By Karine Chemla, Evelyn Fox Keller
members. Bruno Belhoste, Karine Chemla, Caroline Ehrhardt, Fa-ti Fan, Evelyn Fox Keller, Kenji Ito, Guillaume Lachenal, Donald MacKenzie, Mary Morgan, Nancy Nersessian, David Rabouin, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Claude Rosental, Koen Vermeir
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Extra resources for Cultures without Culturalism: The Making of Scientific Knowledge
Apparently, many quantum physicists in his time had difficulty understanding it. Leon Rosenfeld, a close collaborator of Bohr, writes that he once asked Yukawa whether the Japanese physicists had experienced the same difficulty as their Western colleagues in assimilating the idea of complementarity and in adapting to it. 2 If we can assume that Rosenfeld’s description is reasonably reliable, Yukawa probably meant that complementarity was incompatible with Aristotelian logic, by which Japanese physicists were not affected.
In this half-natural and half-artificial environment, the Nishina family owned a large expansion of land, including rice paddies and salt fields. Nishina’s grandfather Arimoto excelled in civil engineering and played a leading role in water management, land reclamation, and the creation of salt fields. The Nishinas owned a salt-making business, and the family’s salt circulated widely before the Meiji government nationalized this industry. Thus, salt making was responsible for the accumulation of the Nishina family fortune.
Hence, Low’s argument is highly problematic as far as Nishina and some other physicists are concerned. This is not simply a matter of factual errors and empirical problems. Certainly, using a class category to analyze science can be fruitful, as in the case of “gentleman science” in Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer’s Leviathan and the Air-Pump (1989). In addition, as we will see in the next section, analyzing how scientists fashioned themselves is in itself a legitimate approach and can be useful for understanding those scientists.