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Seohyun Park

Seohyun Park, Science and Technology Studies Student

Seohyun Park, Science and Technology Studies Student
Seohyun Park, Science and Technology Studies Student

Department of  Science, Technology, and Society
Blacksburg, VA 24061

As a Ph.D. candidate in the Science, Technology, and Society Department at Virginia Tech, I am currently working on my dissertation entitled Dammed Nation: Hydrological Expertise and the Global Making of Modern Korea. My work employs multi-sited transnational archival research to trace how the newly emerged hydrological engineering rationalized river basin development in Cold War Korea. The dissertation specifically focuses on the Han River Basin Joint Survey Team (1966-71), the professionalization and institutionalization of hydrological engineering, and their impact on Korea. This research reveals how Korean hydrological engineers defined their expertise drawing on technology transfer from the U.S. and flood control infrastructure produced during the Japanese colonial period (1910-45), and how they established themselves as legitimate contributors to national progress and the modernization of Korea through river basin development programs.

My first archival research in Korea from July to December 2019 was supported by the International Center of Korean Studies at Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University. My research interests include technology transfer and environmental infrastructure in Cold War East Asia, especially Korea. 

  • Science and Technology in East Asia 
  • Technology Transfer
  • Environmental Infrastructure
  • Engineering Studies
  • Cold War Development 
  • M.S. in Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Seoul National University, 2015.
  • B.E. in Materials Science and Engineering, Yonsei University, 2013.
  • Graduate Assistantship, Virginia Tech, August 2016-May 2019.
  • Full Tuition Scholarship for Graduate Students, Korea Tomorrow and Global Scholarship Foundation, March 2013-February 2015.
  • High Honors, Yonsei University, Spring 2012.


“Quantifying River Water, Rationalizing Dam Constructions: How South Korea Has Become a Dammed Nation,” 7th International Symposium on Environmental Sociology in East Asia, Seoul, Republic of Korea, October 2019.

“Merging Colonial Infrastructure and Cold War Geopolitics: The Han River Basin Development in Korea during the 1960s and 1970s,” 15th International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia, Jeonju, Republic of Korea, August 2019.

“Coproduction of a National Water Resource and a Postwar Political Order: Korea’s Water Resource Development Projects after the Korean War,” XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 2018.

“Quantifying the River: Controversies over Algal Blooms after the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project in Korea,” Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Denver, Colorado, USA, November 2015.

“Quantifying Algal Blooms and the Construction of Epistemological Hierarchy,” Conference of the Korean Science and Technology Studies Society, Seoul, Republic of Korea, December, 2014.


“Cold War Development and the Colonial Legacy: The Han River Basin Joint Survey Team (1966-71),” The 2nd Modern Korean History of Science and Technology Workshop, Jeonju, Korea, December, 2019.

“Reassembling Colonial Infrastructure in Cold War Korea: The Han River Basin Development Survey in Korea during the 1960s and 1970s,” SHOT-EASTS-KAIST Writing Workshop 2019, Seoul, Republic of Korea, October, 2019.

“Colonial Science in the Postcolonial World: Kajiyama’s Hydrology Program in Cold War Korea,” The Japanese Scientist in Japan and in the World, Cardiff, UK, September, 2019.

Invited Commentaries

“Digitized Bodies and Digital Technopolitics,” Conference of the Critical Sociological Association of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea, October, 2019

  • “Developing the Engineering Cultures Teaching Community,” Department of Science, Technology, and Society, Virginia Tech, August 2017-January 2018.
  • “Recent Research Trends of Bioethics,” Korea National Institute for Bioethics Policy, January-June 2016.
  • “Seoul Science Museum Project,” Mileseum Corporation, July-October, 2016.
  • “Science Curriculum Improvement Study for Future Generation,” Korean Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity, December 2015-March 2016.
  • “20-Year History of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea,” National Academy of Engineering of Korea, July 2015