Prof. Nathan Sivin: Astronomy and Healthcare

How Astronomy Evolved in China and the West
Prof. Nathan Sivin
November 8
List Art Building, Room 120
62-64 College Street
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Europeans, as their astronomy developed over the past twenty centuries, believed that they were pursuing the only correct path to reliable knowledge of the sky. So did the Chinese. Despite the fact that they were studying the same sky with a similar range of instruments, the two approaches differed in ways that reveal how even mathematical sciences are rooted in the cultures that invent them. Nathan Sivin drew on his studies of China to cast a comparative light on both histories.

Health Care in Medieval China

Prof. Nathan Sivin  
November 9
Science Center, 3rd floor Sciences Library
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

What Americans call “Traditional Chinese Medicine” is descended from the work of highly educated physicians over the past two thousand years. They mostly treated members of the tiny literate élite. Who cared for the health of the rural majority of the Chinese population, who did not live near a doctor and who had no way to pay for one? This talk looked at the full range of practitioners and their therapies—medical, empirical, religious, and symbolic.

Nathan Sivin, of the University of Pennsylvania, has written about all the sciences (and medicine) of ancient China in every period of Chinese history. He has also explored interactions between China and Europe, and the relations of science to religion. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

These two events were sponsored by: The Science Center in conjunction with Year of China, Ladd Observatory and the Department of Physics, Program in Liberal Medical Education, East Asian Studies, Integrative Medicine Scholarly Concentration,History Department, and the C.V. Starr Lectureship Fund.