of Scientific Workers (WFSW) known as an international nongovernmental organization, trying to boost international exchanges of views. The Association has sent delegation to the international symposium held under the auspices of UNESCO and WFSW, and held international symposium gExchange and Cooperation of Science and Technology in Asia (ECSTA)h three times up to now stressing communication with researchers in Asian countries. In 2008 the JSA became a member of INES (The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility) to develop its activities in the world.

c. Monthly journal gNihon-no Kagakushah (Journal of Japanese Scientists)

The journal, distributed to each of members, is a general academic journal that covers all topics of scientists. The editorial board made up of scientists from range of fields tries to introduce most-advanced topics each issue in a way easy to understand even to researchers in other field.

d. Delightful event

The JSA also organizes events for the public and children. In the time of the science festival gLet us find science amusing!h(November 2000) held as a pre-symposium for the 13th CSSC, we arranged more than 40 experiments and articles on exhibition, and had about 340 participants. Children and their parents enjoyed playing boomerang and fire balloon, being amazed at pretty babies of sea stars, making replica of fossils, and they also enjoyed vegetable dying.

3. We wish to help your growing-up

For what did you go to graduate school? Most of you might say you did so as to gget the sense of accomplishment to discover a new thing none has ever knownh, gcontribute to settlement of social issuesh, and gfurther study before employmenth. One may say the reason has a common feature that they went on to graduate school with some dream. On the other hand contrary to their dreams they perhaps have their troubles such as gAm I cut for researcher?h, gI donft know the way to learn because of the curriculum different form in the academic courseh, and gI can not cope with human relations in the laboratoryh. Did you ever share such troubles with other students? Those were common troubles that should be solved in discussion with friends, which has been over looked during busy research.

The Association attaches importance of tackling such agonies and struggling of graduate students and young researchers. For instance, we every year have held a summer seminar, where graduate students and young researchers in various research fields countrywide have gathered to vividly discuss research themes and experiences of elders. Discussion of the research motivation and the way to study presented by coeval researchers and elders impacted the participants in different fields to decide to carry out further researches. It must be noted that it can not been experienced in any laboratory. Besides summer school, the Association has begun to put together timely projects for youth nationwide and casual exchanges through mail news and message board on the Web page.

The Association has an intension to take further activities open and attractive to many people.