Wikipedia's International Geophysical Year begins:

The International Geophysical Year (IGY; French: Année géophysique internationale) was an international scientific project that lasted from 1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958. It marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between East and West had been seriously interrupted. Sixty-seven countries participated in IGY projects, although one notable exception was the mainland People's Republic of China, which was protesting against the participation of the Republic of China (Taiwan). East and West agreed to nominate the Belgian Marcel Nicolet as secretary general of the associated international organization.

Question: How did Taiwan actually participate? Was there any scientific contribution or were any geodetic measurements performed (inside or outside of Taiwan)? Or was their participation mostly "cosmetic" (for lack of a better word)?

There is some discussion of the IGY and links to other related SE questions in Is Earth's “pear shape” mostly J₃? and in links therein.

1 Answer 1


It doesn't seem like there is much information on this readily available in English, but here are a few scraps I could find.

The Geographical Distribution of the International Geophysical Year Stations listed (by my quick count) 8 participating measurement stations in Taiwan.

The article "Science as a symbol of new nationhood: India and the International Geophysical Year 1957–58" mentions in passing that:

A postcard containing scientific data from Taiwan was intercepted and destroyed by the Bombay Customs in accordance with the prevailing rules. The Customs was however decent enough to inform the IGY secretariat. The matter was taken up with the Ministry of External Affairs and scientific correspondence exempted from censor.

A footnote in the book refers to the existence of the following source:

Final Report [of] Chinese National Committee [for the] International Geophysical Year 1957–58 (Taipei: Chinese National Committee for the IGY, April 1959)

Based on a Worldcat search, it is 43 pages and copies are rare.

  • 1
    This is great stuff, thank you! There are at least two copies of the final report locally: 1, 2
    – uhoh
    Jul 14, 2020 at 6:09
  • 1
    If you're able to review it and post the highlights as an answer, I would be interested to see what you find!
    – Brian Z
    Jul 14, 2020 at 13:48
  • Okay, it will take some time but when I do I will, thanks!
    – uhoh
    Jul 15, 2020 at 1:55
  • I have to coordinate an interlibrary loan and then get someone here who's willing to read through it and help me understand it. I haven't gotten it to happen yet but it's still on the list of things to do...
    – uhoh
    Sep 16, 2020 at 17:27

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