An International Scientific Community: Asian Scholars in the United States

An International Scientific Community: Asian Scholars in the United States

An International Scientific Community: Asian Scholars in the United States

An International Scientific Community: Asian Scholars in the United States

Synopsis

Despite the small percentage of Asian scholars in U.S. academe (4.7%), they are the fastest growing academic group since the 1980s, particularly in the fields of science and engineering. In the era of globalization of science, the role of Asian scholars as a bridge between societies is increasingly important for effective communication of scientific and cultural knowledge. In this study, Choi, herself a Korean, employed in-depth interviewing of Asian scholars from six different points of origin--China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. By comparing experiences and perspectives, much valuable information is obtained about the contributions and potential of the Asian community of scholars in the United States.

Excerpt

In the 1990s buzzwords such as "global" and "internationalization" have come to be used more frequently, as can be seen in current phrases like "global economy," "global education" or "internationalization of science." Scientific knowledge has been distributed at a global level, and this has had a far-reaching impact in an increasingly interdependent world.

I have been interested in international students and scholars as one of the representative groups of human agents expediting the progress of internationalization. International students and scholars seem to me to be a particularly relevant group to examine in this regard because they are directly exposed to global science and culture. From ancient times, traveling overseas in pursuit of advanced scholarship has occurred. Science and scholarship have always been international in nature. Now, however, the number of students and scholars studying and doing research overseas is enormous. Further, this flow of international students and scholars has had a considerable impact on the rapidly changing world-economy, on science and on culture. in the era of knowledge- and technology-based society, it is crucial to understand who plays a significant role in the production and distribution of scientific knowledge, in what ways these agents work in the formation of globally interwoven societies through their expertise, and what socioeconomic, political and cultural factors are involved.

This book is an attempt to understand these issues. I chose to do case studies of Asian scholars because of my Asian background, as well as the increasingly visible contribution of Asian scholars to world science and scholarship. From the very beginning of my research I was convinced that the stories and experiences of Asian scholars could be mine. For me, the research was fascinating not only as an objective investigator but also as an Asian studying in the United States, potentially going through the very same experiences. the cultural background and academic situation that I shared with my interviewees provided a powerful base for empathy and established an easy rapport in conducting this in-depth study.

It is Dr. Philip G. Altbach who first suggested that I turn my dissertation into a book, and he gave me full support to make it happen. Dr. Altbach, as my advisor during my graduate studies at SUNY-Buffalo, never failed to provide me . . .

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