Public-Private Hybridity, Transnational Networking, and Knowledge Circulation in US-China Scientific Discourse on Nuclear Arms Control
In the mid-1980s, American and Chinese scientists began to engage each other in a low-key manner in nuclear arms control that would develop into wide-ranging bilateral interactions to the present, even withstanding geopolitical changes brought by the Tiananmen tragedy in 1989 and the end of the Cold War. This paper explores these important and yet little-known transnational scientific interactions and addresses a number of issues relevant to the writing of history of science and technology: the proper roles of scientists and experts in national policy and international diplomacy, the social and political values of transnational scientific discussions and ethnic scientific networking, the potentials and limits of transnational knowledge circulation in sensitive areas such as nuclear weapons, and the possibility of historical learning in policy making as the world struggles to deal with global problems such as nuclear proliferation and climate change.
Keywords: American scientists, nuclear arms control, Cold War, transnational knowledge circulation, ethnic scientific networks, international diplomacy, history of science and technology, Chinese scientists
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