• Francesca BRAY "Technology Transfer against the Flow: Learning from China in the British-Indian Tea Industry, 1839-1890" Prof. Francesca BRAY University of Edinburgh, UK
    • Biography

    Francesca Bray is a historian of science, technology and medicine in China, specialising in gender and technology, the politics of historiography, and the history of agriculture and food. Recent publications include Technology, Gender and History in Imperial China (2013); and Rice: Global Networks and New Histories (2015). Her current co-authored project, Moving Crops and the Scales of History, uses crops to experiment with the chronologies and geographies of global history. Francesca has researched and taught in Cambridge, Paris, Taegu, California and Edinburgh, and has just completed a term as President of the Society for the History of Technology.

  • Jianmin Li "TBA" Prof. Namil KIM Kyung Hee University, Korea
    Biography To be Announced
  • Jianmin Li "Bianque and the Origins of the Difference in Chinese Medical History" Dr. Jianmin Li Academia Sinica, TAIWAN(TAIPEI)
    • Biography

    Dr. Jianmin Li is a research fellow at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. He also teaches at several universities in Taiwan. His specialty is the history of Chinese medicine and of health and healing in ancient China. He is the author of numerous books and articles on medicine and culture in ancient China, among which The Vulnerable Surgeons and the Fading of Surgery in the History of Sinitic Medicine (2018).

  • Jianjun MEI "Some Reflections on Needham’s Intellectual Heritage" Prof. Jianjun MEI (梅建军) The Needham Research Institute, UK
    • Biography

    Jianjun Mei studied physical chemistry in metallurgical processes and the history of science and technology at the Beijing University of Iron and Steel Technology (now the University of Science and Technology Beijing, USTB) in the 1980s. He first visited Cambridge in 1994 as Li Foundation (New York) Fellow working at the Needham Research Institute, then began his PhD study in archaeology at the University of Cambridge with a scholarship generously offered by the East Asian History of Science Foundation, Hong Kong (now the Joseph Needham Fpundation for Science and Civilisation, Hong Kong). After postdoctoral work in Tokyo and Cambridge he returned to China in 2004 as a professor at the USTB and Director of the Institute of Historical Metallurgy and Materials. In recent years he has been a leading member of the team formed to write the volume on non-ferrous metallurgy for the Science and Civilisation in China series, founded by the great British sinologist and historian of science Joseph Needham (1900-1995). In January 2014, he joined the Needham Research Institute as its Director. He is now Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge and Visiting Professor at the University of Science and Technology Beijing.

    • Abstract

    In this paper, I wish to reflect on Needham's intellectual heritage, its impact on understanding the world history of knowledge circulation, and its broad influence on generations of scholars. I present two case studies of paktong and iron and steel to show what Needham himself achieved and what recent progress has been made, highlighting the change of research paradigm from a patriotic or nationalistic approach to a global history approach. I argue that Needham’s work still sets a marker for ongoingresearch in many respects, and that, especially, his cross-culturally comparative approach to global circulations of knowledge and technology remains of deep relevance to contemporary scholars. I also argue that Needham’s intellectual heritage is unique, substantial and multi-dimensional, reaching well beyond the so-called Needham Question, and will surely continue to encourage and inspire new generations of inquisitive minds.

  • Baichun ZHANG "Uniformity and Diversity of Agricultural Machines in East Asia" Dr. Baichun ZHANG Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
    • Biography

    Baichun ZHANG majored in mechanical engineering at Inner Mongolian Engineering College from 1979 to 1983, and majored in the history of science and technology from 1987 to 1989. In 1990, he was employed by Institute for the History of Natural Sciences (IHNS), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Having studied at TechischeUniversitaet Berlin and CAS, he received PhD degree at CAS in 1999.
    He became a full professor at CAS in 2000. After that he made studies of the history of mechanics in collaboration with colleagues at Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. He was appointed as a Deputy Director at the IHNS in 2005 and the Director of the IHNS in 2009.
    Since 1987, he has been conducting research on the history of science and technology, especially on the history of machines, instruments, mechanics, cross-cultural transmission of technology and scientific knowledge. Besides more than 100 articles published journals, he has been written or co-written 20 books. He jointed academic societies or organization, such as IAHS,ESHSISHEASTM, and IFToMM.In 2017, he became one of two editors-in-chief of Chinese Annals of History of Science and Technology (bi-annual journal).

    • Abstract

    China, Korea and Japan were and are neighbors separated by a strip of water. East Asia was full of cultural harmony in diversity in the time of agricultural society. There existed obvious uniformity and diversity in their scientific knowledge, technology, and economy. The typical cases include such agricultural machines as the rotary-fan winnowing machine and the square-pallet chain-pump. The main structure of the Chinese winnowing machine came into being in the first century of the Christian era. The completed winnowing machine was shared and localized by Korea and Japan. The Chinese chain-pump was constructed in the second century of the Christian era, and driven by men or oxen in Tang Dynasty. Japan and Korea not only reproduced the square-pallet chain-pump, but also developed their water-lifting devices, including the treadmill. It will be very worthwhile and productive to make comparative studies of technology and scientific knowledge between China, Korea and Japan.