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This special symposium volume of the SSHB explores the biological effects of human isolation and migration, and how the situations to which they give rise help to elucidate a variety of biological problems, ranging from evolutionary change to disease etiology. The majority of the case studies presented here are by Asian investigators, and provide a uniquely accessible source of information. Besides documenting the results, the book illustrates the different methods employed in such studies. It will be invaluable to those contemplating similar investigations elsewhere, and will be of interest to researchers in a range of disciplines including epidemiology, clinical medicine, demography, anthropology, genetics and evolutionary biology.
The symposium, held at Phoenix Plaza, Fukui, Japan, July 30-31 1990, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the International Association of Human Biologists was highly successful. The theme was isolation and migration, for the reasons given in his presidential address by Professor Fujiki. Participants were invited to present their work on the dynamics of these two processes, and their implications for biology and health. The contributions are reproduced in this volume.
The symposium owed its success to many factors. It was the first IAHB conference to be held in the Orient. It was itself part of a week-long joint conference with the Japanese Society of Human Genetics (celebrating its 35th anniversary), preceded by a satellite discussion organised by the Council for International Organisations of Medical Sciences. The proceedings of other discussions during the week on ‘Genetics, ethics and human values’ and on ‘Education and bioethics in medical genetics’ have been published under the title ‘;Medical genetics and society’ (1990) edited by N. Fujiki, V. Bulyzhenkov and Z. Bankowski. But much of its success stemmed from the especially cordial relations between the organising committees and the Fukui Medical School, whose members contributed with immense energy and enthusiasm to the week's events. We are glad to record publicly our indebtedness to Fukui Medical School, to all members of the committees responsible for organising the meetings, and particularly to Professor Emeritus E. Matsunaga, former Director of the National Institute of Genetics.