American Science and Modern China, 1876-1936

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More About This Textbook


American Science and Modern China is an essay in comparative history, originally published in 1980. It focuses on the transmission of scientific ideas and organizations from the United States to China, a topic interesting primarily for what it reveals about the social history of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American science. The main themes concern how scientific traditions and institutions that were developed in one setting served as models for the creation of new ones elsewhere, what modifications were induced by this change of environment, and what these modifications imply about the interdependence of scientific knowledge and social life. The book deals with a number of individuals and organizations involved in the development of modern science in China. Dr Buck examines their views of science's place among the forces for change in China, describes their efforts to build institutional bases for science, and sets their plans and programs in broad social and intellectual contexts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521135382
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/2010
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction: Orienting American science 1

2 Social diseases and contagious disorders: missionary science and medical missionaries 8

Missionary science: social influence, natural theology, and medicine 10

Missionary medicine: science and Christian benevolence 13

Missionary hospitals: order and cleanliness in unregenerate societies 21

Missionary medical schools: professional standards, avocational science, and a native medical fraternity 33

Missionary science and its social problems 43

3 "To do their best for their country": the China Medical Board and the Boxer indemnity fellowship program 46

Corporate philanthropy and scientific medicine 48

Medicine in China 64

Checking "the downward tendencies of unregulated industrialism": the Boxer indemnity scholarships 74

4 Science and revolution: China in 1911 91

The Science Society of China 94

The ecology of scientific ambitions 99

Free associations and voluntary cooperation 116

5 "Science as a vocation": social diversity and scientific specialties 122

Cornell University I: Scientific research and industrial science 129

Cornell University II: Professional scientists, scientific professionals, and the state 139

Cornell University III: Scientific knowledge and country life 145

China's response to the West 161

6 Modernization and its discontents: the scientific method in China and America 171

The politics of cultural collapse 174

Ideology and institution building 185

Science and metaphysics 189

Scientific methods, American industrialism, and "the last remaining problem of civilization" 196

Modernization and methodology 205

7 "A sphere of influence in beneficence": American science and modern China 209

Backwardness and dependence 216

Tragedy and farce 226

Notes 237

Bibliography 264

Index 279

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