July 14, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Haruko Obokata (小保方 晴子) book is a #1 best seller

Obokata book AmazonHaruko Obokata wrote a book about the STAP cell scandal telling it from her perspective.

Fom all accounts I’ve seen, she has sought in her writings to shift the blame away from herself. She even claimed she was framed by other scientists. To say I’m skeptical would be an understatement.

Will this book have any impact? Many scientists thought it would make a splash and then fade away.

Not so, at least so far.

At present Obokata’s book is the #1 best-selling book on all of Amazon Japan, which is a huge deal. A hat tip to Dr. Robert Geller for the heads up on this.

Clearly in Japan a very large number of people are buying this book, which both raises the possibility that it could be influential on public opinion there and that she could profit handsomely from its sales. Her publisher apparently has given her a $50,000 USD equivalent advance, but if the book sells beyond expectations she could get even more.

Might it be translated into English?

Do people believe the claims in the book? The reviews on Amazon Japan are very mixed with many one-star reviews with harsh words and overall not a great rating, but there are five-star reviews too.

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