The Korea Herald


Korea Journal discusses Korean science during, after colonial period

By Kim Hae-yeon

Published : Oct. 12, 2022 - 11:45

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Autumn 2022 issue of Korea Journal (Academy of Korean Studies) Autumn 2022 issue of Korea Journal (Academy of Korean Studies)

Science in Korea since the beginning of Japan's occupation of Korea in 1910 is the subject of the latest issue of the English-language quarterly academic publication Korea Journal, published by the Academy of Korean Studies.

The topics covered are public health, family planning, nature conservation and hydrological engineering.

“Revisiting Americanization: Focusing on the Reformation of Public Health in South Korea, 1945-1960” by Park Ji-young, a professor at Inje University's department of humanities and social sciences in medicine, examines the continuity of colonial medical legacy and its relationship with the newly established public health system of the late 1940s and 1950s that adopted US public health standards.

Meanwhile, John P. DiMoia, a professor of Korean history at Seoul National University, in “Revisiting Korean Family Planning: Population and the Pre-1962 Context” argues that Korean concerns about population issues date back to the late 1930s. Korean family planning practitioners, trained at colonial medical institutions, later rationalized their family planning work within the context of US social sciences.

In “Reconfiguring Mountain Expeditions: The Transwar Origins of the Korean Nature Conservation Movement, 1926-1962,” Hyun Jae-hwan, a professor of history and science at Pusan National University's Institute of General Education, looks at how South Korean biologists developed conservationist perspectives and practices through a long tradition of academic expeditions to the mountains that took root well before cooperation with US conservationists in the 1960s. Hyun argues that their conservation activities, specifically their links to the military, could be understood as a transwar product rather than a Cold War outcome.

“Carving Nature Like a Piece of Artwork: Hydrological Engineers’ Identity-building in Modern South Korea” by Park Seo-hyun, a post-doctoral fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, focuses on hydrological engineers who contributed to rationalizing large multipurpose dam constructions during the Park Chung-hee regime.