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Dec 17, 2012 Article
Public opinions regarding the relationship between Autism Spectrum Disorders and society: social agenda construction via science café and public dialogue using questionnaires

by Jin Higashijima, Yui Miura, Chie Nakagawa, Yasunori Yamanouchi, Kae Takahashi and Masaki Nakamura

Rapid and significant developments in the science of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have provoked serious social and ethical concerns as well as positive influences worldwide. This study created a social agenda containing 21 important issues regarding the relationship between ASDs and society and the development of the science of ASDs. The agenda was constructed with the input of a variety of Japanese people who were provided with scientific ASD information and engaged in discussions regarding ASDs. First, opinions were sought via a questionnaire from the attendees of six science café sessions. Then, additional important issues were put forward by attendees of a larger dialogue session regarding the relationship between ASDs and society, again via a questionnaire. The agenda covered a wide range of issues, including information regarding ASDs, people’s understanding of ASDs, social support, education, the difference between ASD characteristics and individuality, ASD research, diagnosis, and social attitudes.

Volume 11 • Issue 04 • 2012

Jan 26, 2009 Article
Mouse model: what do Japanese life sciences researchers mean by this term?

by Jin Higashijima, Kae Takahashi and Kazuto Kato

Mouse-related research in the life sciences has expanded remarkably over the last two decades, resulting in growing use of the term “mouse model”. Our interviews with 64 leading Japanese life sciences researchers showed heterogeneities in the definition of “mouse model” in the Japanese life sciences community. Here, we discuss the implications for the relationship between the life sciences community and society in Japan that may result from this ambiguity in the terminology. It is suggested that, in Japanese life sciences, efforts by individual researchers to make their scientific information unambiguous and explanative are necessary.

Volume 8 • Issue 01 • 2009