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Venue： Research 1st Meeting Room
Speaker：Prof. Susan Greenhalgh(John King and Wilma Cannon Fairbank Research Professor of Chinese Society, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University)
Co-organizer： Western Learning and China Research Group
Susan Greenhalgh為哈佛人類學系教授，過去以研究中國人口政策與科學治理享譽國際，其中Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng’s China (2008) 獲得亞洲研究學會、科技與社會學會等諸多專書大獎。「Can Science and Technology Save China?」將從人類學的視野檢視當代中國在健康與環境科學的發展，反思所謂科技救國所面臨的挑戰。
Since its embrace of modernity a century ago, China has been animated by official dreams that modern science and technology can save China (jiuguo), bringing national revival and global ascent. In the post-Mao years, modern science and technology have gained a political prominence unmatched in the world. Xi Jinping’s China aspires to be one of the most technologically innovative nations by 2020 and a global S&T powerhouse by mid-century. Meantime, the on-the-ground reality of life in China today poses manifold threats to human flourishing. A large body of research makes clear that the party-state’s 40-year pursuit of economic development at any cost has eroded human health and undermined the ecological balance that is necessary to sustain life.
What happened to the promise of modern science? This talk presents the results of new anthropological research addressing this old question at the heart of China’s modernization. Brought together in a forthcoming volume, the papers of eight anthropologists explore the makings, workings, and effects of an array of applied health and environmental knowledges and innovations being developed to solve some of the gravest problems of human and ecological health facing China today. This work suggests that, in the present moment, popular faith in the power of science remains strong. Yet because science remains subordinate to the party-state and the party’s growth imperative remains untouchable, the dream of science saving the nation is best described as cruel optimism, a utopian dream whose promises obscure a dystopian reality, stifle dissent, and discourage fundamental change.
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