Contested Cooperation: The US-South Korea Ecological Survey in the Demilitarized Zone, 1963-1968

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Abstract Summary
How international scientific cooperation played out in Cold War politics and knowledge production has been a central concern for historians of science. The connection between U.S. or Soviet technical assistance and the rapid development of science in East Asia has been noted in this context. This panel sheds lights on unexplored but central questions connected to this issue: What did “cooperation” mean to actors in the Cold War context? What socio-political conditions and material infrastructure made cooperation available or led to failure? Wasn’t regional cooperation within East Asia important as much as aid from superpowers? Hyun examines how the notion of cooperation was contested, negotiated, and redefined between South Korean and the U.S. scientists conducting ecosystem ecology research in the Korean demilitarized zone during the 1960s. DiMoia illuminates how Japanese and South Korean parasitologists revitalized their colonial medical network in the name of development aid projects after the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1965. Luk looks at an international oceanographic project known as “Cooperative Study of the Kuroshio and Adjacent Regions” (1965–1978) and reveals the politics of international cooperation and competition between Chinese and Japanese scientists. Barrett explores the rhetoric and reality of regional cooperation in the planning and execution of the 1964 Peking Science Symposium, discussing China’s efforts to establish itself as the central scientific power in the developing world. Bringing together diverse cooperative projects, this panel provides opportunities to rethink the nature of scientific cooperation in Cold War East Asia beyond the history of technical aid.
Abstract ID :
Submission Type
Organized Session
Abstract Topic
Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Chronological Classification :
20th century, late
Self-Designated Keywords :
The politics of international cooperation, global Cold War, East Asia