This essay introduces articles in this "Science and Nationalism" issue (part 1) by capturing some of the themes they illuminate and issues they raise. It highlights postcolonialism, Cold War politics, and post–Cold War geopolitics as the context in which various, shifting relationships between science and nationalism developed in Korea, China, and Japan. The essay also urges further research into science and nationalism "in action," that is, by critically investigating the dynamic process of the making of science and nationalism in the reciprocal mobilization of each other and by placing this process in the material, economic context.
Techno-nationalism versus Techno-globalism
Up until the 1960s, the techno-nationalistic mode prevailed in the Cold War environment. Since the 1960s, however, the techno-globalistic mode emerged in Asian newly industrializing economies (NIEs) and was eventually adopted by China. This new trend reversed the technology gap, negating the veracity of dependency theory. This tendency will continue until eventually equality is attained, provided that techno-nationalism never regains its formerly overwhelming power.
Transnational Scientific Networks and the Research University: The Making of a South Korean Community at the University of Utah, 1948-1970
This article seeks to interrogate the tensions present with the descriptive phrase kwahak kisul (science and technology), often used to represent the growth of South Korean scientific and technical expertise in the mid-1960s, by tracing the material practice of postwar South Korean science and technology back to Japanese imperial formations (late 1920s) and forward to Cold War American institutions of higher learning. Focusing specifically on one community, a group of physical chemists studying at the University of Utah for a period of roughly two decades (mid-1950s through early to mid-1970s), the article argues that these Koreans came to the United States after the Korean War for the opportunity to further their studies and in doing so dramatically transformed their science and very possibly their personal identities as well. The major actor motivating this activity, the physical chemist Lee Tae-kyu, provided the focus for the creation of this informal research group, and the article therefore tracks his career from 1930s Kyoto to Utah and, finally, back to Seoul.
Ancient Chinese Mathematics in Action: Wu Wen-Tsun's Nationalist Historicism after the Cultural Revolution
The article attempts to theoretically explain the origins of the nationalist and historicist turn of the Chinese mathematician Wu Wen-Tsun (born 1919). Wu returned to China from France in 1951 as an internationally recognized expert on algebraic topology, but his career was frustrated by political disruption and isolation from international research, especially during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). After he studied ancient Chinese mathematics during the 1974 campaign against Confucianism (Pi Lin Pi Kong 批林批孔), he defended its relevance for modern mathematics and set out to demonstrate it in his own work. This coincided with Wu's reorientation from algebraic topology to mechanization of geometric proofs. Wu claimed that ancient Chinese mathematics inspired the method he developed, both by its general style and by specific techniques. His use of ancient Chinese mathematics was connected to his calls for an independent mathematical tradition in China. I argue that he turned to nationalism to protect himself from the "uneven development" of mathematics, in analogy t