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Science and Technology in the Global Cold War$
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Naomi Oreskes and John Krige

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027953

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027953.001.0001

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Concluding Remarks

Concluding Remarks

(p.430) (p.431) Concluding Remarks
Science and Technology in the Global Cold War

John Krige

The MIT Press

This book has explored the multiple dimensions of the global cold war. State patronage dominated science and technology in the Cold War in many areas of the world — the US, the Soviet Union, China, and also Western Europe — and in diverse fields — the nuclear, and not just physics, space, for rocketry but also for environmental research, and oceanography. Our studies show that state patronage was both a constraint and an opportunity. Experimental techniques and technologies migrated between research questions directed to very different ends, basic and applied, civilian and military, and scientists and engineers evolved strategies to navigate between these realms, satisfying patrons while protecting autonomy. Public accountability, be it in China in the 1950s or in the US in the 1980s, called that autonomy in question. Comparisons between countries reveal that national agendas for supporting science differed depending on local circumstances and history; transnational approaches to knowledge circulation embed the local in the global while respecting foreign policy imperatives.

Keywords:   basic and applied research, comparative history, global cold war, national research agendas, accountability, state patronage, transnational history

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