Symposium 9

Retrospect and Prospect: History of Science and Technology in China

Liang Li | Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, CAS
Baichun Zhang | Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, CAS


Chairs: Liang Li & Baichun Zhang

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Afternoon Session | 15:30-17:30
Venue: NHRF Auditorium

Xiaowu Guan | A Brief Review of Study on Ancient Carts in Pre-Qin Period of China in the Past 100 Years

Lifang Lei | Xu Baosheng and his Curved Mold Caster

Shi Ke and Yong Mei | Study on the Production Craftsmanship of Special Funerary Objects with Chain Unearthed from the Tomb of Princess of State Chen of Liao Dynasty

Yu Liu | Out of the Fiery Furnace: Casting Technology and Bronze Production in Late Shang dynasty China

Evening Session | 18:00-20:00
Venue: NHRF Auditorium

Jinyan Liu | The Genesis of Mao-Particle (Straton): the Chinese search for Hadron’s structure in the 1960s

Huang Xing | Review and Progress of the Origin Studies on the Compass in China

Diana Saveleva and Liu Jinyan | A. Ioffe and the Society of physicists of China: a history of cooperation

Danian Hu | The Western Influence in the Chinese Criticism of Relativity during the Cultural Revolution

Friday, September 13, 2019

Morning Session | 09:00-11:00
Venue: NHRF Auditorium

Liang Li | From Theory to Practice: Mathematical Astronomy in Pre-modern China

Eun Hee Lee, Byeong-Hee Mihn and Go-Eun Choi | The astronomical exchange between China and the Islamic world during the Yuan and Ming Dynasty: Focusing on the exchange of calendrical science

Tian Miao | The study of the history of mathematics in China in globe perspective

Yibing Fang | Who was the protagonist? Rethinking the history of mining and metallurgy technology in 19th-century China

Noon Session | 11:30-13:30
Venue: NHRF Auditorium

Baichung Zhang | A Review of the Reconstruction of the Astronomical Clock-tower

Yunli Shi | The Chongzhen-Reign Treaties on Calendrical Astronomy and Beyond

Yahua Niu | Researches on the history of Chinese anatomy in the last 100 years

Wei Chen | The 3 stages of studies on the history of scientific and technological trans-cultural diffusion by Chinese scholars

Afternoon Session | 15:30-17:30
Venue: NHRF Auditorium

Meifang Zhang | Women’s Magazine and the scientific enlightenment for women in the Republic of China

Lie Sun | Problems and progress in the Research on the History of China’s Modern and Contemporary Military Technology

Tatiana Feklova | The historiography of the Russian Orthodox mission history in Beijing in 19 century

Yuanming Song | The Exchanges of Agricultural Knowledge between America and China – A Case Study of Franklin Hiram King and His Works

About the Symposium

Pre-modern Chinese scientists and engineers achieved a lot in natural sciences, technology, medicine and so on. In the past one hundred years, the eastern and western scholars have carried out much research on the history of science and technology in China from different perspectives, laying a solid foundation for further research. Joseph Needham (1900-1995), Zhu Kezhen (1890-1974) and Yabuuchi Kiyoshi (1906-2000) were monumental contributors to shaping the history of Chinese science and technology as a special discipline. They had different concerns and implemented distinct research methods and approaches. Needham paid attention to Chinese inventions and their cross-cultural dissemination from a comparative perspective. With the assistance of such scholars as Li Yan, Zhu focused on Chinese achievements and realized the professionalization and institutionalization of research on the history of science and technology in China. In comparison, Yabuuchi Kiyoshi paid more attention to mathematical science and put it in the center of the history of science. Instead of looking at science and technology as products in a particular nation or civilization, the global history of knowledge is gaining popularity in later generations of historians. Especially, historians in early modern science, recent science and technology have inclined to discuss science in global contexts. More attention is paid to concern the trans-regional interrelations and dissemination of knowledge. In addition, new methods and perspectives have been developed or adopted to study the history of Chines science and technology in recent years. In this symposium, we hope to review the predecessors’ contributions and methodologies, which intersperse with topics on astronomy, arithmetic, agriculture, medicine, and various technologies. We prefer to retrospect and prospect the history of Chinese science and technology by investigating questions such as:
– What are the approaches to the study of the history of Chinese science and technology in the global history of knowledge?
– How do new textual and archaeological discoveries, new methodologies allow historical actors to promote the study of the history of science and technology in China?
As noted by a famous Chinese historian Zhu Weizheng (1936-2012), Chinese history is like a building. Chinese scholars sitting inside the building can see the detail of it, but their vision is limited to the interior of the building. On the contrary, foreign scholars outside the building sometimes cannot access the details clear enough, but they can provide different perspectives from the outside. We hope that Chinese and non-Chinese scholars will gather in this symposium to retrospect the research on the history of science and technology in China. The symposium will offer participants a chance to see both inside and outside, and make us benefit each other in the field of history of science and technology.