From Science for National Salvation to Science for Social Improvement: Zhu Kezhen’s Scientific Thought and Practice, 1916-1949
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This study analyzes and presents the shifts in Zhu Kezhen’s scientific thought during 1916-1949. By examining and analyzing the development of Zhu Kezhen’s view of science from 1916 to 1949, I argue that Zhu converted from being a scientific idealist advocating the quest for truth as the sole ultimate goal of science to becoming a scientific socialist highlighting the relevance of science for social improvement and progress. Further, in this process, the geographic sciences and the history of science provided the intellectual resources that led to his conversion. Based on this research, I aim to illustrate a complex picture of variations and tensions reflected in the thoughts and actions of those Republican scientists who had received a solid Western scientific education. This picture might be closer to the real situation of these scientists, because: As their understanding of the Chinese society was deepened after returning to China, they learned to adapt themselves to the reality that science had not become institutionalized and properly adjusted the ideal of science for national salvation to deal with multiple problems that came with the shifting political and economic situation.