by Jonas Humpert
In the 50s the political leaders of the Chinese government started various campaigns to economically catch up with Western industrial nations. The Great Leap Forward dayuejin 大跃进 was thus implemented following the first five year plan (1954-1957) in order to supplement the second five year plan. Agriculture was forcefully collectivized and people’s communes were established everywhere to hasten the arrival of Communism. This brought some economical changes and from today’s perspective questionable methods were used while doing so. One of the campaigns started was aimed at the extinction of the four pests chu sihai 除四害, flies, mosquitos, rats and sparrows, propagated by Mao Zedong [i]:
„The extinction of the four pests refers to the total extinction of rats (and other harmful animals), sparrows (and other harmful birds, but if crows can be exterminated needs further examination), flies and mosquitos within seven years.“ 除四害，即在七年内基本上消灭老鼠（及其它害兽），麻雀（及其它害鸟，但乌鸦是否宜于消灭，尚待研究），苍蝇，蚊子。[ii]
This campaign was meant to improve people’s hygiene as well as to prevent the demolition of harvests by these pests. For many days and nights the Chinese, like an organized military campaign, gathered to rouse the sparrows with noise so the birds would not have a place to rest which led to them falling out of the sky. The sparrows vanished after a few years, but until it was recognized that they did not only devour wheat, but also helped keep the numbers of insects in check, the numbers of pests grew massively. This is why the focus if the campaign was changed from sparrows to bed bugs in April 1960. [iii] Mao also said:
„And one other thing: The sparrows will not be exterminated anymore, they will be replaced by bed bugs and the slogan now says: „Eliminate rats, bed bugs, flies and mosquitos.“ 再有一事，麻雀不要打了，代之以臭虫，口号是“除掉老鼠、臭虫、苍蝇、蚊子。[iv]
The extinction of these pests led to research in and production of pesticides, frequently discussed in countless agricultural academic journals. Great meaning was given to topics such as the production and use of the well-known pesticide benzolhexachloride liuliuliu 六六六 (a pesticide used since WWII made from benzol and chloride), the fight against anthrax, acari, caterpillars etc., as well as identifying locusts. Comprehensive field reports of farmers in various publications - to be found in monographes and periodicals - offer a telling view into the popularization of old and new knowledge during the 1950s.
Pictures as a medium played an important role in conveying specialized knowledge to parts of the population who sometimes had a very low educational background. Not only texts - which have to be examined socio-liguistically - but also graphic depictions (usually black and white) offer the possibility to examine the transfer of knowledge, e.g. which social or political institutions were involved in the dissemination of specialized knowledge as well as its format and content. Before answering the question how popularization of knowledge occured, one first has to define what science and knowledge was deemed to be at that time. Are there differences to conventional definitions of science [v], and is it even possible to translate the term nongye kexue 农业科学 used in agricultural academic journals with our own parameters and translation schemes?
A well-known approach to this kind of definition has been done by Karl Popper, who reduced science down to the falsifiability of theories. [vi] In her book Die Erfindung der modernen Wissenschaft [The Discovery of Modern Science] Isabelle Stenger emphasizes the problem of defining science by stating that the definition of science is not neutral, as every definition rules some models out or includes others, justifies some and questions others, disposes of some or forbids them. This makes the search for a boundary between science and non-science very difficult. According to Popper this definition of science [vii] is too far-reaching, as it allows for forms of science he would count as illegitimate. Amongst those are, for example, Marxism and psychoanalysis, as Hacohen notes [viii]:
"Popper considered Marx and the Marxists fellow progressive. He criticized Marx´s historicism, not his totalitarism. The critique´s tone was moderate, the evaluation balanced. He had read a fair amount of Marx, and some Engels and Lenin, but remained unaware of most Marxist interpretive traditions. His Marx was the Austrian socialist´s Marx – the Marx of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, the young communists of 1919, socialist friends during the 1920s. This was the Old, not the Young Marx: a determinist economist and evolutionary sociologist, not a revolutionary idealist.[ix]
Though by the prevailing criteria of scientificity (positivist) at the time, Marxism was scientific, Popper did not feel comfortable that Marxists could find confirming evidence of their theory everywhere. Instead, he thought that such confirmations were not the sign of a sound science; they were not the criteria to demarcate science from pseudo-science. (…) At the age of seventeen, Popper found the answer to the demarcation problem in falsifiabilty, and dismissed Marxism as non-scientific."[x]
Whether nongye kexue 农业科学 can be considered science in Popper’s sense, will be debated in the following paragraphs using the periodical Nongye Kexue Tongxun 农业科学通讯, which deals with the definition of nongye kexue 农业科学 in its first issue in 1955. It is described that the term kexue 科学 is alien to everybody at first, it has some mysterious quality, but in reality kexue is a concept made by men, thus it is found wherever men are, wherever there is work.[xi] Scientific conclusions are possible if the work process is observed and analyzed over a long period of time. Additionally causes and principles of these processes have to be understood, in oder to be able to act in different work areas. It is, for example, important to know the temperature needed for sprouting wheat. Another example is explaining the use of thermos flasks: The principle of preserving hot water has to be understood in this case. If the principle is understood, it can be of use for mankind. That is science (这就叫做科学). To act scientifically means to be successful in agriculture, planting crops and animal husbandry. Expansion and development of cultivation and breeding are subject to laws, which are to be controlled, to generate huge harvests and thus rising living standards. That is agricultural science (这就是农业科学).[xii] The term nongye kexue 农业科学 here signifies “knowledge or practical knowledge“ in the Western sense, and does not imply „science“. Compared with Popper’s view, the approach of this article shows a distinct Marxist component, which makes it unfit for the designation of ‚science‘. According to Popper Marxism does not offer any assumptions, that can be verified, in the categories of ‚right‘ and ‚wrong‘, because of the criteria of falsifiability this identifies Marxism as a pseudo-science.[xiii] This paragraph shows specifically that knowledge is socially determined and influenced by political and social factors. It pursues pragmatical goals (good harvests and rising living-standards). By applying a sociolinguistic analysis, it is possible to investigate ideological influence on knowledge, or rather whether the dissemination of knowledge only was motivated by a rise in production. Just as J. Cyrol mentioned in her article on Motives of the Popularization of Science in the PRC [Motive der Wissenschaftspopularisierung in der VR China], during the first years of the PRC the ideological corroboration had to stand back behind the increase in production. Even from the mid-50s on, the dispersion of the socialist worldview had to step back to make room for the premises of a rise in production and good harvests.[xiv]
The characteristics of the popularization process can be highlighted with the help of one article on thequestion of how scientific work figures in agricultural practice.[xv] Some information about the authority of producers of knowledge in the socialist system can be found there. The assumption that scientists with an educational background of the American and European bourgeoise class are making a profound mistake, when they disregard the experiences collected by the people over thousands of years, is an ideological fallacy. It also is a fallacy that these scientists are set on the fact that only modern laboratories and the knowledge of technical literature render scientific thought and action possible. It is the task of the working scientists kexue gongzuozhe 科学工作者 [xvi] to collect the rich experiences of the farmers on subjects like climate, soil, seeds and pest control, to examine it and to add them to agricultural science. Farmers are provided with new findings and willingly accept them.[xvii]
Ideologically motivated criticism is also mentioned by H. Lyman Miller in his Science and Dissent in Post-Mao China. Relating to the Hundred Flowers Campaign beginning in May 1957 after the end of the first five-year-plan (1953-1957), it says:
"Scientists complained about poor working conditions and inadequate facilities, about severe restrictions on career opportunities and mobility under the highly regimented Soviet-style bureaucratic approach to science organization that regime had adopted, and about employment prospects for students in the sciences. They criticized the excessive emphasis in the regime´s science policies on applied over basic science. They complained that nonscientists were often put in charge of scientific work, and that scientists who had received their training in the West or who were not members of the Party were routinely discriminated against. They criticized Party control over universities and course curricula. They attacked not only the imposition of dubious Soviet-developed theories over specific scientific fields, such as Lysenkoism in genetics, but also the Party´s assertion of Marxism´s “guiding role” in science.“[xviii]
The scientists’ criticism and the demand on the farmers to incorporate their knowledge in the scientific process show that production and reception of knowledge do not happen in two different spheres, but are directly connected. The popularization of knowledge does not happen in a linear process [xix], but forms a continuum in which knowledge can travel to both sides. This is not a new finding (or specifically Chinese), but was already described by Shinn and Whitely:
"This simple view of relationship between knowledge production and its communication to the lay public is obviously incorrect for the many intellectual fields whose vocabulary and concepts are quite close to those of ordinary language and whose results are of clear public interest, such as most of the social sciences and humanities in many historical periods. In these fields, lay standards and terms are often involved in intellectual debates and controversies so that what counts as knowledge is often affected by successful mobilisation of lay elites and/or diffusion of doctrines to a wide audience, such as the notion of productive/unproductive labour in political economy discussed by Claeys. The closer scientific fields are to everyday discourse and concerns, then, the stronger the feedback from popularisation to knowledge production is likely to be.“[xx]
This makes it possible for laypeople to also participate in knowledge production. For the editors of Nongye Kexue Tongxun this meant that farmers were also able to contribute to modernizing agriculture.
A favored medium in this periodical were picture stories, helping with the dissemination of specialized knowledge to increase agricultural production and to improve the technological and mechanical standards. Countless periodicals were involved in the popularization of knowledge, noticeable by their choice of titles (kepu chuangzuo 科普创作, kexue puji 科学普及, kexue puji ziliao huibian 科学普及资料汇编 etc.). For example, the Nongye Kexue Tongxun (1950-1959) chooses more technical and challenging articles and topics, using technical terms and production figures, thus addressing a more educated audience. It is not rare that some articles were specifically written to be used as teaching or research material.[xxi] Each topic is described excessively and differentiated within the articles as well as the pictures. In issue 4 of 1954 a survey of several pages was issued on 24 harmful and harmless locusts including their customary and technical names.
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (11/1953)
It was the intention of this contribution to minimize panic and the waste of material (pestizides etc) because harmless locusts were deemed to be a harmful pest. According to the authors, the goal of this article was the description of the different locust varieties. It was a conscious decision to add customary names next to latin lables. The entry for the „small stupid grasshopper“ xiao ben huang 小笨蝗 , in latin Haplotropis bruneriana, had its commonly used designations added, such as „camel, camel saddle, earthlocust, lazy grasshopper, the grasshopper that is formed like a pillow, heap of grasshoppers, dead duck’s foot, the earth’s grandfather“ [xxii]. Unfortunately, in this thorough report it has not been made clear which of these locusts after all are harmful and which are not. It would have been interesting to know who was responsible for identifying the harmful and harmless locusts.
The periodical publishes in several issues on the basics of nongye kexue 农业科学. It also discusses complex theories such as michurinistic biology named after the Soviet plant breeder and botanist Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin treating plant growth. [xxiii]
As far as topics are concerned, there is little difference to other agricultural academic journals. Depending on the target area, different topics are taken up, such as the cultivation of corn and wheat, pest control, use of fertilizer, pesticides like benzolhexachloride etc. Articles on these topics mostly figure a lot of text, tables of production rates as well as drawings to illustrate the topic. The differences between the nongye kexue tongxun and other periodicals are the chosen register, the complexity of dealing with topics and thus the reference to an educated audience not only situated in less educated labour class.
The comic strips in each issue confirm this observation. Their topics take up on the discussions and problems of the articles via realistic and elaborate drawings. To understand the popularization - the mass of findings and knowledge conveyed to a broad audience by different persons and institutions - through pictures as the main media a deeper analysis of the material is needed. For example, the composition of the comic strips in the Nongye Kexue Tongxun can be described as follows: On a ISO A5 sized page the comic strip is divided into eight successive picture stories, matching the theme of the issue. Short explanatory texts are printed next to the pictures.
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (8/1953) Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (9/1953)
These comic strips were meant to show topics clearly and concisely, without taking up too much space and using too much technical language, so readers could take over suggestions.
For example the following comic, dealing with the prevention of the wheat mite, offers a picture of how important information was taken from a technical text and put into pictures. It clarifies what kinds of mites there are and which ones are harmful; where do they occur and how can they be identified; what is the procedure?
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (2/1954)
picture 1: There are two different varieties of wheat mites: (1) penthaleus major (winter grain mite) and (2) petrobia latens (brown wheat mite), both of them are detrimental to wheat.
picture 2: At the start of spring the wheat mites’ spawn is particularly harmful. The winter grain mite can be found in marshes and swamps whereas the brown wheat mite occurs in dry areas. These places have to be checked for mites early on in order to conduct preventive measures, for example shaking the wheat seedlings using a sheet of paper to detect mites that fall down. This makes it possible to count them.
picture 3 : During the sprouting of the wheat it is best to combat wheat mites, if the soil of the wheat fields is raked with some pressure during the times when mites are active (in the morning before 9 o’clock for the winter grain mite, 4 o’clock in the afternoon for the brown wheat mite).
picture 4: As soon as wheat mites appear workers start to collect them during their time of activity, in order to exterminate them early.
picture 5: Using a tool to collect pests (There are two different tools shown on the picture. The distance between the tools and the wheat seedlings can be adjusted. The sticky board is layered with paste or porridge. Its width can be adjusted according to the rows of seedlings)
picture 6: 0,1% 666 (benzolhexachloride) powder (4 Jin of fine soil is added to 1 Jin of 0,5% powder) is used against winter grain mites. On every Mu 3 Jin are needed to procure decent results.
picture 7: If the wheat is full-grown and wheat mites are very widespread, spraying equipment or bags [xxiv] to disperse the powder, in order to exterminate mites. The powder’s effect sets in very quickly.
picture 8: Againts brown wheat mites benzolhexachloride has almost no effect, instead lime sulfur has to be used.
If the actual reception of knowledge is to be measured, different field reports and descriptions of production teams, such as the way new production methods were introduced and accepted, should be examined. This can be displayed quite well by the observation of benzolhexachloride, as shown in the example above and in many other depictions in the Nongye Kexue Tongxun. Benzolhexachloride has been researched in China since 1949, it has been manufactured since 1951 as a organic pharmaceutical on the basis of benzol and chloride to extinct pests. It is very efficient and easy to handle as far as storage and production are concerned.
Its production and utilization has increased heavily in the agricultural sector since the 1950s, as can be seen from statistics and field reports in periodicals. Here is a short list of articles from the Nongye Kexue Tongxun:
- 7/1953 农民创造的治虫武器布袋撒粉 (The farmers’ weapon „spray powder from bags“ to fight pests)
- 10/1953 为明年增产打下基础-消灭越冬棉红铃虫 (Saving the increase in production of the next year - extinction of the pink bollworm surviving the winter)
- 2/1954 防治麦蜘蛛 (Preventing wheat mites)
- 10/1954 处理藳秆一消灭越冬玉米螟的有效方法 (Effective methods for clarifying the extinction of the hybernating European corn borer)
- 12/1954 大二十八星瓢虫防治法 (Methods to prevent Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata)
It has to be noted that the sources are not always reliable, thus any conclusions on th ereception of knowledge have to be drawn very carefully. But the popularization of benzolhexachloride shows, for example, that it is possible to reach a conclusion as this specific topic is discussed in almost every issue, thus providing a big amount of source material.
In issue 3 of 1955 a table on the production of benzolhexachloride in four different pharmaceutical factories in different regions is shown, giving the production dates and different production methods resulting in differences in quality and strength of the suspension.
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (3/1955)
Four different production techniques are listed in the left column, reaching from „not blending“ (不调制), to „blend roughly“ (粗调制), to „blend roughly after soaking for one day“ (泡一天后醋调制), to „blend very smoothly“ (精细调制). The resulting data in this table show an increase in the percentage of suspension of the benzolhexachloride from top to bottom. [xxv]
Another table on the utilization of benzolhexachloride can be found in issue 11 from 1953, discussing whether cottonseed oil and benzolchloride as a wet powder can be used together to for a solution (棉油皂和可湿性六六六能混合使用吗). In this depiction the pest’s mortality related to the water and soap percentage of the bezolhexachloride is displayed. The biggest efficiency shows with the lowest percentage of water and a 250fold dosage of cotton seed oil. [xxvi]
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (11/1953)
Using the topic of benzolhexachloride can give insight into the acceptance of knowledge and the reaction of farmers and workers to this knowledge. The tables offer a good overview of where and how frequently products were used. Keeping in mind that the numbers might have been eulogized, does not change the fact that the amount of statistics proves to a certain degree the experiences with benzolhexachloride. After considering various field reports and statistics, the rural population of China adapted benzolheyachloride as a means to control pests and refined its utilization. Yet it is questionable in how far this method was successful and whether the sources used conceal eulogized numbers. But this is not supposed here, as the preoccupation with benzolhexachloride is not to be mistaken for the ideological dissemination of the two-wheeled and doubled-shared plough.[xxvii]
These findings show that new technologies were introduced for different reasons and their practical value was not questioned. Meanwhile the rural population was always included in the process of „producing new knowledge“ and their experiences in different fields of expertise were taken up. Xu and Fan wrote in their book Science and Socialist Construction in China that in December 1955 617 successes in agricultural sciences were noted in the statistics of the ministry of agriculture. Those successes supported the fast development of the agricultural production. Xu and Fan emphasize:
"During the past few years, agronomists in various local agricultural institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture as well as in agricultural colleges have gone down to rural areas to sum up the peasants’ experience in production, and especially to make use of scientific theories to analyze and increase the value of the rich experience acquired by the advanced agricultural producers. For example, they have summed up the experience of Que Yaoli of Shanxi in growing cotton and the experience of Chen Yongkang of Jiangsu in planting rice (…). In 1955 as many as sixty to seventy improved varieties of grain crops were popularized in large quantities and in many places, involving a total acreage of 300 million mu.“[xxviii]
But pragmatical and goal oriented pictures are not the only ones to be found. Some pictures also serve as vehicles of socialist propaganda, as can be seen from the following example concerning pest control. The third issue from 1956 of Nongye Kexue Tongxun declares the possibility to use pesticides a consequence of the liberation of China 1949.
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (3/1956)
In the first picture elements like hunger and hardship can be identified immediately. The people displayed are all emaciated, exhausted and worried about the swarms of locusts approaching leaving behind only some leafless trees. This picture is meant to show the condition before China’s liberation (jiefang qian 解放前), there are less technological elements than in the next picture, which captivates the status quo after 1949 (xianzai 现在). An airplane, farmers with spraying bottles of pesticides and a flag signifying the collective are all signs for a new period marked by campaigns to increase production and the spreading of technology. A strong and healthy, almost smiling man is handling a spraying bottle, possibly the latest technology in the fight against pests. On the spraying bottle the Program for Agricultural Development of the Whole Country 1956-1967 is written down.[xxix] Next to the first picture there is a short poem by Guo Dun 郭敦 (1369-1431), who was an official from the Ming-Dynasty, stemming from Shandong he held different posts. The „Ode of the Locusts“ yong feihuang 詠飞蝗 describes the swarming and devastating plague.[xxx] The second poem without mentioning an author or title takes up this theme, elaborating on the successful fight against the locust infestation, emphasizing the central role of the Communist party and the government in achieving development in agriculture.
Pictures and graphics of periodicals are a valuable source for examining the popularization and dissemination of scientific findings. But pictures are not an unambiguous source, if they are not embedded into a social and political context. In some pictures propaganda is more prevalent than in others and thus has to be handled carefully. That said, circulation and frequently reoccurring topics (on a relatively high technical level) hint that most innovations combined with the experiences of the rural population have been actually practically implemented unlike the two-wheeled and doubled-shared plough.[xxxi]
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo [华北农业科学研究所] (ed.) (1953): Nongye Kexue Tongxun [农业科学通讯], Ausgabe 1-12, Beijing.
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo [华北农业科学研究所] (ed.) (1954): Nongye Kexue Tongxun [农业科学通讯], Ausgabe 1-12, Beijing.
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo [华北农业科学研究所] (ed.) (1955): Nongye Kexue Tongxun [农业科学通讯], Ausgabe 1-12, Beijing.
Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo [华北农业科学研究所] (ed.) (1956): Nongye Kexue Tongxun [农业科学通讯], Ausgabe 1-12, Beijing.
Carnap, Rudolph (1998): Der logische Aufbau der Welt. Hamburg: Meiner Verlag.
Cheng, Chu-Yuan (1965): Scientific and Engineering Manpower in Communist China, 1949-1963. Washington: National Science Foundation.
Chen, Gengtao 陈耕陶 (1963): Liu Liu Liu Jiben Zhishi 六六六基本知识 [Grundlagenwissen zu Benzolhexachlorid]. Beijing: Kexue Puji Chubanshe.
Cyrol, Jana (2011): Motive der Wissenschaftspopularisierung in der VR China.
Engels, Frederick (1950): The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man. New York: International Publishers.
Gauch, Hugh G. Jr (2002): Scientific Method in Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hacohen, M. (2000): Karl Popper: The Formative Years 1902-1945. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hesketh, Therese; Zhu, Weixing (1997): „Health in China - From Mao to market reform”. In: British Medical Journal, Vol. 314, S. 1543-1545.
Mao, Zedong 毛泽东 (1977): Mao Zedong Xuanji Di Wu Juan《毛泽东选集》第五卷 [Selected Works of Mao Zedong - Volume V]. Beijing: Renmin Chubanshe.
Miller, H. Lyman (1996): Science and Dissent in Post-Mao China. The Politics of Knowledge. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Shapiro, Judith (2001): Maos War against Nature-Politics in the Environment in Revolutionary China. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Stengers, Isabelle (1997): Die Erfindung der modernen Wissenschaften. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.
Wang Mingde (2011): Why Did A Plough Matter?
Whiteley, Richard (1985): „Knowledge Producers and Knowledge Acquirers: Popularisation as a Relation Between Scientific Fields and Their Publics”. In: Shinn, Terry; Whitley, Richard (Hg.): Expository Science: Forms and Functions of Popularisation. Dordrecht/Boston: D. Reidel Publishing Company.
Xu, Liangying; Fan, Dainian (1982): Science and Socialist Construction in China. New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Zhang, Huizhi 张撝之; Shen, Qiwei 沈起炜 und Liu, Dezhong 刘德重 (1999): Zhongguo Lidai Renming Dacidian Xia 中国历代人名大辞典 下 [Das große Wörterbuch zu Personen vergangener Dynastien – 2. Band]. Shanghai: Shanghai Chubanshe.
Zittel, Claus (2002): ,,Konstruktionsprobleme des Sozialkonstruktivismus”. In: Wissen und soziale Konstruktion, hg. von Claus Zittel. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
[i] See Hesketh und Zhu (1997): 1544.
[ii] See Mao (1977): 470-471.
[iii] See Shapiro (2001): 87-88.
[iv] See Mao (1977): 263.
[v] „When examining cultures of knowledge, it should be considered, that each culture of knowledge defines its own term of knowledge, the plurality of different terms of knowledge should not be evened out by construction …“, see Zittel (2000): 97.
[vi] See Gauch (2002): 82.
[vii] The Vienna definition of scientific statements is described in Rudolf Carnap’s book, where he explains, that the whole system of science could be built up from specific experiences. He tries to show that all terms for physical and mental objects can be replaced by statements about specific experiences, which are governed by specific rules, those he describes as the constitution of these terms. In a scientific statement only the terms are allowed to appear of which the constitution is known. There is thus no question that basically cannot be answered by science, and every statement formed from scientific terms is either true or false. See Carnap (1998): 253-255.
[viii] See Stenger (1997): 41-46.
[ix] See Hacohen (2000): 439.
[x] See Verikukis (2007): 2.
[xi] See Engels’ Labour Creates Humanity, see Friedrich Engels: „Anteil der Arbeit an der Menschwerdung des Affen“ [Labour Creates Humanity], in: Karl Marx/Friedrich Engels (1962): Werke. Berlin: Karl Dietz Verlag, Band 20, 444-455.
[xii] See Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (1/1955): 47-48.
[xiii] See Verikukis (2007): 3.
[xiv] See Cyrol (2011).
[xv] Chen Fengtong [陳鳳桐] (1953): Nongye kexue gongzuo ruhe jiehe shiji – wei jinian jinnian de guoqingjie er xie [農業科學工作如何結合實際 － 為紀念今年的國慶節而寫], in: Nongye kexue tongxun, 9/1953, 366-367.
[xvi] A definition of „Peasant Scientists“ suiting the term working scientist kexue gongzuo zhe 科学工作者 can be found with Cheng: „In addition to the practice of promoting workers to the rank of engineer and technician during the latter part of 1958, the Chinese Communists selected many veteran peasants as ‚scientists’. Many of these ‘peasant scientists’ were appointed by the branches of the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Agricultural Sciences to serve as ‘special research fellows’ in research institutes relating to their major interests. Some of these ‘new scientists’ were even invited to lecture in the institutes of higher learning and to participate in the academic conferences of various professional societies. The promotion of peasants to ‘scientists’ was – until an apparent reversal of the trend since 1961 – part of the program to damage the prestige of established scientists who had received their training in Western countries and who had failed to support the Party’s fanatic Big Leap Forward. It was officially admitted that during the Big Leap Forward many prominent professors and scientists had denied China’s ability to progress so rapidly, insisting that technical achievements must be based on previous records, documents, and experience and that progress could not be attained by a single step or special decree. (…) Peasant scientists were selected and popularized to give to the masses the impression that scientists were not a special class and that anyone could become a scientist if faithful to the Party Line.” See Cheng (1965): 2.
[xvii] See Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (9/1953): 366.
[xviii] See H. Lyman Miller (1996): 252-253.
[xix] Traditionally, popularization was seen as the transmitting of scientific knowledge to laypeople in order to educate and train them. Richard Whitely puts it as: „In the conventional view, scientific knowledge is disseminated to a lay audience after it has been discovered and this process is separate from research. Since the scientific community is autonomous and distinct from the general public, the latter´s acquisition of translated knowledge cannot affect the production and validation of new knowledge. This feedback from popularisation is to scientific research is non-existent.” See Whitley (1985): 3.
[xx] Ibid.: 8.
[xxi] See Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (11/1953): 494.
[xxii] See Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (4/1954): 204ff.
[xxiii] See Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (7/1953): 298.
[xxiv] Sacks holding the pesticide made from textile are put on a bamboo structure.
[xxv] See Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (3/1955): 129.
[xxvi] See Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (11/1953): 458.
[xxvii] See Wang (2011).
[xxviii] See Xu und Fan (1982): 41.
[xxix] See Huabei Nongye Kexue Yanjiusuo (3/1956): 150.
[xxx] See Zhang, Shen und Liu (1999): 2014.
[xxxi] See Wang Mingde: Why Did A Plough Matter?