Gordon Barrett & Jen Altehenger - China's Cold War Science Diplomacy [Book Launch]
|9 May 2023
|12:30 - 13:30
|What is it:
|Manchester China Institute
|Dr Gordon Barrett, Dr Jennifer Altehenger
HYBRID This event will be in a hybrid format with limited tickets in-person and also live on Zoom.
China’s rise as a global superpower in science, technology, and medicine has played a formative role in shaping the trajectory of international scientific cooperation and exchange in recent decades. Its increasing international prominence and influence has sparked ever-greater interest in the relationship between science and the country’s foreign relations with a wide range of state and non-state actors. In doing so, the focus has invariably tended to fall on the most conspicuous phases in China’s international scientific engagement, particularly from the period of ‘reform and opening up’ under Deng Xiaoping onward. But did China’s international influence in science really only start in the 1970s?
Examining the history of China’s international scientific outreach from the 1940s through the 1970s, Dr Barrett’s new book argues that the Mao era was a formative period in China’s science diplomacy. During these early decades of the Cold War, the People’s Republic of China may have remained outside much of mainstream international science; nevertheless, Chinese scientists found alternative channels through which to communicate and interact with counterparts across the world, beyond simple East/West divides. By examining the international activities of elite Chinese scientists, the book demonstrates the significance of these activities being rooted in ‘united front work’ and deeply embedded in the Chinese Communist Party’s wider efforts to win hearts and minds overseas. Using a wide range of material from Chinese and foreign archives, China’s Cold War Science Diplomacy provides fresh insights into the evolving relationship between science and foreign relations in the People’s Republic of China. The University of Oxford's Dr. Jennifer Altehenger will be joining the talk as a discussant.
Dr Gordon Barrett
Organisation: University of Manchester
Biography: Gordon Barrett is an Affiliated Researcher on the European Research Council-funded Negotiating World Research Data project based at the University of Manchester’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. After completing his doctorate at the University of Bristol in 2015, he spent six years at the University of Oxford as a fixed-term lecturer in modern Chinese history and politics. His research explores the relationship between politics and ideology and science, technology, and medicine in twentieth-century China. His work has appeared in the edited collection Science, (Anti-)Communism and Diplomacy (Brill, 2020), in Modern Asian Studies and Journal of Cold War Studies, and he has a co-authored article forthcoming in a Science and Public Policy special section on science diplomacy and the Global South.
Dr Jennifer Altehenger
Organisation: University of Oxford
Biography: Dr Jennifer Altehenger is an Associate Professor of Chinese History at the University of Oxford. She is currently researching and teaching the history of modern and contemporary China, in particular the history of design, industry, and life under state socialist governance. Prior to joining the History Faculty, she was a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Chinese History at King's College London and an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.
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Manchester China Institute (178)