Professor Walter Grunden has been invited to the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Sōgō kenkyū daigakuin daigaku, or SOKENDAI) in Hayama, Japan, to participate in a collaborative research project examining science policy under the Allied Occupation (1945-1952). Funded by an internal grant awarded to principal investigator Professor Kenji Ito (SOKENDAI), Grunden, Ito, and Professor Takashi Nishiyama (State University of New York, Brockport) will travel extensively throughout Japan this summer to conduct research in government and university archives and will begin collaboration on a book-length monograph. Their project will examine the links between occupation-era reconstruction and postwar remilitarization and economic recovery, with a particular focus on how science policy both contributed to and obstructed these processes. Grunden’s primary interest in the project is to illustrate how the Cold War era imperative to contain the spread of communism in East Asia directly informed policy decisions affecting the reformation of science institutions and the reintegration of Japanese scientists into the global scientific community even well after the occupation ended. Grunden’s preliminary findings on this subject were presented in the article, “Physicists and ‘Fellow Travelers’: Nuclear Fear, the Red Scare, and Science Policy in Occupied Japan,” published in the Journal of American-East Asian Relations (2018). The collaborative book-length project with Ito and Nishiyama will expand this study beyond physics and into the fields of aeronautics, engineering, and medicine.
SOKENDAI is an inter-university consortium devoted to graduate-level research in the sciences and includes also a School of Cultural and Social Studies with programs in the History and Philosophy of Science. Established in 1988 with its first central office located at the Tokyo Institute of Technology Nagatsuda Campus, SOKENDAI is the first national university in Japan to focus exclusively on graduate studies and is part of the Inter-University Research Institutes (IURI) network, which includes the Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies (Tsukuba, KEK), the National Institute of Genetics, and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, among others. Grunden was a visiting scholar in residence at SOKENDAI in spring 2018 through a short-term research grant awarded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He completed postdoctoral studies at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in the 2001-2002 academic year, also funded by JSPS, which facilitated archival research in Japan for his book, Secret Weapons and World War II: Japan in the Shadow of Science (2005). He is also currently working on a history of Japan’s chemical warfare operations in Asia and the Pacific during World War II.