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Joseph Needham occupies a central position in the historical narrative underpinning the most influential practitioner-derived definition of ‘science diplomacy’. The brief biographical sketch produced by the Royal Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science sets Needham's activities in the Second World War as an exemplar of a science diplomacy. This article critically reconsiders Needham's wartime activities, shedding light on the roles played by photographs in those diplomatic activities and his onward dissemination of them as part of his self-fashioning. Images were important to the British biochemist, and he was an avid amateur photographer himself, amassing a unique collection of hundreds of images relating to science, technology and medicine in wartime China during his time working as director of the Sino-British Science Co-operation Office. These included ones produced by China's Nationalist Party-led government, and by the Chinese Communist Party. Focusing on these photographs, this article examines the way Joseph Needham used his experiences to underpin claims to authority which, together with the breadth of his networks, enabled him to establish himself as an international interlocutor. All three aspects formed essential parts of his science diplomacy.
The combination of changing international circumstances alongside significant developments in China’s domestic politics made 1960 a turning point in Chinese international scientific outreach. Chapter 3 examines the impacts of these on Chinese engagement with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and the World Federation of Scientific Workers, considering the reasons for the significant divergence in how each was viewed and, consequently, those relationships evolved into the early years of the new decade. As had been the case in the 1950s, elite Chinese scientists and scientific organisations worked with foreign affairs officials, but in the context of the early 1960s this meant significantly adjusting and adapting their approaches to such external events and organisations. In all, Chinese science diplomacy via united front work was less well suited to the combative context of the Sino-Soviet split than when the two powers were not so overtly locked in competition for influence.
The 1964 Peking Science Symposium and 1966 Summer Physics Colloquium were the two largest-scale international science congresses hosted by Mao’s China. Chapter 4 delves into the inner workings of these events, which brought hundreds of visitors to the People's Republic of China from throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania. From planning through to post-conference tours organised for participants, it examines the network of organisations and individuals at national and local levels that collectively shaped these major initiatives to bring foreign scientists to China on the cusp of the Cultural Revolution. In doing so, it shows the extent of integration and coordination between science and foreign relations systems during the Mao era.
Chapter 1 focuses on the evolution of Chinese Communist Party support for Chinese scientists’ involvement in international scientific organisations during the Chinese Civil War and the early years of CCP rule after 1949. It analyses the meanings, motivations, and manifestations of such CCP-supported activities before and after taking power through organisations such as the Chinese Association of Scientific Workers, which had significant domestic and international dimensions. In doing so, it charts the rise of on Chinese involvement in the World Federation of Scientific Workers (WFSW) across the first decade of the international organisation’s existence, from its founding in 1946 through to Beijing hosting the federation’s tenth anniversary celebrations in 1956. This first decade of Chinese involvement in the WFSW showed the CCP’s united front work paying dividends in building relations with scientists at home and abroad, providing a platform from which the People's Republic of China would pursue a range of other efforts at international outreach.
China’s Mao-era science diplomacy involved strategies and structures that underpinned the hosting of foreign visitors such as scientists. Chapter 5 focuses on networks of individual relationships – professional, personal, and political – that ran through Chinese involvement in the organisations and events discussed in this book, focusing on some of those that developed between Chinese and left-wing British scientists from the 1940s through to the 1970s. Considering the experiences of J. D. Bernal, Howard E. Hinton, Dorothy Hodgkin, Kathleen Lonsdale, and Kurt Mendelssohn, it elucidates the range of motivations, responses, and outcomes on either side of scientists’ visits to China as part of everything from ‘friendship’ delegations made up of political sympathisers to lecture tours organised by scientific organisations. These British scientists had much in common with many other sympathetic visitors from the time, at least in broad strokes; nevertheless, this chapter identifies several key characteristics that set such scientists apart as a category of foreign visitor during the Mao era.
Scientists had a distinctive part to play in the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign relations prior to it coming to power as well as during the early decades of the People’s Republic. The Conclusion considers the significance of this sustained party and party-state interest in scientists’ international activities for subsequent developments from the 1970s through China’s rise as a science and technology power by the early twenty-first century. These relations did not just spring out of nowhere, fully formed, and ready to go with the onset of rapprochement. Nor were they simply a product of long-term Americanisation. Consequently, the Conclusion explores notable areas of continuity and others of revived relevance when it comes to the party-state and the spectrum of international activities undertaken by scientists.
Elite Chinese scientists’ prominence within the World Federation of Scientific Workers during the 1950s opened many new opportunities for those scientists and the Chinese party-state alike. Examining the origins and evolution of the on-again off-again relationship between China and the early Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Chapter 2 discusses the decision-making processes and key episodes that shaped this relationship. From Chinese policymakers and officials’ internal debates over the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955 through to the end of Mao-era engagement with Pugwash at the fateful Moscow Conference in 1960, Chinese involvement in Pugwash during this period shows the shifting dynamic tension created by a system in which foreign policymakers expected scientists to act as state agents in their international activities. Much of the time, this saw senior Chinese Communist Party leaders or foreign relations officials able to actively shape the Chinese side of these international encounters; however, particularly in the case of those taking place in person and overseas, scientists were the ones who were carrying out the interactions, creating the potential for them to exercise some agency in how they were conducted and reported back.
The Introduction maps out the book’s central arguments, contribution, and structure, in addition to contextualising key issues and providing essential background information. It considers the relevance of science diplomacy for understanding China’s international scientific relations under Mao and, in turn, the ways those activities deepen our understanding of the range of actors and approaches involved in science diplomacy. Important ideological concepts and foreign relations strategies underpinning these outreach activities, particularly ‘united front work’, were central to the CCP’s outreach practices involving scientists. The chapter further considers the importance of transnational science in modern China and international science in the post-Second World War period, as well as introducing the key scientists, organisations, and events that sit at the centre of this study.
During the early decades of the Cold War, the People's Republic of China 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, Gordon Barrett demonstrates that these activities were deeply embedded in the Chinese Communist Party's wider efforts to win hearts and minds from the 1940s to the 1970s. Using a wide range of archival material, including declassified documents from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archive, Barrett provides fresh insights into the relationship between science and foreign relations in the People's Republic of China.
UNESCO's founding in 1946 coincided with the resumption of hostilities between China's ruling Nationalist Party (KMT) and their Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rivals for power. The new international organization's officials in Paris and its representatives on the ground in China were thus forced to navigate a fractious and fluid set of national circumstances that would result in an ambiguous outcome in 1949, with regimes on the Chinese mainland and Taiwan both claiming to represent ‘China’. Although the KMT-led Republic of China continued to claim membership in UNESCO until the 1970s, the international organization nevertheless continued to operate within the People's Republic of China (PRC) for a number of years. Exploring the relationship between the issue of Chinese representation in UNESCO and the organization's on-the-ground presence from the mid-1940s through to the early 1950s, this article argues that domestic and international factors were inescapably intertwined in shaping the trajectory of Chinese relations with international organizations during this period. While CCP officials demonstrated a mixture of ideology and pragmatism, similar to their handling of foreign entities and groups present in the PRC after its founding, engagement with UNESCO was significantly shaped by the complexity and depth of the KMT's engagement with the international organization from its inception onwards. The CCP's relations with UNESCO underscore the extent to which the emerging Cold War—and China's place within it—was ultimately characterized by complexity and contingency.
The last decade has seen a renewed interest and research effort focused on the broad areas of
personality and personality disorder. Issues preoccupying researchers include problems of
classification (especially categorical versus dimensional models), the absence of theoretical models,
and implications of the suggested continuity between ‘normal’ personality dimensions and
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