Staging Scientific Selves and Pluripotent Cells in South Korea and Japan

  • Marcie Middlebrooks
  • Hazuki Shimono


The scientific scandals that erupted in Japan and South Korea have spawned considerable reflection on the ethical, legal, and scientific oversight of stem cell research. The very public and prolonged unraveling of the peer-reviewed and published stem cell research claims of South Korean professor Hwang Woo-suk in 2005 and Japanese scientist Haruko Obokata in 2014 captured, respectively, the attention of the Korean and the Japanese publics. In this chapter, we explore how Obokata’s and Hwang’s public presences and personal narratives—created in conjuncture with the Korean and Japanese news media—helped produce international stem cell research results. Chapter shows how despite the gradual unfolding and the extensive media coverage of these international stem cell scandals, certain underlying but decidedly surreptitious links between the staging or presentation of the ‘successful’ stem cell scientists and faith in the production of powerful pluripotent cells remained persistently intact.


Haruko Obokata Stem Cell Science Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Stem Cells South Korean Public 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcie Middlebrooks
    • 1
  • Hazuki Shimono
    • 2
  1. 1.IthacaUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of Humanities and SociologyThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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