Science Center, 3rd floor Sciences Library
101-109 Waterman Street
The Year of China explored Chinese Scientific Tradition and the works of Joseph Needham, a British scientist and historian best remembered for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science. The work of Needham and his collaborators during the second half of the 20th century has facilitated a change in views on early Chinese work in science and technology. Recent archaeological discoveries in China have provided indisputable evidence resolving a number of debates among historians of sciences in support of Needham’s thesis that “science and technology is rooted in a multicultural tradition”.
Prof. Joseph Chen, University of California, San Diego, California, gave a lecture: "Early Chinese Scientific Developments Revealed by Recent Archaeological Discoveries." In this talk, Prof. Chen presented some of these recent archaeological discoveries and discussed their significance in the understanding of early scientific tradition in China.
A Short Bio of Joseph C. Y. Chen
Chen (Joseph) Cheng-Yih born in Nanjing, China, received his PhD in Physical Chemistry from Notre Dame University in 1961. He did research at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1965. In 1966, he joined University of California at San Diego as Professor of Physics. His research interest has been in collision theory and in atomic and molecular physics. He has been a visiting lecturer at Manchester University, England; a JILA Visiting Fellow at Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics; a Nordita Visiting Professor at the Oslo University and the Nordisk Institute for Teoretisk Atomfysik; an OAS Visiting Scientist for the Multinational Project on Physics at the Centro Atomico Bariloche, Argentina; a Visiting Professor at the National Tsing Hua 清華 University, Taiwan and at the City University of Hong Kong. Chen’s other research interest includes the history and philosophy of science. He is also a faculty member of the UCSD Program in Chinese Studies, and the director of the Wéi-Kung 為公 Institute.
The Year of China also hosted a conversation about the book The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom about Joseph Needham. Prof. Chen, Brown University faculty Lundy Braun, Departments of Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Africana Studies, and the Science and Technology Program, and Carol Deboer-Langworthy, lecturer in English, moderated the conversation.