Coping with Invisible Threats: Nuclear Radiation and Science Dissemination in Maoist China

Journal article
(Original article)


Publication Details

Author(s): Matten M
Journal: East Asian Science, Technology and Society
Publication year: 2018
Journal issue: 3
Pages range: 1-22
ISSN: 1875-2160
eISSN: 1875-2152
Language: English


Abstract


During the early PR China era the science dissemination campaign (kexue puji) not

only aimed at conveying scientific knowledge related to daily life concerns, but also

knowledge about invisible dangers, most prominently those emanating from weapon of

mass destruction such as nuclear weapons. The immediate task of the young PRC

after the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 was to make nuclear radiation visible by

iconic metaphors and to teach the population about the dangers of an invisible nuclear

fallout should the United States decide to use nuclear weapons. By focusing on the

most characteristic media in science dissemination of the 1950s such as the

Newsletter of Science Dissemination (Kexue puji tongxun) as well as popular science

journals such Science Pictorial (Kexue huabao) and Knowledge is Power (Zhishi jiushi

liliang) it will be shown how the state used metaphors of the invisible to influence social

and political behavior. Convincing the barely literate peasant and the inchoately

educated worker of possible dangers in the Cold War required a different epistemology

of knowledge than in traditional society. This resulted in a further refinement of Maoist

science philosophy that integrated materialism into science policies.


FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Matten, Marc Prof. Dr.
Professur für die Zeitgeschichte Chinas


How to cite

APA:
Matten, M. (2018). Coping with Invisible Threats: Nuclear Radiation and Science Dissemination in Maoist China. East Asian Science, Technology and Society, 3, 1-22. https://dx.doi.org/10.1215/18752160-6976023

MLA:
Matten, Marc. "Coping with Invisible Threats: Nuclear Radiation and Science Dissemination in Maoist China." East Asian Science, Technology and Society 3 (2018): 1-22.

BibTeX: 

Last updated on 2019-01-01 at 17:10