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Disgraced Japan stem cell scientist dead in apparent suicide

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death by media

43 ( +52 / -11 )

It is indeed extremely regrettable. Pity his research was made up or his colleagues might be able to regenerate him....

-36 ( +8 / -43 )

This is not good. Modern society can ill afford to lose the best and brightest in this way. This is a very sad development. There was no need for this chap to end up like this. Moreover, rather than reporting on this story, NHK should be hanging its head in shame. After all, it was them who lionized Obokata in the first place.

21 ( +22 / -2 )

death by media

Exactly! The media (and the critiques) made way to much of deal out of this, always hunting for somebody who can be stigmatized.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

Pretty sad

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I hope the media groups that have blown this crap out of proportion can sleep at night with the blood of this innocent man on there conscience. Maybe now media will get an idea of how there actions can and does impact the victims of their Sensationalization of arbitrary mistakes people make in daily life. I guess they got all straight A's on their report cards to think that they have to blow up others mistakes. All fall short of perfection in Gods eyes. So why are we all out to scrutinize each other for our mistakes. Its called a retraction not a Lets throw it in their faces. And as much as i love Japantoday news your just as guilty. You know I think media should print an apology.

1 ( +8 / -8 )

CGBSpender: true, but I believe them making a hug deal out of the scandal was merely to coverup the announcements to the world of "Japan's" (later solely Obukata's when the scandal was revealed) scientific discovery and praise for the young female scientist.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Woah, I thought for a moment Obukata comitted suicide. Not that this makes it any less tragic.

I guess he was being harassed by his employees and the media for the STAP research until he couldn't take it anymore.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Very sad, now i am worried about his student Haruko Obokata who's in utter shock according to RIKEN spokesman.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

First of all, why has Miss Obokata been picked up by television so long and so persistently ? Is it only because her thesis was so epoc-making ? Please imagine that if she is not so cute nor beautiful and if she is not just a beautiful woman, has almost all television companies in Japan come near to her so curiously ? This is definitely an academic issue, which makes me wonder why she has been on television so much.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Disgusting, this idea that shame results in an illogical suicide to smooth things over...his family must be devastated. They made a mistake, probably due to pressure he and his team made a bad choice, not a life ending one.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This is exactly what I was talking about, we all make mistakes, but you go in a corner sulk, take the harsh criticism, sulk some more, get over the depression, get up, get out and pick yourself up and start again and try not to worry about what others think, Yes, I know this is Japan, but that is one part of the culture that drives me nuts, once you are shamed, you are shunned and that is just horrible, it's like, life is NOW over and people need to look on the bright side, life could be worse, you could be suffering from an incurable disease or some other serious tragedy, life is good, it's ok to fail and for God's sake, think about the other people you are hurting when you kill yourself! Don't be selfish and put your family through a life of emotional pain and agony, if you really truly care about them.

20 ( +26 / -7 )

Very sad, very regrettable! And I fully agree with bass4funk!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's funny how, whenever a religious figure behaves badly, many people attack and demean religion in general for it. But when scientists engage in misconduct -- and it happens a lot; Riken is just the tip of the iceberg! -- nobody ever bashes science in general. I'm not saying science should be bashed for the misbehavior of a few scientists. But neither should religion be bashed for the misbehavior of a few clergymen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thats the power of media.. sad that this guy thinks killing himself is the only answer to make things right.

i hope his protege doesnt go follow his shoes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's not death by media! It's death by suicide! It's so saddening that so many Japanese are so fickle they decide death is their only answer. Yeah, he was a famous scientist that was crucified by the media, but that does not mean he should kill himself.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

@ALL

So lets continue our conversation about suicide in the previous article.

So is this guy cowardly and selfish as some of you mentioned earlier?

Are we the victims or is he the victim?

Look at all the pressure put on him. Drove to suicide.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I wonder, what was the content of the note to Obokata?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

death by media

This is not death by media. The media should have been more aggressive, if anything: Many commentators on JT were accusing the senior staff of Riken for pushing Obokata under the bus (often even going as far as to claim that this was because Obokata was a young woman) and not taking responsibility for their role in the mess. From what I remember (please do correct me if I am wrong), this was not a story particularly strongly pursued by any mainstream media.

Sasai was clearly a successful scientist with a past of solid academic papers and contributions to science (and thanks to these, I would not characterize him as "disgraced"), which has me left wondering: Why, and why now? He'd handled the biggest media storms already. I do not know what the repercussions for him were for his involvement in the matter (STAP), maybe his job was threatened, but I will never understand why one would go to such lengths as killing oneself.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

It's not just the media, it's the harsh unforgiving nature of the society that is the problem.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Carolingium above is asking just what the press was asking today at the news conference. The other question they asked was concerning the nature of the relationship between Sasai and Obokata.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

it's the harsh unforgiving nature of the society that is the problem.

igloobuyer, not as unforgiving nature as your country.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

but Obokata is still alive and well, using up our tax money for her bogus research and living in a hotel

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

From what I've heard, Obokata was primarily responsible for deliberately misrepresenting her results to support her "discovery". The failure of her co-authors was a failure of oversight, but it was, apparently, a clever deception.

To call Sasai-san disgraced would I think be too harsh, but it looks as though he felt the burden of responsibility too heavily. What a tragic waste of scientific talent, and so terribly sad for his family.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

before this event, did anyone really know who he was? probably not, so it's preposterous to claim that this was "death by media."

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@FrontandCentre Great post. Couldn't agree more.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

but Obokata is still alive and well

I would say that "well" probably isn't a good description to use today

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I can easily see how the media scrutiny was the catalyst for his decision to commit suicide. He valued his reputation and although it appears that he was not directly involved in the fabrication that invalidated their work, it was in charge. We are human beings and have our frailties. It obviously would have been more constructive for him and for science if he had used this adversity to find the answers to improve his research.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Now let's see how Obokata's new research turns out.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My sympathies to his family. However, bad research is bad research; they failed to retract or to find a researcher anywhere in the world who could replicate the results after all this time. He was one of the people who could have and should have slowed Obokata down and stopped the publication of the paper until they could replicate it internally and have the union members of the research team (and they have plenty of them) ensure all the pictures and details were in order.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This man was killed by Paparazzi, not by Journalists, who are too aggressive with no ethics and professionalism.

I do not call them journalists because they have no critical thinking skills, no ethics, no moral standard and no CLASS.. They are a bunch of idiots. How can you improve a quality of reporters in Japan? The news are very boring.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Part of it was the media, however what msny of you fail to realise is thst anonymous callers in the hundreds called into Riken and constantly left abusive verbal attacks against the research team... And the afforementioned scientist. The public can be very cruel critics not letting up...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is just sad. At first I thought it was Obokata, as she was in the limelight quite recently. Except in extreme cases where it's necessary to save another person's life or to protect loved ones, I don't understand why people would even think of taking their own life. If they'd just think of the people they'd leave behind and the grief they'd cause.

In his memory I hope Obokata continues and advances the research. All the hard work shouldn't go to waste.

igloobuyer, not as unforgiving nature as your country.

If you meant South Korea, you're correct. It's even worse there. It's common for showbiz people and public figures to commit suicide due to pressure from the shaming from society they get. Even the former SK President, Roh Moo-Hyun, leaped to his death a few years ago. That's the culture they have.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is a shame when a person refuses to fight and take his own precious life. It should be a crime.

Mr abe should work on a campaign to combat suicides. When Steve Jobs funded Apple he was fired from his own company. He didn't commit suicide and few years later he was back at Apple and invented the iPad and iPhone that everyone knows.

When a japanese commit suicide the only think that comes to my mind is: what a looser. And what a poor society Japan has.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Why, and why now? He'd handled the biggest media storms already.

There was a program on NHK Sunday night. He pushed and pushed Obokata to publish, evidently. He was envious of Dr. Yamanaka's iPS cell discovery and wanted to top it. 'We've beat him, iPS are history!' was what he said when Obokata's paper was published. He seems to have been responsible for about 1/3 of the figures in the paper as well. The whole thing was quite involved, and he was in it from the beginning. The documentary was quite surprising.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Media exists everywhere. But suicides, most of them only in Japan.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

When a japanese commit suicide the only think that comes to my mind is: what a looser. And what a poor society Japan has.

Do you think the same of Guyana, Lithuania, South Korea, Greenland, Kazakhstan, Slovenia and Hungary? Because they are numbers 1-7 in world suicide rankings, Japan is 8th.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

There are scum behind the scenes at Riken who did far worse. Also, what about those who passed Obokata's plagiarized works. I still hope they discover the STAP cells, though.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

it better he takes some times off from his work, maybe a month or two just for relaxing things before starting over again. the place he is working at should allow that if they already know that he is with physical and mental pressure. as a researcher, u hav a lot more to build than to destroy. RIP.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

bass4funkAug. 05, 2014 - 03:57PM JST This is exactly what I was talking about, we all make mistakes, but you go in a corner sulk, take the harsh criticism, sulk some more, get over the depression, get up, get out and pick yourself up and start again and try not to worry about what others think,

Bass4funk - Clearly you aren't an academic, so you don't know what they're like.

Firstly, in academia reputation isn't important, it is EVERYTHING. Papers are accepted or rejected on the basis of reputation and papers your life-blood.

Secondly, academics are terrible gossips, and he'll have been cornered at every conference he went to internationally to discuss the STAP cell research. It will have followed him everywhere, and a lot of academics were very angry at what occurred there.

Thirdly, academics tend to be good at handling criticism, they do it for a living. Imagine you complete a 3 year assignment and hand it in to your boss... who throws it back at you because you formatted one of the margins wrong... then you fix the error and a committee of managers looks it over and throws it back at you didn't put in enough references to them... they then reconsider it and decide they need some additional data and tell you to start again. And this is something you've worked on for 3 years.

Honestly Bass4Funk, you have no clue what academia is like, so don't assume this guy was weak. The pressure must have been intolerable. And given his profile as a researcher it was international pressure, so don't make this about Japan, it was international.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

There was a program on NHK Sunday night.

I did not know this. Sounds quite interesting. Might you have a link or reference of some sort to the description of said programme? Is this what you are referring to: http://www.nhk.or.jp/special/detail/2014/0727/ (from Sunday a week ago)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have a horrible feeling that Miss Obokata will end up the same way... hope to god I'm wrong.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'll look for it....I thought it was this past Sunday, but I could be wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It used to be "publish or die", now.....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The body of Yoshiki Sasai, 52, was discovered hanging inside the stairwell of a building that houses the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology, one of the country's most prestigious scientific research institutions.

The office is in the western city of Kobe.

"Yoshiki Sasai was discovered hanging on Tuesday morning inside one of Riken's research buildings and, after being sent to hospital, he was confirmed dead at 11:03 a.m.," a spokesman for the Hyogo Prefectural police told AFP.

"Police are investigating the case as a suspected suicide."

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Note police investigating as a suspected suicide. How he could hang himself?: Where the cord was purchased? fingerprints on hanging area on cord at stairwell? Did anyone seen by security officers in the building at the time of death decided by autopsy? Or who used building of security permit code at the time of his death? .... etc. For suicide notes, if they are handwritten, hand writing expert will determine if they are his handwriting. If created by software such as wordpro or text editor, computers will be added to evidence. Then which printer is used. Alibi of Riken people. It could be murder case. Hope Ms. Obokuta will be careful. She took all for her responsibility in botched research at Riken. Why he hang instead of Seisan Kari if suicide? Mystery.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

“It’s extremely unfortunate,” Japan’s top government spokesman and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in response to questions about Sasai’s death. “Dr Sasai was a leading contributor in the field of regenerative medicine.”

It’s indeed a disturbing human tragedy for a well-versed scientist to end his life this way.

My heart goes to his family.

I just wonder if so called and cherished honor code in Japan may play an iniquitous role in his sudden death. We all make mistakes in our lives, big or small, fatal or trivial, there is no reason why a person can’t admit his or her mistakes and ask for forgiveness then move on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unless someone replicates Obakata's research, she will never be taken seriously as an academic here or anywhere else in the world. Other researchers will keep a distance from her, both physically and in research.

Frungy is an academic or has a close relative who is one; The kyoshitsu system is ruthless and even if there is no kyoshitsu system, professors know who is getting international exposure and who is not.

And the politics in academia; they spend so many hours dreading over something so trivial that they order bentos to continue until the last train to decide something any thinking human could answer in seconds. The vacations are good, and the schedule is nice, but the bull makes the decision making process in any company or political group look like a walk in the park.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

lambda, I don't think it was NHK after all...I was washing dishes etc and listening from the kitchen. I think DH changed the channel...Mr. Sunday on FujiTV is the greater possibility. I thought 'NHK' because we'd watched Kanbe...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Honestly Bass4Funk, you have no clue what academia is like, so don't assume this guy was weak. The pressure must have been intolerable. And given his profile as a researcher it was international pressure, so don't make this about Japan, it was international.

Frungy -- spot on. I have a niece who is in a doctoral program related to DNA research here at a major west-coast university, and the pressure on her/them to "publish or perish" is incredible. Generally these types of programs are only funded year-to-year, and if they don't produce then money simply dries up. And, as was the case here, it is highly likely that someone else, somewhere else in the world is doing similar research -- afterall there are brilliant people worldwide -- and the one who publishes first wins.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Toshiko, You are so wrong. 1. This is not a murder case. 2. Japanese hang more than use seisan kari. 3. Obokata has the most responsiblity.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“It’s extremely unfortunate,” Japan’s top government spokesman and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in response to questions about Sasai’s death. “Dr Sasai was a leading contributor in the field of regenerative medicine.”

Extremely unfortunate indeed. And sad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tinawatanabe: I think you are right. I became suspicious because his hanging (kubitsuri) was not done in his home. The hanging from ceiling area on top of a chair and kick to be hang, Also, he is in chemical research lab area so I thought he could get seisan kari easily and die quickly without neck pain. I got my imagination went up after I read "Police are investigating the case as a suspected suicide."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@frungy

Clearly you aren't an academic, so you don't know what they're like.

Oh, yeah, I do. Seriously. Besides, I really don't think you are in the position say, what I know or don't know?

Firstly, in academia reputation isn't important, it is EVERYTHING. Papers are accepted or rejected on the basis of reputation and papers your life-blood.

Hmmm, you can apply that to pretty much almost any profession, I'm a journalist, there is NO difference, reputation is everything. After 13 years with msnbc, I should have slit my wrists a long time ago, but here I am.

Secondly, academics are terrible gossips, and he'll have been cornered at every conference he went to internationally to discuss the STAP cell research. It will have followed him everywhere, and a lot of academics were very angry at what occurred there.

Again, I can relate to that, story of my life and yet, none of my co-workers offed themselves and we had quite a bit of a shake up with a few known journalists that went through the ringer and were fried and yet, they are still here.

Thirdly, academics tend to be good at handling criticism, they do it for a living. Imagine you complete a 3 year assignment and hand it in to your boss... who throws it back at you because you formatted one of the margins wrong... then you fix the error and a committee of managers looks it over and throws it back at you didn't put in enough references to them... they then reconsider it and decide they need some additional data and tell you to start again. And this is something you've worked on for 3 years.

Again, I can relate to that, so what's your point?

Honestly Bass4Funk, you have no clue what academia is like, so don't assume this guy was weak.

Sorry, the guy was weak, pure and simple, NOT only weak, but selfish. Yes, I said it! I really don't care about excuses from you or anyone, the guy didn't have to kill himself, there is no reason or justification for it, NONE. He chose the easy cowardly ***** way out. Don't sugarcoat it. It is what it is. I don't have sympathy for him, but my heart goes out to his family, it must be extremely difficult and because of his selfish act, his family will never be the same. By the way, if you were to ask them if they agreed with his decision to take his life, had they known he was going to do that, I have NO doubt in my mind, they would have stopped him or tried to persuade him NOT to do it. Please don't make excuses for weak and selfish people like this.

The pressure must have been intolerable.

What ever happened to seeking counseling or help from friends and family members? No, I don't want to burden people with my problems, so I will just kill myself and be rid of MY personal pain, my family will just have to deal with it. Frungy, come on...seriously....

And given his profile as a researcher it was international pressure, so don't make this about Japan, it was international.

Hmmmm, I don't hear too many other researchers from other countries that try to commit suicide compared to the Japanese. Like I said, it's very sad, I do feel terrible, but not for this guy, but for his family a completely different story.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Tinawatanabe as a Japanese please show respect to other Japanese woman. You disagree with Toshiko, it's ok. But please say nicely. Not say you are so wrong.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Was the guy married?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's a surprising minority here who haven't seen through the fact that "STAP saibo ga arimasu" was wishful thinking, to say the very least. It's lazy thinking to just assume that the nasty establishment ganged up on Miss Obokata when she has, in fact, been the author of her own misfortune, by publishing "discoveries" that simply cannot be substantiated, in a report which she wrote which, when subjected to peer review, became rapidly clear as having misrepresented the facts. I know people closely connected with the people involved, and Obokata is widely understood to be a fantasist.

I simply hope that people will not be distracted by today's tragic event and look objectively at the behaviour of the people involved and weigh up the evidence in the same way that sceptics found out the errors in Obokata's flawed thesis in the first place.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

May your soul Rest in Peace.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bass4funkAug. 06, 2014 - 12:00AM JST

Clearly you aren't an academic, so you don't know what they're like.

Oh, yeah, I do. Seriously. Besides, I really don't think you are in the position say, what I know or don't know?

We'll get back to this point in a moment...

Firstly, in academia reputation isn't important, it is EVERYTHING. Papers are accepted or rejected on the basis of reputation and papers your life-blood.

Hmmm, you can apply that to pretty much almost any profession, I'm a journalist, there is NO difference, reputation is everything. After 13 years with msnbc, I should have slit my wrists a long time ago, but here I am.

... a journalist. You fancy you know something about academia? You fancy there is "NO difference" between academia and journalism (this sort of quoting out of context wouldn't be allowed in academia, but is standard practice in journalism... but of course you won't object, after all you've probably done it often enough). Don't be ridiculous.

And msnbc ... you know somewhere is bad when it has an entire separate wikipedia page devoted to its controversies, which include... oh my goodness, like Andrea Mitchell's doctored clip on Romney but she's still a well-respected journalist featuring frequently on other shows.

Msnbc has aired so many fake news stories that it has become a running joke on the internet.

Don't compare journalism to academia. In journalism someone without the brains to spot satire from real news or the integrity to check stories against primary sources is the norm, and even those who deliberately fake and alter news stories continue their careers just fine, in fact they're often promoted (see Andrea Mitchell).

In academia if you're caught doctoring research even once your career is over forever, even if it was just an honest error.

The fact that you cannot grasp this fundamental difference demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that I was correct in my earlier assertion that you know nothing about academia.

Sorry, the guy was weak, pure and simple, NOT only weak, but selfish. Yes, I said it! I really don't care about excuses from you or anyone, the guy didn't have to kill himself, there is no reason or justification for it, NONE. He chose the easy cowardly ***** way out. Don't sugarcoat it. It is what it is. I don't have sympathy for him, but my heart goes out to his family, it must be extremely difficult and because of his selfish act, his family will never be the same. By the way, if you were to ask them if they agreed with his decision to take his life, had they known he was going to do that, I have NO doubt in my mind, they would have stopped him or tried to persuade him NOT to do it. Please don't make excuses for weak and selfish people like this.

No, your heart doesn't go out to his family. If it did you wouldn't be publically calling their father/brother/son a "weak", "selfish" coward.

Who is a selfish coward? Someone who takes cheap shots at a dead guy he didn't know in a profession he doesn't understand and all for the purpose of inflating his own ego by ranting on the internet, and who claims to care about the family while slandering their dead loved-one.

Now that's selfish cowardice.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I went to check WikiPedia with his name, English version for Japanese stories/histories.people etc are always short summaries so I chose Japanese language. He was in pshychiatric care and Mental Stress caused him entered in Hospital. He did interview with media on 4/16.and apologized after he was released from the hospital on 4/16/.

The day he was found, he was on the stairwell (odoriba) between 4th and 5th floors steps he was found 8 am and 10.03, reported to police. They found several letter for his family and Riken people. Among them, to Obokuta. In Japanese, "Anata-no-sei dewa nai. Stem Saibo o kanarazu saigen shite kudasai." Looks like he devoted for science until he killed himself. He owns several patents. He was tired, etc in his letters (yuigon) RIP

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@bass4funk "journalists that went through the ringer "

You mean wringer?

"What ever happened to seeking counseling or help from friends and family members? No, I don't want to burden people with my problems, so I will just kill myself and be rid of MY personal pain, my family will just have to deal with it."

According to various reports in the Japanese mainstream media, Sasai spent about a month in the hospital for mental issues in the spring. Remember when there was consternation as to why he wasn't giving a press conference? That's why. And according to his brother, at the time of his death, Sasai was still being seen by a doctor and taking prescription drugs for his mental problems. Riken claims that they were aware recently that he was not well and consulted with his family about making sure he got the care he needed. Obviously the measures taken did not prevent his suicide, but maybe the situation was not as you are trying to paint it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Before he committed himself to mental institute, he wanted to resign from his post at Riken but it was negated by Riken, Courageously, he faced media after he finished hospital stay. He could not get out from Rken position and he was sick.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This has nothing to do with the media attention................... Sasai basked in it when he presented the phony research. . ................. It has to do with dishonestly and being found out . . .AND, it has to do with Riken's ineptness in handling the scandal and dragging it on, thereby, perpetrating the trauma for the people involved................................... May his sou lrest in peace. now.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@frungy

... a journalist. You fancy you know something about academia? You fancy there is "NO difference" between academia and journalism (this sort of quoting out of context wouldn't be allowed in academia, but is standard practice in journalism... but of course you won't object, after all you've probably done it often enough). Don't be ridiculous.

I'm not and there is no difference, pressure is pressure, deadline is deadline and reputation is reputation, it is all the same. Careers that that demand a lot! That's my point. You have the right to think what you want, but I know quite a few people in the field of Academia and it's No joke, that for sure, I have a lot of respect for these hardworking people, but don't come here and make excuses (which is what you are doing ) implying that, because of the scrutiny and the pressure, the guy killing himself is understandable. Sorry, the guy had his whole life ahead and he killed himself for what? For what?

And msnbc ... you know somewhere is bad when it has an entire separate wikipedia page devoted to its controversies, which include... oh my goodness, like Andrea Mitchell's doctored clip on Romney but she's still a well-respected journalist featuring frequently on other shows. Msnbc has aired so many fake news stories that it has become a running joke on the internet.

That's why they are at the bottom of the barrel, you just don't know how bad it is, probably THE worst organization to work for. That's the main reason why I left and as embarrassing as it was in the end, I still didn't commit suicide, God knows, I don't know how I survived it. Main thing is, life is good and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Don't compare journalism to academia. In journalism someone without the brains to spot satire from real news or the integrity to check stories against primary sources is the norm, and even those who deliberately fake and alter news stories continue their careers just fine, in fact they're often promoted (see Andrea Mitchell).

And you can apply that to virtually ANY career field, so Yes, most definitely you can make a very strong comparison.

In academia if you're caught doctoring research even once your career is over forever, even if it was just an honest error.

15 years ago, I know of someone that went exactly through that. She was in the research field at UCLA medical research in L.A. She was working on a possible and potentially promising cure for the HIV virus, I am not sure as to the exact details, but she put her career and reputation on a serum that could pretty much wipe the disease from the body, it didn't work, it was a huge failure and she was reticule, mocked and demoted, this was back in 1986, she was hurt, humiliated, went away for a couple of years, came back, furthered her education and now is working for Cedars Sinai in L.A. and has a very good life and most of all, her pride and dignity was completely restored, point to all this is, she never ONCE thought about killing herself. She loved and respected life too much to do that.

The fact that you cannot grasp this fundamental difference demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that I was correct in my earlier assertion that you know nothing about academia.

No, the basic fact to all this is, you just want to make excuses for this guy, making it seem like, he had no other way out and we all should understand and accept it. I'm not buying it. As I said, I know a lot more than you think and this guy was a selfish jerk for taking the cowards way out. Bottom line!

@educator60

You mean wringer?

Yup, and I thought, I had this Siri thing down!

According to various reports in the Japanese mainstream media, Sasai spent about a month in the hospital for mental issues in the spring. Remember when there was consternation as to why he wasn't giving a press conference? That's why. And according to his brother, at the time of his death, Sasai was still being seen by a doctor and taking prescription drugs for his mental problems. Riken claims that they were aware recently that he was not well and consulted with his family about making sure he got the care he needed. Obviously the measures taken did not prevent his suicide, but maybe the situation was not as you are trying to paint it.

True, but how do you know what you just said, was not in any way, shape or form fabricated, his brother could have been trying to protect him. You know how the Japanese view mental sickness, we really don't know all the variables, this is very true, but I believe that and living in Japan, people need to understand people make mistakes and in this country there is already enough pressure in everyday life as well as having a career here. But there is never an excuse to kill yourself because you refuse to deal with reality.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Odd that we were just discussing seppuku yesterday. This is a tragedy. Suicide is not a solution to a problem.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Modern society can ill afford to lose the best and brightest in this way. if he was the best and brightest there wouldnt have been a need to falsify results

0 ( +2 / -2 )

While I can most certainly see where you, Frungy, are coming from, I think you are overstating your point. Academics have stress, sure, with grant applications and the "publish or perish" mentality of the modern institution of science, but belittling the pressures one must surely be under especially in a slowly dying profession, journalism, (as witnessed in the decline of many of the former top newspapers) eats away at the message you are trying to get across.

I'd say academia is quite relaxed compared to many other professions where similar Cravath's up or out is used, and that many industry jobs are very much comparable in terms of stress to what you might experience as a scientist (especially if you compare senior positions, such as the one which Sasai held, to a similar position outside academia). I might also argue that stereotypically academics are introverts (or even have borderline autism/Asperger's), and I would imagine them to be less able to handle the pressure put on them than the average person (there must be studies about the subject; if you find any, I'd be very happy to see them). These are of course broad generalizations, and one should not use the single case of Sasai to extrapolate to the entire field (surely proportionally more salarymen kill themselves than academics, anyway, if you were to use this as a meter of stress/pressure).

What bass4funk is essentially saying is that no matter how much pressure you are under (be it for academic reasons or otherwise), you should never quit life: Your reputation, job, career, none of them are things worth dying for. I'd say that I'd have to agree. You are of course free to decide for yourself, as there is no correct answer. I would not judge Sasai as weak, but merely as someone with a different set of priorities and values which also mirror those of his cultural background (perhaps his decisions were also affected by mental issues, as mentioned by other commentators).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

wtfjapan

:if he was the best and brightest there wouldnt have been a need to falsify results

You are absolutely right on !

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is really saddening news, it doesn’t matter from whichever perspective one views this from, it’s so sad. The pressure that scientist are under to achieve results coupled with the media pressure (who was it that said we get the media that we deserve?) and the ingrained societal behaviours in Japan probably made this all the more likely if not inevitable. Fleischmann and Pons made an even more catastrophic error when claiming to have discovered cold fusion; it all but ended their careers. All we can do is offer the family, friends and colleagues of Yoshiki Sasai our condolences and wish that Haruko Obokata well for the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan will not change. Another addition to statistics of 30K suicides a year in Japan. Yet, for all the signs of progress, anyone thinking life is getting easier for Japanese workers may need to think again. Majority of the professional workers in Japan still put in more hours of unpaid overtime monthly. Many are working extra hours, a level that risks karoshi, or working to death. Balancing work and life is just a dream in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"It's extremely unfortunate," Japan's top government spokesman and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in response to questions about Sasai's death

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Seems that Suga got attention on Japan's deficiency on Mental Health problems Of cause there are many other health problems in Japan.

Hope Suga will give attention to Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare - Kohsei-rohdoh-shoh.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The TV news was all over this, ignoring the fact that it happened because of them.

They lapped up the figurehead of STAP cells being a young woman, then enjoyed burning her and everyone involved. Now they are acting like it's a tragedy unrelated to them. If it was a balding old dude who made the breakthrough, it would hardly have been in the news. Balding old scientist dudes only get on TV when they win Nobel prizes. What Obokata claimed she had done was interesting, but not worthy of all the hype. The hype was generated by the media because she was a young woman. That is all. Which means that this guy checking himself out, was all because of a dumb media story that was blown out of proportion.

Anyway, I don't think this will turn out well. Because I highly doubt that she actually did what she claims to have.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This is so sad and tragic. I can understand Mr. Sasai's feeling of great shame, loss of face, and his sense of hopelessness and doom. What he needed was friendship and support during this difficult time. Being associated with research fraud is hard for a scientist to recover from, unless s/he has a stellar record of past accomplishments (e.g. Dr. David Baltimore, Nobel Prize winner in physiology). When you are "tainted", students and post-docs start choosing other labs to work in so you have few assistants in the lab. Funding institutions hesitate to fund your research. It may be difficult to find a job at another academic institution. Peer review boards and scientific journals become super cautious when evaluating your experiments and conclusions and they start questioning your past research. I am sorry Mr. Sasai thought the only OUT from his situation was to commit suicide. Perhaps with supportive friends, a broader perspective, and a more forgiving attitude toward self, he would have taken a different path. Given that ALL principal investigator SHOULD be meticulous about what comes out of their labs and given that ALL lab personnel should abide by a scientist's creed, then instead of killing himself Mr. Sasai could have become the leading advocate and organizer of "Training for Principal Investigators and Mentors," and "Research Ethics Training" for all research personnel from junior high school to research institutions. Suicide is neither a courageous nor cowardly act. It is the final act of a person who thinks there is no other way out of a seemingly unbearable predicament.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bass4funk "You mean wringer?

Yup, and I thought, I had this Siri thing down!"

Maybe Siri is too young to know what a wringer is and why it is used in that expression ;-)

"True, but how do you know what you just said, was not in any way, shape or form fabricated, his brother could have been trying to protect him...."

Well, if you want to go there, how are you so sure he was a coward who killed himself? Maybe it was a massive fabrication by Riken and he was actually murdered.

"But there is never an excuse to kill yourself because you refuse to deal with reality."

I am well aware of the effects of suicide, I have seen them many times. I don't recommend it as a solution to anything. But you know, sometimes it isn't that a person refuses to deal with reality, it's that they are just too tired, whether for physical or mental reasons or both. And sometimes all the family and professional help in the world doesn't do the trick.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

lambdaAug. 06, 2014 - 02:20AM JST While I can most certainly see where you, Frungy, are coming from, I think you are overstating your point. Academics have stress, sure, with grant applications and the "publish or perish" mentality of the modern institution of science, but belittling the pressures one must surely be under especially in a slowly dying profession, journalism, (as witnessed in the decline of many of the former top newspapers) eats away at the message you are trying to get across.

I don't believe that I have overstated my point. Bass4funk believed his experience in journalism was sufficiently similar to academia to judge this man. Bass4funk believed that reputation operated the same way in journalism and academia.

I demonstrated that he was mistaken. Do not blame me for pointing out the obvious and glaring differences, blame bass4funk for attempting such an obviously incorrect argument.

I'd say academia is quite relaxed compared to many other professions where similar Cravath's up or out is used, and that many industry jobs are very much comparable in terms of stress to what you might experience as a scientist (especially if you compare senior positions, such as the one which Sasai held, to a similar position outside academia).

Now you're just trying a straw man argument. There was no claim that other jobs aren't stressful, and there are "deadly sins" in any industry, mistakes that you can make that will end your career. In accounting it would be fiddling the books, in the service industry it would be losing your cool with a customer, and so forth.

Where bass4funk erred was in claiming that the impact of a single incorrect or fake article were the same in both academia and journalism. This is manifestly not true.

I might also argue that stereotypically academics are introverts (or even have borderline autism/Asperger's), and I would imagine them to be less able to handle the pressure put on them than the average person (there must be studies about the subject; if you find any, I'd be very happy to see them). These are of course broad generalizations, and one should not use the single case of Sasai to extrapolate to the entire field (surely proportionally more salarymen kill themselves than academics, anyway, if you were to use this as a meter of stress/pressure).

Yes, these are broad generalizations, one might even characterise them as broad to the point of being completely and utterly untrue. Labeling all academics as introverts who are borderline autistic and less able to handle stress is easily one of the most misguided posts I've ever seen.

Even making this ridiculous assertion renders your post invalid.

What bass4funk is essentially saying is that no matter how much pressure you are under (be it for academic reasons or otherwise), you should never quit life:

Should? Well of course not. Unfortunately the real world isn't that simple. People don't commit suicide because they think they should, they commit suicide because they're in incredible mental agony and can't think straight.

Your reputation, job, career, none of them are things worth dying for. I'd say that I'd have to agree. You are of course free to decide for yourself, as there is no correct answer.

Yes there is, you simply choose not to see it. Perhaps if you actually spoke to some suicidal people about their experiences you'd understand that they do not make a choice to do this, and that we are in no position to judge what their world view was like at the time of their suicidal urge.

What we can do is attempt to understand their pain, understand their situation, and in some small way give our sympathy to someone who was in such incredible pain that they saw suicide as the only thing they could do.

What we should not do is bring further pain to their family, friends and loved-ones by characterising them as weak, selfish and cowardly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tinawatanabe as a Japanese please show respect to other Japanese woman. You disagree with Toshiko, it's ok. But please say nicely. Not say you are so wrong.

ProudJapanese I don't know Toshiko's nationality. I don't think it's relevant. I 've noticed you always needlessly claim you are Japanese.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Still waiting for Obakata to reproduce the cell. I thought she did it over 200 times? :-p

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ProudJapanese "Tinawatanabe. I thought you were a Japanese so I said please be polite to other Japanese. "

I don't care one way or another what nationality people are and anyway it is something impossible to confirm on the internet. But help me understand your logic here. You are saying that if tinawatanabe was not Japanese then it would have been okay for her to be rude to Japanese. Why would you think that? Shouldn't people be polite regardless of nationality?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Educator. Of course everyone should polite to everyone. But I am a Japanese. So I see Japanese woman rude to other Japanese woman. I want to say please be nice. You understand?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Total digression here for those who like word origins: A "wringer" is a device for wringing water from wet clothes, mops, or other objects. A wringer usually consisted of two parallel rollers touching each other. You feed the wet clothes between the rollers to press out the water. Thank goodness for the modern washing machine, which spin-dries the wet clothes. A wringer is also a young boy whose job it is to fetch and wring the necks of pigeons after they've been shot. Being "put through the wringer" derives from the first meaning. But being put "in the hands of the wringer" would be just as unpleasant. Okay, end of digression.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Educator. Sorry I need time to think how to write reply. I thought Tinawatanabe is a Japanese woman because her name. She said aggressive talk to madam Toshiko. So i said disagree ok but please be nice. I don't know tinawatanabe age but madam Toshiko is maybe older. In Japan younger people should respect older people. I don't know other culture way. Of course everyone should polite each other. Before I asked japantoday moderator please be careful people attack Tmarie but my comment deleted. I hope you understand my logic

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@lambda

What bass4funk is essentially saying is that no matter how much pressure you are under (be it for academic reasons or otherwise), you should never quit life: Your reputation, job, career, none of them are things worth dying for. I'd say that I'd have to agree. You are of course free to decide for yourself, as there is no correct answer. I would not judge Sasai as weak, but merely as someone with a different set of priorities and values which also mirror those of his cultural background (perhaps his decisions were also affected by mental issues, as mentioned by other commentators).

Thanks, Lambda. Exactly, that is precisely the point I was trying to make.

@frungy

I don't believe that I have overstated my point. Bass4funk believed his experience in journalism was sufficiently similar to academia to judge this man. Bass4funk believed that reputation operated the same way in journalism and academia.

No, you overstated my point and took it personal as to why, I have no clue.

I demonstrated that he was mistaken.

No, I was not mistaken.

Do not blame me for pointing out the obvious and glaring differences, blame bass4funk for attempting such an obviously incorrect argument.

Sorry, but that's all a ruse and a sorry excuse. Why so defensive? You don't need to be.

Now you're just trying a straw man argument. There was no claim that other jobs aren't stressful, and there are "deadly sins" in any industry, mistakes that you can make that will end your career. In accounting it would be fiddling the BOOKS, in the service industry it would be losing your cool with a customer, and so forth. Where bass4funk erred was in claiming that the impact of a single incorrect or fake article were the same in both academia and journalism. This is manifestly not true.

Frungy, no matter what you say, it's an excuse and the man was selfish, YES, he had a mental problem to some extent, but how deep we don't know, but regardless of what the circumstances are or any other factors that may arise, he had a choice and he decided to end his life, never taking into consideration how his family would feel about it.

Yes, these are broad generalizations, one might even characterise them as broad to the point of being completely and utterly untrue. Labeling all academics as introverts who are borderline autistic and less able to handle stress is easily one of the most misguided posts I've ever seen. Even making this ridiculous assertion renders your post invalid.

That is your opinion and you are right to hold that position if you so choose.

Should? Well of course not. Unfortunately the real world isn't that simple. People don't commit suicide because they think they should, they commit suicide because they're in incredible mental agony and can't think straight.

This is true, however from the reports and videos as of the latest, the man didn't seem that incapacitated and quite coherent. All the more reason as to why this guy had Zero reason to end his life.

Yes there is, you simply choose not to see it. Perhaps if you actually spoke to some suicidal people about their experiences you'd understand that they do not make a choice to do this, and that we are in no position to judge what their world view was like at the time of their suicidal urge.

Sorry, I think it's more like you don't want to accept the obvious and that's ok. You have the right to think anyway you wish. Now, I am NOT saying and knowing what the man was thinking, but knowing a lot of people that attempted suicide and two of them successful, I firmly believe that based on the evidence we have so far, the guy just couldn't cope with the scrutiny and the pressure of it all and decided to end his life, for whatever reason, he was weak.

What we can do is attempt to understand their pain, understand their situation, and in some small way give our sympathy to someone who was in such incredible pain that they saw suicide as the only thing they could do.

I agree, but in this country, more needs to be done, the Japanese need to take a very deep and serious look and the pain and misery of suicide and how to prevent and minimize the depression as well as the serious repercussions that go with killing yourself

What we should not do is bring further pain to their family, friends and loved-ones by characterising them as weak, selfish and cowardly.

I agree.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

ProudJapanese "So I see Japanese woman rude to other Japanese woman. I want to say please be nice. "

Do you have the same inclination to caution rude posters if they are men?

"In Japan younger people should respect older people."

That should be the case in any country/culture. That is, people should be respected as human beings. But sometimes older people are mean, nasty people who don't really deserve special respect. And sometimes they plain have their facts wrong and I think it's okay to correct them but politely of course. Actually I am old enough to be included in "them" but I think you get my point.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Bass4funk

You agree that you shouldn't have characterised the man as weak, selfish and cowardly ... well, that's progress I suppose.

So the world improves a little. Now I recommend you get a job at a university and try and publish something in a tier 1 academic journal. Come back in 5 years and tell me how it went and if you still hold the same opinions about how academia has similar standards to journalism.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bass4funk "he decided to end his life, never taking into consideration how his family would feel about it."

How in the world do you know what he did or didn't take into consideration?

" the man didn't seem that incapacitated and quite coherent."

Actually, his coworkers are saying that in recent days he was not very coherent, that it was impossible to discuss the work they were doing etc. That is why Riken was consulting with his family about his medical trestment. Yes, this us according to what Riken says but so far I haven't seen anything to indicate the coworkers or Riken are lying about this. Which is not to say I think Riken has no fault, on the contrary I think they should have accepted Sasai's wish to resign months ago.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

His letter to Obokuta in Japanese: , "Anata-no-sei dewa nai. Stem Saibo o kanarazu saigen shite kudasai." . I will translate in English (sorry, my translation of Japanese to English is always with broken English) This is not because of you. Please recreate Stem Cell without failure (for certainly - kanarazu).

He was in mental stress and he had to be hospitalized for about 1 month. Even when he decided to kill himself, he was thinking about stem cell research development,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Educator. You and I have same mind. Read my past comment. I said it ok to disagree but politely. If man is rude I say same thing

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Thanks for that translation Toshiko-san. I heard the same on the news. Unfortunately, it's going to be all that harder to prove that STAP is real now that Sasai-san is gone...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You agree that you shouldn't have characterised the man as weak, selfish and cowardly ... well, that's progress I suppose.

No, you misunderstood, I said, we don't know all the variables of this guys life, but I still think, given all of the evidence that I have personally seen, I feel that he IS weak and that he just crumbled under pressure as the main contributing factor. I don't know or I am not saying I am 100% right, but from the looks of it, the guy could have chosen another way.

So the world improves a little. Now I recommend you get a job at a university and try and publish something in a tier 1 academic journal. Come back in 5 years and tell me how it went and if you still hold the same opinions about how academia has similar standards to journalism.

Hey, After being over 12 years on TV and 19 years in the business, I will MOST definitely hold that view, there is NO difference. He chose the easy way out and I wouldn't have. I care about those around me.

@educator60

You may be right, sure, there is always that possibility, but I still think, someone dropped the ball on this one and it just smells too fishy for me. But that is my personal opinion.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

New York Times printed this report. There is a quote from Nature Magazine beside details that JT reported.

Philip Campbell, editor in chief of Nature, called Dr. Sasa''s death "a true tragedy for science and an immense loss to the research community."

Dr. Sasai "was an exceptional scientist and he has left an extraordinary legacy of pioneering work across many fields within stem cell and developmental biology," the Nature editor said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this time."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Frungy

Yes, these are broad generalizations, one might even characterise them as broad to the point of being completely and utterly untrue. Labeling all academics as introverts who are borderline autistic and less able to handle stress is easily one of the most misguided posts I've ever seen. Even making this ridiculous assertion renders your post invalid.

When I say "stereotypically academics are introverts", this does not mean that I am suggesting that all academics are this way, but that there is a correlation. To dissect my post, I made two clear statements (and asked for references to any academic studies proving or disproving my claims):

There is a correlation between being an academic and being an introvert. Being an introvert correlates with being less happy and less able to handle stress.

Which do you disagree with and why? I believe from anecdotal evidence alone that most would tend to agree, but again I welcome any scientific study to the subject.

I quite explicitly wrote that these are generalizations about academia for obviously no statistical correlation, no matter how strong, can ever indicate that the individual researcher, such as Sasai, might have been an introvert or more prone to depression than the average person. You use generalizations to back up your statements, making your opposition to mine (even when I clearly stated them as such), most perplexing.

For example you say that in academia reputation works in such mysterious ways that a journalist would not be able to understand it. This is false: There are plenty of defamed scientists that have continued on with their careers. Most recently Jens Förster has fought a very public battle, and was awarded a new professorship some two months ago, even when a panel found him directly at fault for fabricating data. Note that prior to his suicide Sasai's name was not to any great extent picked up by the international media (even the suicide did not make front page in most newspapers), making his public image very comparable to that of Förster's (except that Sasai himself has, to my knowledge, not been directly implicated in forgery). A fake paper or two does not end one's academic career, and most definitely not when you are not found to be the one faking the data but merely mislead by a collaborator (or do you suppose Vacanti's career is now over?).

What I am saying is that stress is stress, reputation is reputation, no matter what your profession. Both get built on as you rise through the ranks, and Sasai was indeed quite high up. As such, his mishaps might be compared to those of a CEO whose company fudges up an important and a very public deal (what does a CEO have, after all, except his reputation?). That Sasai chose death rather than life is sad, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the man was an academic: You don't get magical stress multipliers just from having a "Dr." or "Prof." in front of your name. I want to make, once again, clear that my generalized statements about academics as introverts can not be related to the individual case of Sasai. They were a response to, or an offshoot of, your general statements about stress in academia.

While I do disagree with bass4funk's characterization of Sasai as weak, his experience as a human being does give him enough experience to "judge" Sasai (or weigh in on his actions). One needs not be an academic to understand what the issues here are about.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

At 11:22am

bass4funkAug. 06, 2014 - 11:22AM JST

What we should not do is bring further pain to their family, friends and loved-ones by characterising them as weak, selfish and cowardly.

I agree.

Then at 1:33pm

bass4funkAug. 06, 2014 - 01:33PM JST

You agree that you shouldn't have characterised the man as weak, selfish and cowardly ... well, that's progress I suppose.

No, you misunderstood, I said, we don't know all the variables of this guys life, but I still think, given all of the evidence that I have personally seen, I feel that he IS weak and that he just crumbled under pressure as the main contributing factor. I don't know or I am not saying I am 100% right, but from the looks of it, the guy could have chosen another way.

Wow, you agreed you shouldn't have called him weak, selfish and cowardly at 11:22am, then turn around and do it again 1:33pm.

... you'd never make it in academia if you can't even remember what you wrote 2 hours before. Don't ever quit your job in journalism, it seems to be the last place that someone like you can keep a job.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

bass4funkAug. 06, 2014 - 06:18PM JST Implying that maybe I should NOT have called him weak, doesn't mean, that I think he is NOT weak. I DO! I am just saying for conversation purposes, but in my heart, I certainly do think the man is weak. Trust me, I know what I said, Frungy, if you think I'm going to stumble and twist my words, NOT going to happen, I have been very consistent, give me credit, I'm not going to sugarcoat what I said, don't need to.

For someone who's profession is supposedly words you have a very poor grasp of them. You clearly stated that you agreed that you should not have called him weak. There was no implication. You then repeated the assertion a bare 2 hours later. There is no ambiguity here, you contradicted yourself. Give up.

lambdaAug. 06, 2014 - 04:19PM JST When I say "stereotypically academics are introverts", this does not mean that I am suggesting that all academics are this way, but that there is a correlation. To dissect my post, I made two clear statements (and asked for references to any academic studies proving or disproving my claims):

I don't think you understand how discussions work. You made a claim so it is up to you to offer evidence to back it up when it is challenged. If you actually knew anything about academic work you'd know that more than 57% of papers are written by two or more authors, this means that most academics work regularly in groups out of choice, and this suggests that they are not introverts by nature. If you had ever been to an academic conference you'd realise how ridiculous your proposition was.

Being an introvert correlates with being less happy and less able to handle stress.

Nonsense. I don't know what tabloid article you got this from, but it simply isn't true. It is true that introverts tend to deal with stress differently than extroverts (e.g. extroverts go out and party while an introvert settles down at home with a good book), but that doesn't make one way right and the other wrong, merely different.

Which do you disagree with and why? I believe from anecdotal evidence alone that most would tend to agree, but again I welcome any scientific study to the subject.

The plural of anecdotes is not evidence. Have you ever considered that perhaps the fact you run into so many academics who want to avoid contact and seem unhappy is not that they are introverts and unhappy in general, but rather that you are the common factor in these interactions that they are avoiding and seem unhappy about?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't think you understand how discussions work. You made a claim so it is up to you to offer evidence to back it up when it is challenged.

I was asking which part you disagreed with. Why must you constantly come back with these personal attacks? These are the hallmarks of antisocial behaviour. Maybe one more piece of anecdotal evidence: an academic falling somewhere rather high up in the autism spectrum?

If you actually knew anything about academic work you'd know that more than 57% of papers are written by two or more authors, this means that most academics work regularly in groups out of choice, and this suggests that they are not introverts by nature. If you had ever been to an academic conference you'd realise how ridiculous your proposition was.

57% would mean that 43% of the papers are actually single-authored? This is a HUGE number given the way academia works with funding and all (I guess students write most academic papers, and their advisors get coauthorship). In life in general one is often forced to work with others to do anything useful, and measuring the fact in terms of authorship tells nothing of one's personality.

I've been an invited speaker to several academic conferences, and taken part in even more; I know what I'm talking about when I say that according to my experience scientists are more introverted and less socially capable than the average crowd. But this is probably obvious if you think about the kinds of personalities (on average) that went on to grad school to get a PhD. Again you suggest as if you could not understand the nature of academia unless you were a part of it. Why do you think you can understand journalism not being one?

Nonsense. I don't know what tabloid article you got this from, but it simply isn't true.

Wikipedia (on "extraversion and introversion") has more than half a dozen of references to scientific studies where it has been found that extroverts are happier and more positively affect than introverts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Mental break (shinkei-byo) is not limited to anyone. Need more free clinics for low income people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He was hospitalized for a month. Antidepressants can increase the risk of suicide, even more so when dosages are changed (at "initiation, titration, and discontinuation of medication").

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antidepressants_and_suicide_risk

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dear Toshiko san

I feel so sad about this news. I pray for his R.I.P.

I consider it as the problem of Japanese society. As Japanese citizen, how can we cope with it ?

I do not want to see vicious cycle anymore.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

His pride as a scientist killed him, not media, I thought.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow, this is hilarious we have a big electronic blogging fight, about the difference in posted opinions. My take is this everyone is entitled to their say and no one is totally right not even our expert Frungy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry he killed himself but Hope Suga will encourage Japan to give more attention in Mental Health issues. Even educated people get such oppressed stage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is truly sad for Japan and the medical world. Since the man has passed away, we should let him be so that his living family members will not be negatively affected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@frungy

For someone who's profession is supposedly words you have a very poor grasp of them. You clearly stated that you agreed that you should not have called him weak. There was no implication. You then repeated the assertion a bare 2 hours later. There is no ambiguity here, you contradicted yourself. Give up.

I did not, I repeatedly said that we don't have all the facts as to what transpired or what the cause of him wanting to end his life, however, I am still take the same position and being consistent, I believe that it was a cowardly act IMHO.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

RIP. bass is a hypocrite, he apparently doesnt value JP life as much as a white person's life

So now we have to engage in petty racial attacks because of different opposing views? Why is it with liberals when it is something they disagree with they have the urge to throw out and play the race card?

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