世界最高権威の学術誌「サイエンス」と「ネイチャー」が、菅首相を批判

サイエンス_ネイチャー 政治・経済・社会

菅総理が任命を拒否した日本学術会議の問題は、国内で学術界を始め各界に批判的な声明や署名活動が広がっているが、国内に止まらず、さらに世界的に最高権威の雑誌、「サイエンス」と「ネイチャー」が菅義偉総理を批判する記事を掲載した。

世界最高権威の科学誌、「セル」、「ネイチャー」、「サイエンス」

Cell(セル)、Nature(ネイチャー)、Science(サイエンス)は、世界の科学界で最も権威ある雑誌として知られ、それぞれの頭文字をとってCNSと略される。

「セル」は、アメリカのセル出版が発行している、1974年創刊で、医学・生化学・分子生物学等、ライフサイエンス分野における世界最高峰の学術雑誌である。ノーベル生理学・医学賞の対象となった論文など、医学史・科学史に残る論文が多い。

「ネイチャー」は、1869年、イギリスで天文学者ノーマン・ロッキャーによって創刊された総合学術雑誌である。これまでにノーベル賞クラスの業績が多数掲載されてきた。

「サイエンス」は、1880年に創刊され、現在、アメリカ科学振興協会によって発行されている学術雑誌である。掲載基準は非常に厳しく、投稿論文の10%以下しか掲載されず、それらの投稿も査読を経る必要がある。同誌の権威は高く、学術界において特に引用される雑誌の一つとなっている。

3誌のうち「サイエンス」と「ネイチャー」が、この度、日本学術会議の新会員任命拒否に関して、菅義偉総理を批判する記事を掲載した。

「日本の新首相は日本学術会議との闘争を選んだ」 サイエンス誌

アメリカの「サイエンス」は10月5日、「日本の新首相は日本学術会議との闘争を選んだ」という記事を掲載した。以下は抜粋訳と原文である。

「研究者たちは、日本学術会議に反対する動きを学問の自由への脅威と見なしている。」
「菅首相は、拒否権の理由を述べなかった。・・・しかし、6人の学者全員が、菅氏が内閣官房長官を務めていた前政権が採択した法案を批判していた。」
「日本科学者会議の井原聡事務局長は、首相の決定は、日本学術会議の特別な地位を規定する法律の下で違法であると述べた。」
「毎日新聞は、菅氏の動きを、『この国の学問の自由を脅かす可能性のある深刻な政治的介入事件』と呼んだ。」

【原文】

Japan’s new prime minister picks fight with Science Council
By Dennis Normile Oct. 5, 2020 , 11:45 AM

Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has disrupted the process by which scientists are appointed to serve on the governing body of the country’s leading academic society. Researchers see the move against the Science Council of Japan (SCJ) as a threat to academic freedom.

SCJ makes policy recommendations, promotes scientific literacy and international cooperation, and represents the interests of more than 800,000 scholars in virtually all academic disciplines. Its current president is Takaaki Kajita, a 2015 Nobel Prize winner in physics who just assumed his post.

The council’s governing body, called the General Assembly, is made up of 210 members serving staggered 6-year terms that began last week. Although the council is nominally under the jurisdiction of the prime minister, its general assembly members are traditionally appointed in a pro forma step by the prime minister after being recommended by an SCJ selection committee. But this year, Suga withheld his blessing from six academics, from a list of 105 put forward, who work in the social sciences, law, and the humanities.

Suga did not give a reason for his veto, which became apparent when the list of approved members became public on 1 October. A spokesperson for his office told local media the prime minister is not obligated to appoint the recommended people. But all six of the scholars had criticized legislation adopted by the previous administration, during which Suga was chief cabinet secretary.

It’s not clear what will happen next. SCJ wants Suga to explain his decision and has asked him to promptly appoint the six who were not approved. Satoshi Ihara, secretary general of the Japan Scientists’ Association, called the prime minister’s decision “illegal” under the law governing SCJ’s special status.

The Mainichi Shimbun, a national daily newspaper, called Suga’s move “a serious case of political intervention that could threaten academic freedom in this country.” A small band of protesters marched in front of the prime minister’s official residence on 3 October.

「ネイチャーが今こそ政治を取材しなければならない理由」 ネイチャー誌

イギリスの「ネイチャー」は10月6日、「ネイチャーが今こそ政治を取材しなければならない理由」という論説記事を掲載した。以下は抜粋訳と原文である。

「なぜ科学ジャーナルは政治をカバーする必要があるのでしょうか? 読者がよく尋ねる重要な質問だ。」
「科学と政治は常に互いに依存してきた。 政治家の決定と行動は、研究資金と研究政策の優先順位に影響を与える。同時に、科学と研究は、環境保護からデータ倫理まで、さまざまな公共政策に情報を提供し形成する。」

「脅威にさらされる学術的自治」(見出し)

「おそらくさらに厄介なのは、政治家が学問の自由や学問の自治を保護するという原則に反対する兆候である。」
「そして先週、日本では菅義偉首相が、これまで政府の科学政策に批判的だった6人の学者の日本学術会議への任命を拒否した。日本学術会議は、日本の科学者の声を代表することを目的とした独立組織です。首相が2004年に指名を承認し始めて以来、これが起こったのは初めてだ。」
「国家が学術的独立を尊重するという原則は、現代の研究を支える基盤の1つであり、その侵食は、研究と政策立案における質と完全性の基準に重大なリスクをもたらす。 政治家がその契約を破ると、人々の健康、環境、社会を危険にさらす。」

【原文】

EDITORIAL 06 OCTOBER 2020
Why Nature needs to cover politics now more than ever

Science and politics are inseparable — and Nature will be publishing more politics news, comment and primary research in the coming weeks and months.

Since Nature’s earliest issues, we have been publishing news, commentary and primary research on science and politics. But why does a journal of science need to cover politics? It’s an important question that readers often ask.

This week, Nature reporters outline what the impact on science might be if Joe Biden wins the US presidential election on 3 November, and chronicle President Donald Trump’s troubled legacy for science. We plan to increase politics coverage from around the world, and to publish more primary research in political science and related fields.

Science and politics have always depended on each other. The decisions and actions of politicians affect research funding and research-policy priorities. At the same time, science and research inform and shape a spectrum of public policies, from environmental protection to data ethics. The actions of politicians affect the higher-education environment, too. They can ensure that academic freedom is upheld, and commit institutions to work harder to protect equality, diversity and inclusion, and to give more space to voices from previously marginalized communities. However, politicians also have the power to pass laws that do the opposite.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has taken more than one million lives so far, has propelled the science–politics relationship into the public arena as never before, and highlighted some serious problems. COVID-related research is being produced at a rate unprecedented for an infectious disease, and there is, rightly, intense worldwide interest in how political leaders are using science to guide their decisions — and how some are misunderstanding, misusing or suppressing it. And there is much interest in the fluctuating relationship between politicians and the scientists who governments consult or employ.

Scholarly autonomy under threat

Perhaps even more troubling are signs that politicians are pushing back against the principle of protecting scholarly autonomy, or academic freedom. This principle, which has existed for centuries — including in previous civilizations — sits at the heart of modern science.

Today, this principle is taken to mean that researchers who access public funding for their work can expect no — or very limited — interference from politicians in the conduct of their science, or in the eventual conclusions at which they arrive. And that, when politicians and officials seek advice or information from researchers, it is on the understanding that they do not get to dictate the answers. This is the basis for today’s covenant between science and politics, and it applies across a range of research, education, public-policy and regulatory domains.

It is not a perfect system by any means. Some research areas are more autonomous than others, and autonomy can never be a blank cheque: researchers must also be held accountable for their actions, and standards of quality and integrity must be upheld. But protection for autonomy is a long-standing benchmark, the standard to which experts and policymakers aspire. It requires a degree of trust between researcher and politician that each will keep to their word. And when this trust starts to ebb away, the system, too, begins to look vulnerable.

That trust is now under considerable pressure around the world. Cracks have been evident for years in the field of climate change, with a number of politicians ignoring or seeking to undermine the irrefutable evidence showing that humans are the cause. But this lack of trust can now also be seen in other public domains in which verifiable knowledge and research are needed for effective policy-making.

Last year, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro sacked the head of the country’s National Institute for Space Research because the president refused to accept the agency’s reports that deforestation in the Amazon has accelerated during his tenure. In the same year, more than 100 economists wrote to India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, urging an end to political influence over official statistics — especially economic data — in the country.

And just last week, in Japan, incoming Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga rejected the nomination of six academics, who have previously been critical of government science policy, to the Science Council of Japan. This is an independent organization meant to represent the voice of Japanese scientists. It is the first time that this has happened since prime ministers started approving nominations in 2004.

The pandemic, too, is uncovering examples of political interference in science. In June in the United Kingdom, the statistics regulator wrote to the government, highlighting repeated inaccuracies in its COVID-19 testing data, which the regulator says seem to be aimed at showing “the largest possible number of tests”.

The fields of public-health and infectious-disease research have revealed much about the effects of pandemics and how to curb them. This year, a large volume of work on COVID-19 has illuminated the behaviour of both the virus and the disease. Research has also revealed uncertainties, gaps and errors in our knowledge, as would be expected. But that doesn’t excuse the behaviour we are seeing from politicians around the world, exemplified by Trump’s notorious actions: a chaotic, often ill-informed response, with scientists being attacked and undermined.

The principle that the state will respect scholarly independence is one of the foundations underpinning modern research, and its erosion carries grave risks for standards of quality and integrity in research and policymaking. When politicians break that covenant, they endanger the health of people, the environment and societies.

This is why Nature’s news correspondents will redouble their efforts to watch and report on what is happening in politics and research worldwide. It is why authors of our expert commentaries will continue to assess and critique developments; and why the journal is looking to publish more primary research in political science.

And, in these editorial pages, we will continue to urge politicians to embrace the spirit of learning and collaboration, to value different perspectives, and to honour their commitment to scientific and scholarly autonomy.

The conventions that have guided the relationship between science and politics are under threat, and Nature cannot stand by in silence.

学問の自由、表現の自由を侵害する菅義偉総理
菅総理出身大学の総長が声明、任命拒否は「学問の自由に違反」
いよいよ本性がバレてきた菅総理 自分に不都合な人物は消す

菅内閣、露骨な言論統制。この度は学問の世界に政治介入して来た
表面は優しい「令和おじさん」 実態は冷徹で恐ろしい総理