Article ID: CBB444117143

The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau: Pilot Site for International Collaboration in Geoscience During China's Early Period of Reform and Opening-Up (2019)


In 1978, China ended a decade-long ‘Cultural Revolution’ and began its Reform and Opening-up process. At the same time, China's scientific community also ended its long-term closed state and began to seek ways to integrate into the world. In this study, we take the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau as a pilot site to illustrate the international geoscience collaboration during this time. We first introduce the International Symposium on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, the delegation from the United States and the collaboration between China and France on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. Then we examine the successful cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London by focusing on their interactions in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau Project in detail, on the basis of the archives of these two organizations. Since national policies and systems lagged behind the pace of international cooperation then, there were contradictions between national policies and the needs of specific research projects. We attempt to understand the flexible manner in which Chinese scholars solved these contradictions. We will also explore some of the reasons and contextual factors that shaped such Sino–foreign scientific exchanges early in the Reform era. This study also reflects the opportunities and challenges faced by China's scientific community during the process of social transformation.

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Authors & Contributors
Zhang, Jiuchen
Chen, Meng-xiong
Cao, Cong
Xiong, Wei-min
Zhang, Daqing
Chen, Xiaoke
Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Zhongguo Keji Shiliao (China Historical Materials of Science and Technology)
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
Environmental History
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA History Division
Berghahn Books
International cooperation
Cross-national interaction
Societies; institutions; academies
Scientific communities; interprofessional relations
Science and politics
Andersson, Johan Gunnar
Batchelor, George
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
United States
People's Republic of China
Soviet Union
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Sino-Swedish Expedition (1927-1935)
Royal Society of London
Chinese Academy of Engineering

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