Dr Gordon Barrett

Tied to my interest in the history of Sino-British scientific relations, in 2015 I was a British Inter-University Centre Early Career Researcher at the University of Bristol, working on a Cultural Engagement Partnership project with the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge. This project focused on digitising photographs and diaries relating to Dr. Joseph Needham’s British Council-sponsored activities as head of the Sino-British Science Cooperation Office, 1943-1946. This material is now available via the Cambridge University Digital Library. I also created a ‘pop-up’ exhibition entitled ‘Chinese Wartime Science through the Lens of Joseph Needham’, which showcases material from this collection and has been shown in Cambridge, Bristol, and London.

My current research examines Nationalist and Communist Party-led approaches to utilising China’s highly internationalised scientific community alongside ‘foreign experts’ and advisers in China sponsored by both foreign powers and international organisations between 1931 and 1953. This analysis of wartime mobilisation in science and technology aims to chart successive reconfigurations and reorganisations in the state-science relations, exploring the relationship between war and modernisation.


    No publications have been listed.

I currently teach:


FHS Masters
For DPIR: PPE227: The Government and Politics of China GXIV: The Global Twentieth Century, 1930-2003

Concepts and Themes in Global and Imperial History 


FS29: China Since 1900

History and Historiography of Modern China


For DPIR: The International Relations of East Asia


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