Kenji ITO Associate Professor

Lab web site:

History of Science

Science and technology should be considered as products of human social and cultural activities, rather than a static system of knowledge.  Since their dynamic developments are temporarily emergent, we can only understand science and technology through empirical and historical studies, not by essentialist approaches.

My area of specialty is the history of science, in particular the history of physical sciences in 20th century Japan. Through this material, I focus on the following thematic themes:

1. transmission of knowledge across cultures
2. reproduction of knowledge workers
3. functions of various sites of knowledge production
4. interactions between knowledge producers and citizens

Prospective graduate students interested in social and historical studies of science and technology are welcome.  They should, however, be aware that the curriculum of this department is designed mainly for biology students, and not necessarily the most suitable for students with such interests.


Papers and publications

  1. Kenji Ito, “La science « occidentale » sous la restauration Meiji: Mimétisme ou appropriation intelligente?”, pp. 346-365 in Kapil Raj et Otto Sibum, eds., Histoire des sciences et des savoirs, t. 2: Modernité et globalization, Seuil, 2015.
  2. Kenji Ito, “Superposing Dynamos and Electrons: Electrical Engineering and Quantum Physics in the Case of Nishina Yoshio,” pp. 183-208, in Shaul Katzir, Christoph Lehner and Jürgen Renn, eds., Traditions and Transformations in the History of Quantum Physics, Berlin: Edition Open Access, 2013: 183-208.
  3. Kenji Ito, “Vor Astro Boy,” Technikgeschichte 77, 2010: 353-372.