Assoc. Professor Kaori Iida

History of Science

Assoc. Professor Kaori Iida

Kaori Iida

Assoc. Professor

Research Area History of Science
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Kaori Iida Assoc. Professor

Science and technology have powerful influences on the current society, but how much do we know about the history? How have human beings interacted with the natural world and how has the interaction changed? What impacts has it had on the natural world and ourselves? Looking at the history of science is crucial to understand the current society and to think of how to build the future society. My interests are mostly in biological fields of the 20th century Japan. I examined the history of genetics and related fields in Japan (1920s-1960s). It intersected with issues of relations between genetics and breeding studies and of the US science diplomacy (e.g., Lysenko controversy, nuclear power, and “green revolution” during the Cold War era). I also analyzed the tobacco industry and its ignorance production. Recently I am also interested in (history of) historical studies of crops and topics related to the Miura Peninsula (where our university locates) such as impacts of the “Bikini” US nuclear test. I welcome students who would like to pursue history of science (mainly biology-related fields) for PhD work and those who would like to study/examine social and historical aspects of science as a “subthesis” (available for students who pursue PhD in our biological fields).

Selected Publications, Books etc.

  • 1.Iida, K. (2021) Postwar reconstruction of Japanese genetics: Kihara Hitoshi and the Rockefeller Foundation rice project in Cold War Asia. Historia Scientiarum 30 no.3:176-194.
  • 2.Iida, K. (2020) Peaceful atoms in Japan: Radioisotopes as shared technical and sociopolitical resources for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and the Japanese scientific community in the 1950s. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 80, article # 101240.
  • 3.Iida K, Proctor RN (2018) ‘The industry must be inconspicuous’: Japan Tobacco’s corruption of science and health policy via the Smoking Research Foundation. Tobacco Control 27:e3-e11.
  • 4.Iida K (2015) A controversial idea as a cultural resource: The Lysenko controversy and discussions of genetics as a ‘democratic’ science in postwar Japan. Social Studies of Science 45 no.4:546-569.
  • 5.Iida K (2015) Genetics and ‘breeding as a science’: Kihara Hitoshi and the development of genetics in Japan in the first half of the twentieth century. In D. Phillips and S. Kingsland eds. New Perspectives on the History of Life Sciences and Agriculture (Archimedes 40, Springer International Publishing Switzerland), pp.439-458.
  • 6.Iida K (2010) Practice and politics in Japanese Science: Hitoshi Kihara and the formation of a genetics discipline. Journal of the History of Biology 43:529-570.
  • 7.Iida K and Proctor RN (2004) Learning from Philip Morris: Japan Tobacco’s strategies regarding evidence of tobacco health harms as revealed in internal documents from the American tobacco industry. Lancet 363:1820-1824.