• The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and technology NO.2 2011

 The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and technology NO.2 2011

The Russian Experts I Met
——An Interview with Chen Mengxiong

Recorded and emended by ZHANG Jiuchen
(Institute for the History of Natural Science, CAS, Beijing 100190, China)


Abstract  In the early years of the People’s Republic of China, learning from the advanced science and technology of the Soviet Union was seen as an efficient way to develop Chinese geology. In the 1950s, a large number of Soviet experts were hired by the Chinese Ministry of Geology and relevant production departments. They trained Chinese geologists and guided their work. At that time, the field survey tasks and regulations were basically in line with the Soviet model. By drawing on the experience of the Soviet Union, a foundation was laid for the further development of Chinese geology. Academician Chen Mengxiong cooperated with many Soviet experts in the 1950s. This paper reviews his work experiences with them, and introduces their work in China and their influence on Chinese geology.


Scientific Research in the Later Period of the Cultural Revolution:
An Interview with Academician Shen Panwen
Recorded and emended by YANG Liran
(Department of Ideological and Political Theory, North China University of Technology, Beijing 100144,China)


Abstract  Even in the hard times of the Cultural Revolution, Shen Panwen strove to find opportunities to do scientific research and serve his motherland. His work in these difficult times heralded the arrival of the spring of his scientific career. The interviewee narrates his work on the preparation of phosphor powders for color televisions, the synthesis of metal hydrides, research on humic acids and reviews of scientific achievements abroad.


Chia-Yung Lee’s Training of Graduate Students on Invertebrate Embryology and His Studies of Rapana and Cuttlefish

Recorded and emended by SONG Guangbo 
(Institute of Modern History, Cass, Beijing 100006, China)

Abstract  Professor Chia-Yung Lee, founder and pioneer of invertebrate embryology in China, nurtured a group of graduate students in the 1950s who went on to  become the backbone for the teaching of the subject. His works “Reproduction and Embryonic Development of Rapana pechelien grabau and king” and “On the Breeding and Migration of the golden cuttlefish, sepia Esculenta hoyle, living in Yellow Sea”, were of pioneering significance and represent the achievements of a lifetime’s research work. This paper is based both on his verbal reflections on training the students, and on his works papers cited above.

Aspects of my experience in breeding wheat varieties:
An interview with Academician Zhuang Qiaosheng

Recorded and collated by YANG Jian, LI Rikui, Hu Wenliang
( College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China )

Abstract  Professor Zhuang Qiaosheng has been working on winter wheat breeding and related genetic studies for more than 60 years. He has successfully developed more than 10 excellent varieties of winter wheat, including Huabei 187, Beijing 8, Beijing 10, Fengkang 8, and Beijing 837, etc. In the process of screening for excellent wheat varieties, he has been particularly good at choosing parents from different ecological areas in order to enrich genetic diversity, mating them, and then screening the hybrid progenies in various ways so as to combine into one variety different factors, such as high yield capacity, disease resistance and appropriate maturity, and wide adaptability. The present paper is based on an interview with Professor Zhang in August 2008, and covers the process of breeding Beijing 8, Beijing 10 and the Fengkang series, and his remarkable research experience exploring fine wheat varieties.

From The National Institutes of Health to The Shanghai Drug and Food Administration:An Interview with Professor PENG Sixun

Recorded and emended by NIU Yahua
(Institute of Information on Traditional Chinese Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China)

Abstract  Peng Sixun worked in the chemicals group of The National Institute of Health from 1942 to 1947 and participated in the preparation of The Shanghai Drug and Food Administration, China's first institute for drug and food control, in 1947. In this interview, he describes the situation of the two institutions.

The Process of the Founding of Pediatric Surgery in China:An Interview with Zhang Jinzhe

Recorded and emended by XIA Yuanyuan, 
(Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China)
CHENG Mingwei
(Center for History of Medicine, Peking University, Beijing 100191,China)

Abstract  In the 1950s, China's pediatric surgery developed from scratch to quickly become recognized as first-rate by the wider world. Zhang Jinzhe is one of the founders of pediatric surgery in China. He narrates the background to its founding, the process of its development and nurturing of talent in the field, and recalls the establishment of the Association of Pediatric Surgery and the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.

Rescuing Iron Worker Qiu Caikang:
A Record of Two Interviews with Zhang Disheng

Recorded and emended by HU Jun and ZHEN Cheng
(Center for the History of Medicine, Peking University, Beijing 100191,China)

Abstract In 1958, when the Great Leap Forward started in China, Shanghai Guangci Hospital successfully rescued an extensively-burned iron worker, Qiu Cai-kang, which caused a great stir among medical circles and the country at large. The successful rescue of Qiu not only facilitated a “Great Leap Forward” for burns medicine, but also promoted indirectly the development of plastic surgery in China. Zhang Disheng was a member of the rescue team. Based on an interview with him, this article describes the process he witnessed, bringing to light some previously unknown details, and notes that political movements could greatly influence medicine in a specific historical period.

Recalling medical work in three Wars :
An Interview with Sheng Zhiyong

Recorded and emended by LI Runhong and ZHANG Daqing
(Center for History of Medicine,Peking University 100191, China)

Abstract  Sheng Zhiyong saw active service treating soldiers in three wars; in 1951 at the outbreak of the Korean War, he joined the Shanghai First Voluntary Medical Team as a surgeon; in the 1962 Sino-Indian War, he and other doctors were sent to the front to treat the wounded; in the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979, he was sent to military hospitals in Guangxi to make inspection tours of the wards and directed treatment as a trauma surgery expert.

Reminiscences of the Founder of Free Radical Chemistry in New China
— an Interview with Academician Liu YouCheng

Recorded and collated by ZHANG Zhihui, LONG Ying and LIU Pei
(Department of History of Science and Archaeology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026,China)

Abstract  Liu Youcheng's life experiences are both typical of his generation of scientists, yet also unique in their specific circumstances and his academic growth process. This interview centers on three main phases of his career; his early experiences studying abroad; his return to China and participation in developing the Northwest, including basic research into practical applications much needed by his country; and the cutting-edge research work carried out after the Cultural Revolution. All demonstrate his patriotism, using science to serve the country, and his selfless devotion to the encouragement of the younger generation.

The Accumulation of Scientific Research from Beijige to the “Joint Meteorological Center for Analysis and Prediction”:
An Interview with Academician Tao Shiyan

Recorded and coordinated by CHEN Zhenghong 
(Development and Research Centre of China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China)

Abstract  While under the strict guidance of Zhao Jiuzhang at the Beijige Meteorological Research Institute of the Academia Sinica, Tao Shiyan acquired a firm foundation of meteorological knowledge and began his own research work. Supported by Tu Changwang, he participated in the rapid development of meteorological facilities in New China, and contributed significantly to the “Joint Meteorological Center for Analysis and Prediction” (JMCAP). This interview highlights that the practical and realistic scientific style of Tao Shiyan clearly facilitated his adventurous behavior and audacious arguing against the dominant meteorological theories of the Soviet Union, further promoting his subsequent research orientation. 


The Discovery of the Karamay Oilfield
——An Interview with Academician Tian Zaiyi

Recorded and emended by HU Xiaojing  and WANG Lina
(Institute for the History of Natural Science, CAS, Beijing 100010,China)

Abstract Before the discovery of the Karamay Oilfield, Soviet experts had debated whether the Heiyou Mountain region had petroleum. Despite the controversy, Chinese petroleum geologists conducted explorations in the area and suggested oil prospecting there. On October 29, 1955, the No 1 Well struck oil, and the Karamay Oilfield was discovered. A witness to this discovery, Tian Zaiyi recalls its history.

Recalling Research to Solve the Shortage of Tobacco in 1950-60s China:
An Interview with Zhu Zunquan

Recorded and emended by LUO Xingbo,
(Institute for the History of Natural Science, CAS, Beijing 100190, China)
LIU Wei
(Chinese Science and Technology Museum, CAST, Beijing 100012, China)

Abstract  In the early 1950s, the tobacco companies of China faced many difficulties, especially a shortage of tobacco, which lasted for more than ten years. Zhu Zunquan, who had just got his master’s degree in USA, came back to China and conducted research with colleagues into such areas as the catalytic fermentation of tobacco, regenerated tobacco, winter tobacco, tobacco alternatives, and so on. This article recalls some details of this research.

The Research Process of the 201 Airborne Radar System in the Early 1960s:
An Interview with Academician Wang Yue

Recorded and emended by LÜ Ruihua and HAN Lu
(Beijing Tnstitute of Technology Library, Beijing 100081,China)

Abstract  The 201 airborne radar system was the first generation of radar equipment installed on Chinese Air Force fighters, namely the No 5 and No 6 all-weather fighters. The system was developed by the Xi’an 786 factory, then was transferred to the 780 factory (Changhong corporation). As the Chief architect, Academician Wang Yue reviews the whole research process on the system, including the background and the resolution of technical problems and success factors, meticulously highlighting the weak domestic technological base and difficult development conditions at that time, and reflecting the academic style and selfless dedication of the scientists to national defense science and technology. 

The Drilling Hook Experiments
— an Interview with Academician Yuan Wenbo

Recorded and emended by LIU Xiaojun
(China University of Mining Technology Beijing, 100083, China)

Abstract  In late 1970s, Professor Yuan Wenbo and his colleagues took part in the “battle project of three Ministries”—— working on the design of the drilling hook, connecting device and big buckets of 5m3 and 4m3. The drilling hook head and big buckets are core crane facilities for drilling mine shafts. Previous hook head devices could only use buckets of under 3m3, and design calculations for them lacked strict theoretical guidlines, unable to explain exactly the actual safety limit of every component. Through experiment, Yuan Wenbo and his associates solved the key problems relating to the construction of mechanized equipment in large-scale vertical shafts, and put forward the theory of two stages (namely yield bearing capacity and load-bearing capacity) of bearing capacity beyond the elastic force of the hook head. This developed the theory of steel ultimate bearing capacity, and received the prize for progress in science and technology of the old Coal Ministry in 1985.