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New Directions in the History of Modern Science in China: Global Science and Comparative History

Benjamin A. Elman
Isis
Vol. 98, No. 3 (September 2007), pp. 517-523
DOI: 10.1086/521155
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/521155
Page Count: 7
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New Directions in the History of Modern Science in China
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Abstract

ABSTRACT These essays collectively present new perspectives on the history of modern science in China since 1900. Fa‐ti Fan describes how science under the Republic of China after 1911 exhibited a complex local and international character that straddled both imperialism and colonialism. Danian Hu focuses on the fate of relativity in the physics community in China after 1917. Zuoyue Wang hopes that a less nationalist political atmosphere in China will stimulate more transnational studies of modern science, which will in turn reveal the underlying commonalities in different national contexts. Sigrid Schmalzer compares the socialist and the capitalist contexts for science in China and reopens the sensitive question of the “mass line” during the Cultural Revolution. Grace Shen describes the tensions early Chinese scientists felt when choosing between foreign models for modern geology and their own professional identities in China. Taken together, these accounts present us with a comparative history of modern science in China that is both globally and locally informed.

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