Profiles. Diversity flourishes in Japan's research labs

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Science  23 Oct 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5082, pp. 573-576
DOI: 10.1126/science.1411567


Japan may look homogenous but the pace of change has actually created a people of extraordinary diversity. Scientists educated before the war at the elite "Imperial" universities are different from those born a few years later; those who experienced postwar poverty are not the same as those born into riches a little later; researchers in wealthy industrial labs see the world differently from their poorer colleagues at the universities; and scientists who have lived abroad for a long while change their perceptions for ever. Below, Science talks to Japanese scientists of different ages and different experiences in a wide variety of disciplines: Among them are a Nobel Prize--winner, an ex-student radical, one of Japan's most powerful scientific leaders, an eccentric genius--and some older people who remember Japan's problems and younger people who see Japan's opportunities.