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Kuo-Hui Chang

AuthorsChang, Kuo-Hui, Gary L. Downey, Po-Jen Bono Shih
Author CategoryFirst author
Paper Title

Talents First!: Wu Ta-you and Science Policy Infrastructures in the Republic of China (1927-1970)

Journal TitleA main theme in the history of science policy in Taiwan concerns the positioning of science infrastructures in nation building and rapid economic growth. This article calls attention to another evolving initiative in science policy in the Republic of China (ROC), one that emphasized the production of talents who could become societal leaders, including by working for and within government. We trace the emergence of this initiative through the career of Wu Ta-you, who grew up in mainland China, earned his Ph.D. in the United States, and worked on the margins of reconstruction during the 1930s. Through the 1950s, he played a leadership role advocating for long-term planning to develop fundamental researchers in science in Taiwan. His moment appeared to come in 1967 when he became the president’s chief science adviser. His efforts to develop science talents were soon displaced, however, by emerging shorter-term initiatives to support the military and industry. Clearly not contributing as an instrumental technocrat nor a proponent for autonomous basic research, was he attempting to combine the identity of a scientist with that of the Chinese scholar-official? By taking science policy in a different direction, the ROC, in Wu’s terms, remained stuck on the surface of science.
Vol. No.Korean Journal for History of Science
Issue No.KCI