Haiku reflections on Japan

A tri-national success

3 nations share the

Nobel Prize for medicine

for really good work

 

Of course all medical discoveries are good work.   Helping combat malaria is a particularly great thing though as it kills so many people around the world every year.    It’s one of the two main killers in Africa I believe.  The female scientist from China has been working in this area almost all her professional life and was greatly involved in carrying out research into malaria, thus helping North Vietnamese soldiers who were badly hit by malaria during the Vietnam war.   What’s more, she developed the drug in question by referring to ancient texts in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, which is often frowned upon and looked down on by people in the international world of conventional medicine.

By the way it astounds me that some newspapers have mistaken her gender and have referred to her as Mr.   Can’t journalists check basic facts before they publish their articles?   Apparently not.  How lazy.  She is the first Chinese woman to win a Nobel prize in Science and the twelfth woman in history to win the prize for medicine.   The other two joint winners are from Ireland (originally) and Japan.   Their joint research was in combating roundworm.  Another serious issue in parts of the world.   All three winners are now in their 80s (80, 84 and 85 at the time of writing).    You could say that helps to combat ageism in science and the work place as well, even if they did start their research and make their discoveries when they were younger (they’re still very involved in their fields).   Unfortunately, I’ve read that sexism is alive and well in science but let’s hope women continue to work to combat that.

Japanese scientists do pretty well in the Nobel arena.  The physics award last time round went to at least two Japanese scientists.   Well done to them too.

Back to women though, apparently Shinzo Abe’s drive to get more women back in the workplace, and in high positions, by offering subsidy grants to companies is not really having the effect he had hoped for.  Most companies have not taken up the initiative, whether it is not well promoted enough or badly administered I do not know.   I think it’s the latter.   Underlying traditional attitudes still hinder this effort as well.

I visited the Nobel Museum in Stockholm a while back and it was pretty interesting.   The layout of the exhibits could be better as you have to wait for someone to finish reading a particular section before you can do so as all the information on the winners is presented at either side of very narrow columns placed along the floor one after the other.   It’s very annoying to have someone read over your shoulder!!  Entry is free but the museum shop prices help the museum earn back the cost!

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