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      THE HUMAN FRONTIER SCIENCE PROGRAMME: A WINDOW INTO TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY RESEARCH FOR AUSTRALIA

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            Abstract

            Japan's Human Frontier Science Programme, tacitly endorsed in the 1988 Toronto Summit Declaration, is examined in the context of converging Japanese economic and social imperatives. The two key research areas of the programme, elucidation of brain functions and elucidation of biological functions through molecular level approaches, are both ones in which Australia has research strengths. Opportunities for major investment in the biological component of Australia's basic research infrastructure and postdoctoral training are emerging, which could greatly assist Australia's research capability in the biosciences. Assuming successful establishment of the programme, there are several challenges which will need to be faced whether Australia participates at a managerial level or not. Issues such as intellectual property rights and drainage of research talent will undoubtedly emerge, although largely as a result of a potential ‘new protectionism’ among Summit countries, rather than from Japan in isolation. In addition, the social policy driving the Human Frontier Science Programme is poorly conceived, and may lead to contention in certain areas of research.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            cpro20
            CPRO
            Prometheus
            Critical Studies in Innovation
            Pluto Journals
            0810-9028
            1470-1030
            December 1989
            : 7
            : 2
            : 239-253
            Affiliations
            Article
            8629072 Prometheus, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1989: pp. 239–253
            10.1080/08109028908629072
            c021d202-d263-42a0-a72f-d5a15dad4904
            Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            History
            Page count
            Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 61, Pages: 15
            Categories
            Original Articles

            Computer science,Arts,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Law,History,Economics
            bioethics,social policy for science,Human Frontier Science Programme,Australian bioscience issues,Japan's basic research

            NOTES AND REFERENCES

            1. Secretariat of the Council for Science and Technology, Science and Technology Agency, Japan, Newsletter HFSP, 1, 1, 7 October 1988. See also ibid., 1, 2, 7 January 1989, which lists participants at the First International Scientific Committee Meeting for the HFSP, held in Tokyo on 16–17 November 1988. These participants represented the Summit countries (Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Federal Republic of Germany, France and Italy) and the European Community.

            2. Secretariat of the Council for Science and Technology, Japan, Current Status of the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), October 1988, p. 2.

            3. D. Swinbanks, ‘Human Frontiers Program seeks international help’, Nature, 330, 24/31 December 1987, p. 683.

            4. ibid..

            5. D. Swinbanks, ‘“Shot in the arm” for Japan's program’, Nature, 333, 12 May 1988, p. 104.

            6. Feasibility Study Committee for the Human Frontier Science Program, The Human Frontier Science Program, March 1988, pp. 3–4.

            7. ‘Human Frontier Science Program: Feasibility Study Committee holds Final Meeting’, Science and Technology in Japan, 7, 26, 1988, pp. 48–50.

            8. Toronto Economic Summit, Economic Declaration, 21 June 1988.

            9. T. Mandeville, ‘A multi-function polis for Australia’, Prometheus, 6, 1, 1988, pp. 94–106.

            10. Summary Record of Fourth Joint Committee Meeting under the Japan/Australia Science and Technology Agreement, 28–29 November 1988, Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce, (unpublished).

            11. ‘Japanese seek international collaboration on bioscience research’, Outlook on Science Policy, 9, 4, 1987, p. 4.

            12. General Guideline for Science and Technology Policy, Japanese Cabinet Decision Document, 28 March 1986.

            13. The concept of developing scientific and technological systems in harmony with man and society has never been analysed in depth in any of the literature to date, although continually noted as a major rationale for HFSP. It is an intriguing notion which deserves further investigation. Recent articles describe HFSP in a superficial sense as fostering harmony between science and society and nature. See Kozo Iizuka, ‘Stretching the frontiers of science’, Journal of Japanese Trade and Industry, 3, 1989, p. 11.

            14. Takuma Yamamoto cited in Sheridan Tatsuno, The Technopolis Strategy: Japan, High Technology and the Control of the 21st Century, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1986, p. 219.

            15. J. Dreyfuss, ‘How Japan picks America's brains’, Fortune, 21 December 1987, p. 51.

            16. M. Debevoise, ‘Do what you want to do — Japanese scientist overseas, Leo Esaki’, Look Japan, March 1988, p. 31.

            17. Masahiko Ishizuka cited in Sheridan Tatsuno, 1986, op. cit., p. 221.

            18. ‘Foreign researchers in Japan — the trials and tribulations of those in the hot seat’, Science and Technology in Japan, 7, 25, 1988, pp. 30–43.

            19. Hirotaka Takeuchi, ‘Internationalisation is still a one-way street in Japan’, Japan Economic Journal, 23 January 1988, p. 22.

            20. J. Dreyfuss, 1987, op. cit., p. 49.

            21. Yuko Sakashita, ‘Count them in’, Look Japan, December 1987, p. 22.

            22. ‘Human Frontier Science Program: Feasibility Study Committee holds final meeting’, Science and Technology in Japan, 7, 26, op. cit., p. 48.

            23. ibid..

            24. L. Lynn, ‘Japanese technology at the turning point’, Current History, December 1985, p. 418.

            25. Hisako Matsubara, ‘First word’, Omni, June 1985, p. 6.

            26. Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Suggested Investigations in the Human Frontier Science Program, November 1986, p. iii.

            27. Sheridan Tatsuno, 1986, op. cit., p. 31.

            28. Secretariat of the Council for Science and Technology, Current Status of the Human Frontier Science Program, October 1988, op. cit., p. 1.

            29. ‘International contribution to basic sciences: original draft of human frontier concept firmed up’, Nihon Keizai, 1 March 1988, p. 13.

            30. S. Yoder, ‘Japanese launch bid to lead the world in pure science’, The Wail Street Journal, 3 June 1987, p. 26.

            31. ibid..

            32. ‘News’, Biosensors, 3, 1987/88, p. 239.

            33. R. C. Wood, ‘On the biological frontier, Japanese companies explore living computers’, High Technology Business, 1 August 1988, p. 12.

            34. S. Dambrot, ‘Clever molecules for ‘thinking computers’’, New Scientist, 24/31 December 1988, p. 29.

            35. ibid..

            36. Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Suggested Investigations in the Human Frontier Science Program, November 1986; idem., The Human Frontier Science Program, January 1987; and idem., Current Developments in Research in Relation to the Principal Biological Functions and Future Focal Points, 1 April 1987.

            37. RIKEN, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Frontier Research Program, Annual Report, October 1986 — March 1988.

            38. RIKEN, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Newsletter, Frontier Research Program, 1, 3, 1988.

            39. Research Development Corporation of Japan, ERATO Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology, 1986 brochure.

            40. M. Cross and P. Ghosh, ‘Japan beckons scientists from afar’, New Scientist, 12 May 1988, p. 23.

            41. T. Arimoto, ‘New World science’, Look Japan, July 1988, p. 22.

            42. ‘Human frontier’, Nihon Keizai, 19 January 1989, p. 1. These estimates have been based on speculation and on the early MITI-inspired publicity. The figure should be seen as potential; expenditure has so far been only token (roughly $A23 million in 1988/89, basically for promotion expenses). This same article prematurely announced London as the site for the headquarters of the administrative foundation.

            43. M. R. Bennett, ‘Nobel Prize winners’, Search, 19, 5/6, 1988, p. 303.

            44. Secretariat of the Council for Science and Technology, Japan, Current Status of the Human Frontier Science Program, 2nd Edition, February 1989, p. 3.

            45. ibid..

            46. Secretariat of the Council for Science and Technology, Japan, The Human Frontier Science Program, The Feasibility Study Committee Report, May 1988, p. 19.

            47. The Royal Society, London, Appeal at the London Wise Men's Conference for the Human Frontier Science Program, 1 April 1987.

            48. ‘Japanese seek international collaboration on bioscience research’, Outlook in Science Policy, 9, 4, 1987, p. 4.

            49. D. Swinbanks, ‘Human Frontier Science Program on table at Toronto summit’, Nature, 333, 9 June 1988, p. 488.

            50. D. Swinbanks, ‘Management issues settled’, Nature, 339, 22 June 1989, p. 573. Latest information suggests that Strasbourg will be the favoured site (private communication, Embassy of Japan).

            51. D. Swinbanks, ‘Human Frontier Science Program on table at Toronto summit’, op. cit..

            52. Senator John Button, ‘Button warns against “new protectionism” by big R&D powers’, News Release, 30 January 1989.

            53. ‘Council for Science and Technology mulls HFSP, intellectual property rights’, Science and Technology in Japan, 7, 28, 1988, pp. 46.

            54. ibid., p. 47.

            55. HFSP Scientific Committee, The Program Activities (Details), Discussion Page No. 4-(1), March 1989, p. 13.

            56. S. Utick and A. Weir, Japan, How to Make Collaboration Work, Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce, AGPS, 1988, pp. 2–3.

            57. C. Watanabe, Industry and Trade Policies, International Program, Graduate School of Policy Science, Saitama University, February 1989, pp. 56–57.

            58. C. Tisdell, ‘The international realpolitic of science and technology policy”, Prometheus, 1, 1, 1983, p. 132. The classic texts are, naturally, D. Ricardo, The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 1817; and T.R. Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society, 1798.

            59. H. P. Caton, ‘The Human Frontier Science Programme, a synopsis’, 2 February 1988 (mimeo).

            60. Commission for the Future, Future Challenges for Australia: the Biotechnology Revolution, Melbourne, August 1986.

            61. International Scientific Committee of the HFSP, The Human Frontier Science Program, Report (tentative), 2 May 1989, p. 16.

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