• The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and technology NO.3 2012

The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and technology NO.3 2012

A Brief Introduction to Research in the United States on the History of Science and Technology in Modern China Since 1980

GUO Jinhai
(Institute for the History of Natural Science,CAS, Beijing 100190, China)

Abstract  With the normalization of Sino-US relations and China’s steady rise due to the implementation of the policy of reform and opening up, since 1980 research on the history of science and technology in modern China in the United States has developed rapidly. As a result, the United States is now the leading Western country in this field. This paper briefly introduces its research achievements from the aspects of comprehensive history, disciplinary history, academic organizations, institutions and scientists, and the history of nuclear weapons and technology. Finally, the author summarizes its research characteristics and shortcomings, and looks forward to future research trends.
Key words  the United States, China, modern history of science and technology, Chinese Studies  

Japanese Research in the 20th Century on the History of Science and Technology in the Song Dynasty

(The Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, CAS, Beijing 100190, China)

Abstract  Japanese research during the 20th century on the history of science and technology in the Song dynasty had five features. First, it continued throughout the century and every stage focused on different problems; second, the content was rich and the field of study wide, including the history of astronomy, mathematics, agriculture, medicine, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, technology and so on; third, research groups consisted mainly of scientists, historians and economists; fourth, three types of research methodology were used, Japanese textual criticism, the “Tang and Song shift” and Western history of science methodology; fifth, their research was of high level and had considerable influence on the international community. Since the 1980’s or 1990’s, Japanese scholars began to use new theories and methods to study the history of science and technology in the Song dynasty, such as social history, cultural history, archeology, anthropology, and so on.
Key  words  Japanese scholars, Song dynasty, history of science and technology, the theory and methodology of research

Development and Prospects of Historical Research on Medieval Science

ZHANG Butian
(Institute for the History of Natural Science, CAS, Beijing 100190, China)

Abstract  This article provides an overview of the development of historical research on medieval science in the 20th century, especially the contributions of Pierre Duhem, Anneliese Maier and John Murdoch. The debate about the continuity between medieval science and early modern science is introduced. It also considers the further outlook for historical research on medieval science.
Key  words history of medieval science, Pierre Duhem, Anneliese Maier, John Murdoch

Forman’s New Thesis: the Postmodern Turn and Its Influence on the History of Science and Technology

YAO Dazhi
(Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, CAS, Beijing, 100191, China)


Abstract  Paul Forman argues that there is a demarcation between modernity and postmodernity based especially on different relationships between science and technology. Modernity presupposes the primacy of science to and for technology, while postmodernity implies primacy of technology. After the modern era was replaced by the postmodern era, the relationship between science and technology reversed. History of science and technology has been influenced by the postmodern turn and the abrupt reversal of the primacy of technology.
Key words  modernity, postmodernity, the postmodern turn, history of science and technology

A Neglected Giant — James Clerk Maxwell

SU Zhan
(Institute for the History of Natural Science, CAS, Beijing 100190,China)

Abstract  James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), who made groundbreaking contributions to the areas of electromagnetics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, optics, engineering mechanics, etc., was a significant figure in the history of physics. However, he has not received as much attention from historians as others of equal importance in the history of science. A reasonable explanation for this is Maxwell’s modesty, which often made him inconspicuous. Another reason may be that his works are too mathematical for many historians to understand. In this article, the present situation and main researchers in the field of Maxwell studies are introduced on the basis of a literature review, followed by a discussion of several notable issues in this area.
Key words  James Clerk Maxwell,  history of physics, electromagnetics

A Bibliometric Analysis of Articles Published in the Journal of the History of Biology from 2001 to 2010
LI Ang
(Institute for the History of Natural Science, CAS, Beijing 100190,China)

Abstract  180 research articles published in the Journal of the History of Biology from 2001 to 2010 have been analyzed in order to find out the most popular areas of research in the history of biology, the distribution of time periods that scholars are interested in, the themes they normally focus on, and the methods that are most often used in their research. In this preliminary study, a switch of interest from the 19th century to the more contemporary period was noticed. The authors of these articles mainly came from Europe and America, and the scientists they research were mainly from Britain, America, Germany and France. Evolution was a major topic, while the professionalization of biologists, women geneticists, nuclear biology and the relationship between agronomy and biology also attracted broad interest. As to the methods, biography was the most popular, while intellectual history was also a big category. On the other hand, interview methods which are quite often used in China seldom appear in these articles. These results may help us to understand the recent trends of research in world history of biology, but to find a proper way for Chinese scholars to participate in these studies, more in-depth research is needed.
Key words  Journal of the History of Biology, Bibliometric Analysis

The History of Laser-cooling in China
CHEN Chongbin, SUN Hongqing
(Dept. of History of Sci. & Tech. and Archaeometry,University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026,  China)

Abstract  Research on laser-cooling in China developed in the late 1970s, but experiments could not be carried out immediately due to a lack of advanced apparatus, causing a delay of more than 10 years. In this paper, the process of the development of laser-cooling in China is reviewed, and lessons that should be learned are also discussed. 
Key words  Laser-cooling,  History,  China

The Engineering Mechanics Seminar at Tsinghua University

LI Xinxin,
(History of Science and Technology Lab, Department of Physics, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048;China;
Academy of Physics and Electrical Information Engineering, Daqing Normal University, Daqing 163712,China)
(History of Science and Technology Lab, Department of Physics, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048,China)

Abstract  During 1957 to 1964, the Ministry of Higher Education and Chinese Academy of Sciences set up an engineering mechanics seminar at Tsinghua University to train men for the engineering mechanics profession. This is the beginning of postgraduate education for mechanics in China. The engineering mechanics seminar trained a large number of talented mechanics to support economic development and national defense at that time. This paper, mainly based on materials housed at Tsinghua University and interviews with those involved in the seminar, focuses on historical data of the first seminar in 1957, and gives an introduction to the engineering mechanics seminar's whole operation process, student selection, education and teaching.
Key words  Tsinghua University, engineering mechanics seminar, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics

Issues and Related Considerations on the Connecting of the Kiaotsi Railway and Tsinpu Railway in the Early 20th Century

(The Institute for the History of Natural Science, CAS. Beijing 100010,China)

Abstract  The Kiaotsi and Tsinpu Railways, which were constructed in the early 20th century, were a focus for conflicts of interest between the Chinese and German states due to their different rights of way, and separately built Tsinan Station and Huangtaiqiao Station respectively. With the aid of German archives, this paper studies in detail the challenges faced during the process of connecting the two railways and the solutions found. Through the analysis of other related cases, it argues that, besides the geographical, population, technological and budgetary factors, the connection of the railways and the arrangement of stations were more often related to questions of interest, the outcome of the weighing up of benefits, and the inevitable challenges which China had to face during her forced modernization against the background of Sino-foreign conflict.
Key words  Kiaotsi Railway,  Tsinpu Railway, 

The Dr. Huang Xiaqian I Knew
CHEN Xuerong
(College of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing Information Engineering University,Nanjing 210044,China)

Abstract  Based on his own experience and materials in the Diaries of Zhu Kezhen, the author introduces the work and achievements of the atmospheric sciences scientist Huang Xiaqian from the end of the 1920s to the end of the 1940s, emending some errors in previous accounts.
Key words  Huang Xiaqian,  atmospheric sciences,  scientists,  biography

The Development of Proton Electrostatic Accelerators from the 1940s to the 1970s in China:   An Interview with Academician Ye Minghan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering
Recorded and emended by WANG Xiaoyi (Popular Science Press, Beijing, 100081,China) Proof-read and noted by LIU Shuyong (Capital Normal University, Beijing,100048,China)

Abstract  As one of the main participants of the program of the development of China’s two earliest proton electrostatic accelerators with energies of 700KeV and 2.5MeV respectively, Academician Ye Minghan talked about the history of their purchase, study, improvement and operation. His account relates how Zhao Zhongyao bought parts of the two accelerators in America, changes in the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the establishment, staffing and main work of the research group of the electrostatic accelerator in the Institute of Modern Physics, Zhao Zhongyao and Qian Sanqiang’s contributions to the development of accelerators in China, the training of technical staff and each person’s contribution, the important role which the electrostatic accelerators played in the “A-bomb and H-bomb’’ program, and the two accelerators’ end-results.
Key  words  Zhao Zhongyao, The Research Group of the Electrostatic Accelerator in the Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 700KeV Proton Electrostatic Accelerator, 2.5MeV Electrostatic Accelerator