Current Biology has published an interview of the esteemed Japanese population geneticist Tomoko Ohta .
But, you chose not to stay in the US? I was a Fulbright student, and four years was the maximum time students were allowed to stay in the US. So, in 1966, after finishing my PhD, I went back to Japan. I asked Dr Motoo Kimura at the National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, if I could do research in his laboratory, simply because he was the only theoretical population geneticist in Japan at that time. At first, he was skeptical to let me do research in his field, but he finally accepted me as a postdoctoral fellow. Kimura was a typical Japanese man of his time, who regarded women's scientific activities as insignificant. After two years or so, I had convinced him that I should continue to do research.
I think that if we plotted biologists on two axes, (1) Scientific Value, and (2) Public Awareness of Their Work, Kimura and Ohta would be outliers with high value and unusually low awareness.
- . Tomoko Ohta. Current Biology. 2012;22(16):R618 - R619.