日本科学史学会 会長声明「ロシア・プーチン政権によるウクライナ軍事侵攻に抗議し、即時撤退を求める」(2022年3月21日)

注目

ロシア・プーチン政権によるウクライナ軍事侵攻に抗議し、即時撤退を求める

 去る2月24日のロシア・プーチン政権による突然のウクライナへの軍事侵攻は、その後ますます拡大し、市民の住居や生活手段、社会環境、学校教育研究施設、図書館、病院、歴史的な文化遺産を破壊し、国土自然を破壊し、多数の人々の生命を無差別的に奪っている。国際法上禁じられている原子力施設への攻撃や大量殺傷兵器、ミサイルなどの最新兵器が投入され、今や核の使用を懸念させており、戦争犯罪史上に明瞭な足跡を刻みつつある。核の使用はもとより、通常兵器でも無差別大量殺傷は許されざる人類史的犯罪である。   

 今回のロシア・プーチン政権による軍事力行使は、地域や国際間の紛争は平和的手段と対話で解決を図るという人類の歴史的知恵を真っ向から否定する蛮行であり、領土や政治的独立をめぐる国際間紛争に武力行使を用いないという国連憲章にも反するものである。直ちに軍事侵攻を停止し、すべてのロシア軍事部隊をウクライナ国土から撤退することを求めるものである。

 2月24日にはロシアの科学者と科学ジャーナリストは、いち早く声明を出し、プーチン政権の軍事侵攻に反対し、平和解決を要望した。学会・大学などの多くの科学者団体、さらにはフランス科学アカデミー、ドイツ科学アカデミー、イタリア・リンチェイ国立アカデミー、イギリス王立学会(Royal Society)、アメリカ国立アカデミー、カナダ王立学会(Royal Society)、日本学術会議など多くの国の科学者の代表機関も、ロシア・プーチン政権の軍事侵攻に抗議している。同じく一部のノーベル賞受賞者たちは、ロシア軍隊の撤退を要求するとともに、ロシアの安全保障関係は国連憲章やヘルシンキ協議最終勧告(1975)、パリ憲章(1990)の枠組みの中で対処できることを指摘するとともに、今回の軍事侵攻が今後長きにわたってロシア国の評判に汚点を残しロシア国民に大きな打撃を与え、ロシアとその他の世界に壁を築くことを懸念している。

 科学者は自然科学、社会科学、人文科学を問わず、過去、多くの紛争の中でも、平和的志向が確認される限り国際間の科学交流・協力の試みを続け、紛争解決と平和を望んできた。それは、科学が人類にとって普遍的意義を有すること、しかしそれにもかかわらず、科学の軍事的利用と行使が武器を先鋭化させ、破壊の規模を拡大させ、ますます多くの市民の生命を奪い、同時に科学的営みの土台である社会を破壊するとともに科学者の生命をも奪ったことを知っているからである。人類社会の存続、社会の中で生を営むすべての個人にとってと同様、平和は科学の発展にも不可欠である。

 歴史的には、核兵器の使用禁止、軍事不拡大の願いの実現が、必ずしも順調に進んでいるわけではない残念な実情が背景にあるにしても、今回のウクライナ軍事侵攻は、ウクライナの主権と国民の生命を武力によって一方的に踏みにじる許し難い行為である。

 また、他方ではロシア国内でのフェイクニュースや言論弾圧による社会破壊、科学者への弾圧を懸念すると同時に、ロシア以外の諸国においてロシア人に対する差別行動や社会的排外が進むことを懸念する。プーチン政権の軍事侵攻に反対し平和を希求する多くのロシア国民と科学者がいることも報じられている。彼らとも連帯し、ウクライナの社会と国土、平和と文化をウクライナの人々に回復する道を探らなければならない。

 まずは、ウクライナの主権を侵害し、人々の尊厳や生命と財産、社会と国土を破壊するのみでなく、ロシア自身と全世界とに大きな破壊的結果、新たな分断をもたらす今回の軍事侵攻を直ちに停止し、ロシア軍のウクライナからの撤退を強く求めるものである。

                              2022年3月21日

                        日本科学史学会会長 木本忠昭

                        

日本学術会議第25期推薦会員任命拒否に関する人文・社会科学系学協会共同声明(続報)

人文・社会科学系の学協会が言語学、文学、哲学、宗教学、歴史学、文化人類学、心理学、社会学、社会福祉学、社会政策学、経済学、経営学、法学、政治学、科学史、教育学などといった個別分野の枠を超えてまとまって一緒に意見表明を行うということは、これまでなかったことです。
しかも「共同声明」への参加・賛同学協会数は11月4日時点では226でしたが、共同声明最新版(2020年12月2日時点)では310にまで増大しています。
共同声明に参加・賛同した学協会の数がそのように多数にのぼること、人文科学・社会科学に関わるほぼすべての研究領域の学協会が参加・賛同しているということは、今回の任命拒否問題によって、人文・社会科学系の様々な分野の学協会に不安や心配が広がっていることを強く示すものです。

共同声明の運動を社会に広く知って頂くため、11月6日に日本記者クラブで、12月2日に外国人記者クラブで共同記者会見が下記のようにおこなわれました。

続きを読む

President’s Statement : We Demand the Retraction of the Refusal by the Government to Appoint Nominees as Council Members to the Science Council of Japan

We Demand the Retraction of the Refusal by the Government to Appoint Nominees as Council Members to the Science Council of Japan

Tadaaki Kimoto
President, The History of Science Society of Japan
October 11, 2020

At the inception of the 25th term of the Science Council of Japan, the government has refused to appoint six of the candidates who were elected by the Science Council of Japan. This measure, taken from a political standpoint, refusing candidates elected in accordance with the Science Council of Japan Act and based on the judgement of scientists is an act that tramples upon the law and Article 23 of the Constitution of Japan, which provides for academic freedom, and is therefore totally unacceptable. We demand that the six candidates be appointed immediately.

The Science Council of Japan, after a reorganization of the pre-war National Research Council of Japan, the Imperial Academy and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, was established in 1949 as a “special organization” under the jurisdiction of the prime minister operating independently of the government.

The Preamble to the Science Council of Japan Act, which indicates the ground for the establishment of the Council, states that, standing in the conviction that science is the foundation of a cultured nation, under the collective will of scientists, the mission of the Science Council of Japan is to contribute to the peaceful reconstruction of Japan, to the well-being of human society, and to scientific progress in partnership with the world’s academic societies.

This is because scientists who faced the task of rebuilding a peaceful nation from the devastation of the defeat, deeply reflected on their experiences of the prewar system and cooperation with the war; the suppression of freedom of speech and learning by the prewar military state power such as that represented by the “emperor-organ theory” (theory of the Emperor as an organ of government) incident and the Takigawa incident in the 1930s, or inhumane research under the influence of the military, who made frequent visits to universities, forcibly mobilizing scientists for military research, including the development of poisonous gas and biological weapons, human experimentation, research on death rays and atomic bombs, and research on development of weapons for the arming of the whole national people. Furthermore, the ideal of this preamble, which promises to contribute to peace and the well-being of human society was summarized in statements refuting the conduct of scientific research for military purposes in 1950 and 1967. In 2017, opposing the introduction by the Ministry of Defense of Research Promotion System of Military Security Technology Fund in 2015, it was announced that these statements would be unremittingly adhered to.

At the same time, for the council’s purpose of promoting and enhancing the field of science, and having science reflected in and permeated into administration, industries, and people’s lives, the Council has proposed the establishment of a large number of research institutes and centers such as the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University, as well as laying the foundation for the joint utilization research system. The Council has also made efforts to secure the sufficiency, comprehensiveness and diversity of basic research, and has made repeated recommendations for the Science and Technology Basic Plan. The recommendation for the three principles of democracy, independence, and openness, which have been built in the Atomic Energy Basic Law in 1955, and   become Japan’s basic stance for nuclear research, development and usage, are derived from the basic stance of reflection upon the prewar academic system and reflecting the achievements of science in the people’s lives.

Internationally, as an institution representing Japan, the Council has affiliated with international science organizations in many scientific fields, including the International Council for Science (ICSU. In 2017, ISCU integrated with the International Social Science Council, ISSC, to form the International Science Council, ISC), and has made great contributions to the state of and promotion of science and technology in Japan, such as enhancing scientific research in Japan, in partnership with world academia.

Independence from the administrative command mechanism has been acclaimed since the time of the Council’s inception due to reflections upon history and the natural relationship between science and society, but it is natural that some recommendations are at times critical of government policy. The government being dissatisfied with these critical opinions and attitudes of the Council, reduced the power of the Science Council by partially amending the Science Council of Japan Act in 1983, and at the same time established the Council for Science and Technology as an advisory body to the prime minister on science and technology policy. The 2004 revision of the law brought about a further deterioration of the “scholarly parliament” character that brings together the collective will of scholars, but the Council has still developed activities based on the objectivity, criticality and comprehensiveness necessary to deepen communication between scientists by maintaining independence and to develop science and utilize the achievements. Since 2008 the Council has made more than 300 recommendations.

In order to further strengthen the social function of the Science Council of Japan, which is to promote and enhance the field of science, and have science reflected in and permeated into administration, industries, and people’s lives (Article 2 of the Act), it is necessary to enhance its independence and strengthen its democratic. communication capabilities. This is because the progress and methods of scientific research are diverse, and freedom of thinking and flexibility, freedom of speech and thought, and democratic debate among scientists are particularly required.

There are various opinions about how scientific research and scientific measures should tackle unknown problems, and there may be various ways of evaluating scientific achievements. If the administration of the time arbitrarily excludes some of them, this will eventually distort the scientific process of reaching the necessary conclusions by demonstrating the maximum benefit of the scientific capabilities of the current society through the exchange of diverse opinions. There are various methods and possibilities through which scientific achievements may contribute to the well-being of the people of the nation, comprehensive judgments being required from a scientific standpoint. But here, too, what is strongly required is, once again, the publication of scientific achievements, freedom of speech and research stance and independent judgment, the independence of academic content, and a democratic cooperative system.

Research on the new coronavirus and virus countermeasures are also full of unknown problems, but if political criteria are introduced to exclude some scientists simply because they do not coincide with the interests of the administration, the neutral scientific investigative activities required of scientists may be hindered and finally fall short of the expectations of the public. Judgment criteria based on political interests or an administrative standpoint are not always in harmony with the scientific criteria of scientists, but rather distort scientific judgments, and thus the utilization of scientific achievements may ultimately be contrary to the interests of the people of the nation. It is impossible to forget the bitter experience of the history of Japan’s nuclear power, that is, the promotion of the “safety myth” through the exclusion of the scientific views and knowledge of some scientists on the basis of the so-called “nuclear village,” formed due to cooption by political and economic interests, that resulted in the terrible damage brought about by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident on March 11, 2011 and the great many people who are still not able to return to their hometowns.

The method of selecting members of the Science Council of Japan has changed from a popular-vote election system at the outset, to a system of recommendations from academic societies in 1983, and finally, from 2004, to the cooptation system of the present day. The criteria for selecting members are excellent research or achievements, and each method has had its own problems. However, in each of these cases, intervention into matters of personnel from the totally different dimension of the administration, bringing into science the criteria of accommodation with specific administrative purposes, threatening the crucially important academic freedom and freedom of speech in science, which influences research methods, democratic debate among scientists, scientists’ attitudes, and thus harms the autonomous development of science. Ultimately, it may undermine the interests of the people of the nation.

The refusal to appoint candidates this time is said by Prime Minister Suga to be “an appropriate measure based on the law” and a “comprehensive and bird’s-eye view” measure, but the reasons and criteria for the refusal have not been indicated. If there is a selection standard that differs from the Science Council of Japan Act, it cannot be persuasive unless it is clearly stated. To the contrary, there is no option but to say that this is political intervention in personnel matters that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Science Council of Japan Act. While this political intervention obstructs autonomous and free academic activity, we have little option but to harbor suspicions that the lack of explanation for the reasons behind the refusal are, in the end, an aim to carry into the scientific community the kind of politics of “sontaku” (the performance of pre-emptive acts designed to ingratiate oneself with one’s superiors) that brought about a barbaric destruction of official documents unparalleled in history. Scientific research challenges the unknown, but at the same time it is also a challenge to academic and social authority, including the scientists themselves. If academic freedom is suppressed and “sontaku” prevails, democratic, free-spirited debate and the enterprising spirit in the scientific community that confronts social and academic powers and authorities, and pioneers the unknown, may be impeded. If this occurs, looking to the long term, this may lead to the power of scientists to confront the unknown being diminished, the “scientific ability” of society being impaired, and this may result in disempowering the people of the nation to pursue profits.

We are strongly concerned that the government’s recent measure will harm not only the Science Council of Japan but also the scientific community and the lives of the people of the nation, and we therefore demand the prompt retraction of the refusal to appoint the six candidates and their immediate appointment

Furthermore, on October 9, Prime Minister Suga explained that he did not see the list of the 105 nominees submitted by the Science Council of Japan, only a list of 99 people (six nominees having already been excluded). If this is true, the very fact that the decision was a “comprehensive and bird’s-eye view” decision is doubtful, and even calls into suspicion the falsification of official documents. What is therefore required is an accurate explanation of the process from the submission of the recommendation document by the President of the Science Council of Japan to the decision to appoint 99 nominees, and the reasons for the refusal to appoint the six nominees.

https://historyofscience.jp/blog/2020/10/13/presidents-statement-2020-10-11j/ (Japanese)[1] 


 [1]Translation includes some supplement.

Japanese Academic Societies Unite to Release a Joint Statement to Protect the Independence of the Science Council of Japan

December 2nd, 2020
Committee of History of Science Society of Japan

Japanese Academic Societies Unite to Release a Joint Statement to Protect the Independence of the Science Council of Japan

Japanese scholars have met the Prime Minister Suga’s decision to reject the candidacy of six humanities and social sciences scholars for the Science Council of Japan with grave concern. 226 academic societies in the humanities and social sciences in Japan issued a Joint Statement on November 6th. Since then, the number of co-signers has reached 310. On December 2nd, they issued the same statement in English, gave a press interview and appealed to scholars and citizens worldwide for support and cooperation.

The Science Council of Japan, which is a national academy and not a federation of academic societies, does not directly represent the interests of the societies. Nevertheless, the societies are deeply concerned with the issue as the Prime Minister’s rejection of appointment not only violates the independence of the Science Council of Japan but also further threatens academic freedom, autonomy and democracy in Japan.

See the interview video on the Joint Statement: https://youtu.be/47unG8Y0-JQ

As one of the societies that have co-signed the Joint Statement, History of Science Society of Japan hereby releases the Joint Statement and also its own Statement in English.

Please send your supportive message to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdG8c42G4jnqvV3WygBNkttnEAzIeB-UiHMcOMhtE-INn0z3w/viewform?usp=sf_link