Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Science and Technology in East Asia

February 23, 2023, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Belfer Building, Bell Hall, Harvard Kennedy School


This workshop brings together scholars interested in science and technology in East Asia to engage with the region’s historical, geographic, and political specificities. How do the region’s unique history and partly shared political and economic cultures relate to knowledge-making and technological innovation? Early imaginations of modernity, for example, combined struggles for colonial independence and technological advance. A strong state more often than not came hand in hand with dominant imaginaries of national progress through science. The emergence and contestations of science and technology, from the governance of health or data to the role of renewable energies, play out against and shape a backdrop of social order, with the potential to travel together across borders. After a series of lightning talks by scholars from the Kennedy School, the History of Science department, and the Yenching Institute, among others, discussion will be opened to include the broader audience.


  4:00   Welcome
  • Wanheng Hu, Harvard STS Fellow, An overview of STS in China
  • Taylor Coplen, Harvard Department of History in Science, Sociotechnical development transfer from China to Cambodia during the Mao era.
  • Justin Wong, Harvard, The professionalization and formal regulation of Chinese Medicine in Hong Kong
  • Yu-Yueh Tsai, Harvard Yenching Institute, Health for all? COVID-19 and Taiwan's exclusion from WHO
  • Tadeusz Rudek, Harvard STS Fellow, Sociotechnical imaginaries of energy transition in China and Taiwan
5:00   Discussion with invited faculty
  • Guiding Questions:
  • What are the key STS themes that the presented research speaks to?
  • How could those themes and concepts be developed further for the East Asian context?
  • What are the most significant topics that could be the center of a more extensive workshop later in the semester?
6:00   Adjourn