How Far Can East Asian STS Go? A Commentary

Warwick Anderson
2007 East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal  
If geography truly is destiny, the dispersal or extension of science and technology studies (STS) across the globe will reshape our understanding of the social constitution of ideas and artifacts. It should redraw the great divides between nature and culture, non-modern and modern, local and cosmopolitan, science and society. It may throw up new phenomena and fresh analytic frameworks. Certainly, as Fu Daiwie suggests, it will not be business as usual. The birth of the new journal signals the
more » ... ergence of novel sites for STS and the development of a broader community of scholars. It provides a guide to the travels of STS beyond Western Europe and North America. Fu Daiwie and his colleagues therefore deserve our congratulations for helping to re-chart the map of STS for the twenty-first century. The prospectus for the journal traces delicately the lines of tension between national aspirations, disciplinary conventions, and global sensibilities. Evidently, the study of science and technology-the analytic impulse at least-may be linked to the developmental goals of the nation-state. In this sense, every member of the United Nations deserves, or even requires, its vernacular STS. Of course, the more serviceable STS appear to state policy makers, the more likely emergent communities of STS scholars will receive government support. At the same time, many of these scholars, functioning as critical intellectuals, may choose to follow a more cosmopolitan approach, a mode of argument that does not necessarily respect national borders or bolster the self-regard of the state, though it attracts the attention of colleagues elsewhere. Addressing the more general problem of the globalization of science and technology, fashioning a thoroughly postcolonial analysis of technoscience, enhances the scope and discursive power of the discipline, even if East
doi:10.1007/s12280-007-9023-4 fatcat:na6n5z576zgj7fnha74mhudigi