CSS colloquium: Casper Andersen, Aarhus University
Science, Technology and Decolonization in UNESCO 1943-1970
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In recent years Post-World War II decolonization has become a bourgeoning and very exciting field of research for historians of science and technology. Groundbreaking studies by Hecht, Krige, Tilley, Hodge and others have demonstrated how central issues of science and technology were during this process of geopolitical change. In this presentation I will approach the issue of decolonization through a study of UNESCOs Science Department. In some instances
UNESCO based its work in science and technology on collaborations with the scientific institutions of the colonial powers while UNESCO also supported a call for “scientific independence” to match the political independence created by the escalating decolonization process. Drawing on a number of case studies I wish to answer the question why UNESCOs promotion of international collaboration in science was so ambivalent with respect to the issue of empire and colonialism.