Cover image for Science and technology in post-Mao China
Science and technology in post-Mao China
Simon, Denis Fred.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University : Distributed by Harvard University Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xv, 461 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q127.C5 S333 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Along with the political and economic reforms that have characterized the post-Mao era in China there has been a potentially revolutionary change in Chinese science and technology. Here sixteen scholars examine various facets of the current science and technology scene, comparing it with the past and speculating about future trends.

Two chapters dealing with science under the Nationalists and under Mao are followed by a section of extensive analysis of reforms under Deng Xiaoping, focusing on the organizational system, the use of human resources, and the emerging response to market forces. Chapters dealing with changes in medical care, agriculture, and military research and development demonstrate how these reforms have affected specific areas during the Chinese shift away from Party orthodoxy and Maoist populism toward professional expertise as the guiding principle in science and technology. Three further chapters deal with China's interface with the world at large in the process of technology transfer.

Both the introductory and concluding chapters describe the tension between the Chinese Communist Party structure, with its inclinations toward strict vertical control, and the scientific and technological community's need for a free flow of information across organizational, disciplinary, and national boundaries.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The unevenness of efforts in China to achieve modernization in four areas--agriculture, industry, defense, and science and technology--has been repeatedly analyzed, but the area of science and technology has received the least attention. Presumably, that was due to difficulties encountered in trying to discuss subjects normally beyond the range of a lay audience. Thanks to this original, clear, and vital collection, the place of technical and scientific issues in China today and in the near future can be understood by all. The editors have assembled 14 essays by established, respected specialists. Despite the variety of subjects--ranging from historical precedents, through present-day domestic policy emphases, to technology transfer from abroad--masterful introductory and concluding chapters draw everything into a unified survey that will serve intermediate and advanced students and observers of contemporary Chinese developments. -L. E. Williams, Brown University

Table of Contents

Abbreviations List
Introduction: The Onset of China's New Technological RevolutionMerle Goldman and Denis Fred Simon
Part 1 Historical Precedents
1 Technocratic Organization and Technological Development in China: The Nationalist Experience and Legacy, 1928-1953William C. Kirby
2 Learning from Russia: Lysenkoism and the Fate of Genetics in China, 1950-1986Laurence Schneider
Part 2 The Reorganization of Science and Technology
3 Reform of China's Science and Technology Organizational SystemTony Saich
4 Reforms and Innovations in the Utilization of China's Scientific and Engineering TalentLeo A. Orleans
5 China's Industrial Innovation: The Influence of Market ForcesWilliam A. Fischer
6 Organizational Reforms and Technology Change in the Electronics Industry: The Case of ShanghaiDetlef Rehn
7 Scientific Decision Making: The Organization of Expert Advice in Post-Mao ChinaNina P. Halpern
8 The Impact of Returning Scholars on Chinese Science and TechnologyO. Schnepp
Part 3 Application of the Science and Technology Reforms
9 Issues in the Modernization of Medicine in ChinaGail Henderson
10 Science and Technology in the Chinese CountrysideAthar Hussain
11 China's Military R & D System: Reform and ReorientationWendy Frieman
Part 4 Technology Transfer
12 Technology Transfer and China's Emerging Role in the World EconomyDenis Fred Simon
13 Acquiring Foreign Technology: What Makes the Transfer Process Work?Roy F. Grow
14 DOS ex Machina: The Microelectronic Ghost in China's Modernization MachineRichard Baum
Conclusion: Science, Technology, and China's Political Future--A Framework for AnalysisRichard P. Suttmeier