Hot Science, High Water

Assembling Nature, Society and Environmental Policy in Contemporary Vietnam

Eren Zink

  • Published:
  • Pages: 304 pp.
  • illustrated
  • Series number: 124
Worldwide
  • Offers unique insight into the economy and politics of science, higher education and international development in Vietnam.
  • Challenges the notion that science in a developing country is different from, and subordinate to, science in the developed West.
  • Reveals the social, cultural and scientific practices that, together with natural processes, produce the facts of climate change in Vietnam. 
     

Hot Science, High Water explores the work of different generations of Vietnamese scientists as they engage with local and international efforts to conserve nature, address climate change, and carry out scientific research.

Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork in universities, government offices, and foreign embassies, as well as the muddy intertidal zones of coastal Vietnam, the study reveals scientists engaged in a politics of nature that is local and global, contemporary and historical, and natural and social. More generally, this book is an ethnography of science in a developing country grappling with the local implications of global networks of knowledge production, and shifting trends in international development policy.

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 Eren Zink is Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University, Sweden. Since 2000 he has actively researched, written on, and worked with scientists from developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

 Eren Zink is Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University, Sweden. Since 2000 he has actively researched, written on, and worked with scientists from developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

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by Michitake Aso, University at Albany
From journal:
East Asian Science Technology and Society, 9:3

"Hot Science challenges dichotomies such as local/ global, Vietnamese/foreign, and science/politics by showing that such dichotomies more aptly describe the framing of these projects than the targets of their interventions.

"Hot Science challenges dichotomies such as local/ global, Vietnamese/foreign, and science/politics by showing that such dichotomies more aptly describe the framing of these projects than the targets of their interventions. In this way, the book offers a corrective to commonly held conceptions of how science and development currently intertwine in non-Western countries that receive foreign aid.

(…) Hot Science offers an important case study of climate change debates in a developing country.

(…) this book offers a provocative look at contemporary networks of scientists and a useful summary of current climate change policy debates in Vietnam."

by Irit Eguavoen, University of Bonn
From journal:
Climate and Development, Vol. 6, No. 3

"The book is easy to read and likely to make enjoyable reading for anyone accustomed to an anthropological style of writing (narrative-rich, with a blend of divergent stories, some tangents and an unconventional sequence)."

"The book is easy to read and likely to make enjoyable reading for anyone accustomed to an anthropological style of writing (narrative-rich, with a blend of divergent stories, some tangents and an unconventional sequence)."

by Abidin Kusno, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
From journal:
Pacific Affairs, Vol. 88, Issue 1

"Hot Science, High Water is a rare and much needed contribution to the study of how decisions are made and policies formed on environmental issues in intricate relations to the reproduction of culture, politics and society.

"Hot Science, High Water is a rare and much needed contribution to the study of how decisions are made and policies formed on environmental issues in intricate relations to the reproduction of culture, politics and society.

(…) Eren Zink […] did an excellent job in assembling accounts that feature the intricate social production of scientific discourse in Vietnam in the context of unequal exchange of knowledge between the Global North and the Global South.

(…) In taking local culture and politics seriously, Eren Zink presents novel insights into the history and ethnography of science and policy-making while simultaneously contributes greatly towards advancing our knowledge about Vietnamese society."

by Michitake Aso
From journal:
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (2014) 9:1–4

"Hot Science challenges dichotomies such as local/ global, Vietnamese/foreign, and science/politics by showing that such dichotomies more aptly describe the framing of these projects than the targets of their interventions.

"Hot Science challenges dichotomies such as local/ global, Vietnamese/foreign, and science/politics by showing that such dichotomies more aptly describe the framing of these projects than the targets of their interventions. In this way, the book offers a corrective to commonly held conceptions of how science and development currently intertwine in non-Western countries that receive foreign aid.

(…)this book offers a provocative look at contemporary networks of scientists and a useful summary of current climate change policy debates in Vietnam. In this sense, this book also documents the power of Western defined issues such as climate change or avian flu to enroll diverse objects and actors (…)."

by Jennifer Wallace, University of Maryland
From journal:
Global Environmental Politics, 15:1, February 2015

"Zink’s contribution is an important critique of development models that narrowly focus on the transfer of knowledge or capital between developed and developing countries…Zink observes how slippery spaces enable both development practitioners and Vietnamese officials to achieve narrowly defined objectives that end up having little direct impact on the environment."

"Zink’s contribution is an important critique of development models that narrowly focus on the transfer of knowledge or capital between developed and developing countries…Zink observes how slippery spaces enable both development practitioners and Vietnamese officials to achieve narrowly defined objectives that end up having little direct impact on the environment."

by Michael Brett-Crowther
From journal:
International Journal of Environmental Studies, 2014

"The book shows good observation, patience and cooperation…Zink provides a social analysis in terms of actor-networks and slippery spaces…

Zink’s book will enable the decision-makers (in Vietnam) to understand their failure."

"The book shows good observation, patience and cooperation…Zink provides a social analysis in terms of actor-networks and slippery spaces…

Zink’s book will enable the decision-makers (in Vietnam) to understand their failure."

by Abidin Kusno, The University of British Columbia
From journal:
Pacific Affairs

"Hot Science, High Water is a rare and much needed contribution to the study of how decisions are made and policies formed on environmental issues in intricate relations to the reproduction of culture, politics and society.

"Hot Science, High Water is a rare and much needed contribution to the study of how decisions are made and policies formed on environmental issues in intricate relations to the reproduction of culture, politics and society.

In taking local culture and politics seriously, Eren Zink presents novel insights into the history and ethnography of science and policy-making and simultaneously contributes greatly towards advancing our knowledge about Vietnamese society."

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