China's Scientific Elite
By Cong Cao
Routledge – 2004 – 272 pages
China's Scientific Elite is a study of those scientists holding China's highest academic honour - membership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Having carried out extensive systematic data collection of CAS members Cao examines the social stratification system of the Chinese science community and the way in which politics and political interference has effected the stratification. The book then goes on to compare the Chinese system to the stratification of the US scientific elite. The conclusions are fascinating, not least because one national elite resides in a democratic liberal social system, and the other in an authoritarian social system.
'Cao has conducted extensive interviews with CAS members and he also shows a strong grasp of the theory and practice of the sociology of science. He weaves an intricate tale, showing the many factors that go into the promotion processes for CAS scientists.' - The China Journal
Tables and Figures Acknowledgements Abbreviations 1. Introduction 2. China's Science in Perspective 3. Evolution of an Academic Honour 4. Four Social Origins 5. Influence of Mentors on Students 6. Characteristics of Research and Becoming the Elite 7. 'Red' or 'Expert' 8. Elections of Scientists into the Elite 9. Toward a Better Understanding of China's Scientific Elite Appendix 1 Interviewing China's Scientific Elite Appendix 2 List of Informants Bibliography Index
Cong Cao is a Research Fellow in the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore.