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American science and modern China is an essay in comparative history. 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-the Medical Missionary Association of China, the Rockefeller Foundation and its China Medical Board, the architects of the Boxer indemnity fellowship program, and an association of largely American-trained Chinese scientists, the Science Society of 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.
American and American-inspired approaches to the problem of developing science in China grew out of wider patterns of conflict and consensus in American society and politics. As those patterns changed, so did the social and scientific ambitions that Americans brought to China; thus China was affected by the rise of professionalized, specialized, and laboratory-centered sciences allied to American state power and corporate wealth. The development of those sciences determined the range of visions of science and social change that was presented to Chinese students in the United States. The latter part of the study is devoted to a discussion of how these images, when taken over by Chinese scientists in the 1910s and 1920s, became the core of a distinctive but ultimately unworkable conception of the ways in which science would transform China into a modern society.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.14(d)|
Table of Contents
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