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History Of Science: A Subject For The Frustrated

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Chapter Summary

The pre-Second World War generation of historians of science enjoyed the benefits of 'University Act'. The next occasion of encouragement for scientific careers came just before and during the Second World War effort to meet the wartime shortage of scientists and engineers. Ogura was one of the founding members, and Saigusa Hiroto, who after the war succeeded Ogura as president of the History of Science Society, was an original organizer. Saigusa, after his arrest for an offence involving 'dangerous thought' in 1933, devoted himself to working on past Japanese thought and to editing a number of Japanese scientific classics. The History of Science Society in Japan was founded in the same year that the Pearl Harbor Incident occurred. Post-war Japan has been characterized by the triumph of Marxist doctrines. For the pre-war generation science was the last gleam of rational thinking to be defended from stormy wartime demagogism.

Keywords: Japanese scientific classics; Marxist doctrines; pre-Second World War; University Act



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