Wednesday, April 9, 2014

At Last Dr. Obokata Spoke

At last, Dr. Obokata spoke before the media for two and a half hours.  She said she has succeeded with the STAP cell experiment more than 200 times and had no malicious intent in producing data. She has confirmed that one other person succeeded in reproducing STAP cell but she didn’t name the person.  

Why that person does not come forward and tell Riken and the world about the successful result?  Why Dr. Sasai is the only person who’s been defending Dr. Obokata?  What’s happening to the rest of her colleagues and co-authors of the STAP papers? That’s a mystery. I hope to find out later.

This afternoon, I talked with a female medical doctor about this issue.  She told me that Science communities in Japan are men’s world, and Riken is notorious in producing high suicide rates.  Wow.  I didn’t know that.  But generally it’s tough for women to head a team of men.  I say this out of my experience.

This evening, Asahi Shimbun reported that Riken agreed to set up a committee to guide their researchers so that future misconducts would be avoided.  The government has been on Riken’s back on this issue.  Good for them.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dr. Obokata and STAP Cell

Because I find no English articles on STAP Cell news from April 2nd, I'll use a few excerpts from the Japan Times' article on 3/15/2014.

"During Friday’s news conference, which lasted around four hours, Riken President Ryoji Noyori, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in chemistry, strongly criticized Obokata. “An unskilled scientist dealt with a huge amount of data in an extremely sloppy way without a sense of responsibility,” Noyori said in reference to her."

I've heard of his negative opinion on the media multiple times, but nothing from Dr. Obokata.  She's been forbidden by the Riken to speak up before the media.  She should speak up.  There is something wrong with this society, stopping individual rights just to speak up.

"Obokata has admitted she processed images to make the research papers appear more attractive, according to Riken senior researcher Shunsuke Ishii, who is leading the internal investigation."

I don't know if the Japan Times reporter interpreted Ishii's words or Ishii actually used the comparable word, but I believe above "attractive" is not appropriate in this case.  According to Asahi Shimbun of April 2nd, Dr. Obokata said she wanted to make the photo clearer for viewers. I thought if the photo was dark, lightness helps, and many times, more contrast helps to see the detail. What's wrong with Ishii and Noyori and other faceless unfair minded people to judge that to be falsifying attempts without letting Dr. Obokata respond before the media?

"Obokata has told the Riken inquiry team that she had no idea the act was inappropriate, Ishii said. “I wonder if she has had no chance to learn research ethics,” he said."

To be fair, I suggest this kind of scrutinizing acts on all the science papers, starting with Dr. Noyori's.  Have the twitter user 11jigen gather the like-minded users on the Internet and go ahead and scrutinize Dr. Noyori's past papers including his incomplete, unpublished papers, just like what it was done to Dr. Obokata.  According to the Riken's standards, I think it isn't too late to discredit even Nobel Prize winners if someone wants to judge any intention malicious. 

As far as I’ve read, Ishii had met with her twice.  Being an only 30 years old and scientist, not a lawyer, she was ill prepared.  Apparently Riken was already planning to discredit her before a fair process and also already planned their new project to prove the experiment starting April 1st.  That was four days ago.  Talking of ethics and integrity, they have none.

Both Riken and Obokata san believe STAP cell exists, and any work to prove is very difficult.  But so far, Obokata san and her team have been responsible for this great, unprecedented discovery.  Don't you think Riken owes her open communication free from pressure from the beginning?  

For Noyori to have said that Obokata has no sense of responsibility is extremely judgmental and rude.  The world audience hasn’t heard of her side of the story. It's completely one sided.

Let me know your opinion on this.  I can't wait to see she speaks for her defense.  There must be a good explanation on two experiment notebooks with no dates and other details. 

Friday, March 7, 2014




New York, NY – International Women's Day 2014 on WBAI Radio is hosted this year by Mary Ann Miller, From The Women's Desk.

**Opening Ceremony: Mary Ann Miller, Kathryn Davis, Lorraine Currelley of The Harlem Arts Fund, Writing For Peace and Pearls of Wisdom Storytellers, and Cynthia Parsons McDaniel presenting 'The Least Known Actress In The World.'

**US Representative for New York's 12th congressional district Carolyn Maloney. In a phone conversation with Mary Ann Miller, to speak about her plans to re-introduce Equal Rights Amendment legislation.

**Andrea Katz with WBAI intern Aurelie Diese. Hosting a segment on the state of affairs of feminism, as well as cultural demands on ethnic communities of younger women. Several guests will call in from the Barnard Research Center on women, along with an African American female artist whose work deals with these issues, and representatives from the younger Moslem community.

**Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi. The NYC based Italian, artist, will discuss her current exhibit Material Puns, at the International Fine Arts Consortium in NY.

**Naomi Brussel, co-host of Out-FM. In a conversation about lesbians in the Philippines, and same sex adoption issues.

**Heart Of Mind host Kathryn Davis. A segment about the plight of young black women today.

**Medea Benjamin of CodePink, just returned from Egypt. Where she was imprisoned and brutalized by Cairo police on her way to join a delegation traveling to Gaza in Palestine for a women’s conference. She is expected to phone in.

**West Coast Poets On The Air

*Judy Juanita: Her poetry has appeared in 13th Moon, Painted Bride Quarterly, Lips, Crab Orchard Review, Croton Review and Obsidian II. Her plays have been produced in Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, LA, and NYC. Juanita's first novel was Virgin Soul, a coming of age story whose protagonist joins the Black Panther Party in the sixties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her collection of essays, Labyrinthine: Essays On Becoming A Novelist, was published last month by EQD Press in Oakland.

*Lynne Bronstein: She is a writer, journalist, and poet who lives in Santa Monica, and writes about social consciousness, sisterhood and sexuality. Her books include Border Crossings, Thirsty In The Ocean, Roughage, and Astray From Normalcy. Bronstein has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2014.

*Julia Stein: An LA fiction writer and poet, Stein has published seven books of poetry. Her latest collection is What Were They Like, about
bringing peace after ten years of wars. She will be reading poems from Walking Through a River of Fire: 100 Years of Triangle Fire Poetry, in honor of the 102nd anniversary of the worker tragedy.

*Karen Kevorkian: She is a fiction writer and poet whose work has appeared in numerous magazines. Including Antioch Review, Fiction International, 5 Fingers Review, Hambone, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, Rio Grande Review, River City Review, Third Coast, and Virginia Quarterly Review.

*Carol Dorf: She is poetry editor of Talking Writing, whose most recent issue honors Muriel Rukeyser. She also teaches mathematics at Berkeley High School. Dorf's poetry has been published in Spillway, Sin Fronteras, The Mom Egg, Composite, Occupy SF, Fringe, About Place, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Scientific American, Maintenant, OVS, Best of Indie Lit New England, and elsewhere.

Keiko Amano: She states, 'I have been writing since my mother died in 1996. Growing up, she forced me to practice the traditional art, Ocha (tea ceremony), but I rebelled against it and all the outmoded boring Japanese customs. My first memoir revolves around this major conflict between Mother and me starting in 1957 in Yokohoma, Japan.' Amano will read from her work, The Immediate Theater.

**Performing artist Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado. Presenting a feature segment about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and Occupy Wall Street. Including dramatizations of a monologue by Clara Lemlich organizing the young workers, and as a Wall Street Occupier singing the OWS anthem, Guitarmy. Which Maldonado wrote as a tribute to the Triangle martyrs and Pete Seeger. The phoenix rises from the ashes.

****Earth Mum interviews Pearl Means. Widow of the late Native American rights activist, Russell Means.

**Closing Remarks: Janet Coleman of Cat Radio Cafe.