Cover of Cosmopolitan Scientists by Nahoko Kameo
Cosmopolitan Scientists
How a Global Policy of Commercialization Became Japanese
Nahoko Kameo

September 2024
182 pages.
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Hardcover ISBN: 9781503639928
Paperback ISBN: 9781503640405
Ebook ISBN: 9781503640412

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Excerpts and More

As the university transformed itself into a center of innovation, and biotechnology became a billion-dollar industry, commercialization of university inventions became both lucrative and urgent. In the United States, this shift decisively converted the academic scientist into an entrepreneur. From there, legal structures that facilitated university scientists' patenting and commercialization spread across the world, including to Japan, where earlier modes of doing science made such diffusion more difficult—and more interesting.

Cosmopolitan Scientists delineates what happens when global policies diffuse to different cultural and institutional contexts. Instead of simply accepting or resisting the change, Japanese university scientists creatively enacted the new rules, making unique local variations of the global policy—and thus making it Japanese.

Drawing on vivid accounts from bioscientists who experienced and enacted the shift toward commercialization, the book offers an insider's view into the way scientists navigate the complex and shifting landscape of science, innovation, and economic policy. In so doing it also tells a broader story of how the global rules can be successfully "naturalized"—modified, settled down, and made local.

About the author

Nahoko Kameo is Assistant Professor of Sociology at New York University.