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From Changshan to a New Anti-Malarial Drug: Re-Networking Chinese Drugs and Excluding Chinese Doctors

Sean Hsiang-Lin Lei
Social Studies of Science
Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jun., 1999), pp. 323-358
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/285408
Page Count: 36
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Abstract

This paper investigates the discovery of a Chinese anti-malarial drug, changshan, within the context of the struggle between traditional Chinese doctors and Western-trained doctors in China in the 1920s and 1930s. Drawing on the Latourian conception of socio-technical networks, I argue that the discovery of changshan was in fact a re-networking process. Besides, because Western-style doctors guarded the boundary of their socio-technical network against Chinese drugs, there existed a significant barrier of entry for anyone who wanted to assimilate Chinese drugs into this network. By means of this case study, this paper will address the missing link between scientific cooperation, professional domination, and boundary-work.

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