• The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology NO.2 2013

  A Preliminary Study on the Master Copy of Taixi Renshen Shuogai 

  HONG Seongyeoul 

  (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049;  

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

  Taixi Renshen Shuogai (Outline of Human Body in the Western Knowledge), translated and compiled by the Jesuit scholar Johann Schreck (15761630), is one of the most influential books concerning Western anatomy of the later Ming and early Qing period. It has been generally considered by most researchers, following a paper by Fan Xingzhun (19061998) in 1948, that the Chinese version was based on Gaspard Bauhin (15601624)’s Theatrum anatomicum. However, this paper points out that Fan’s arguments are illogical and that his generally-accepted conclusion is wrong - the problem of the master copy of Taixi Renshen Shuogai is not yet resolved. In addition, the author also discusses certain other background details, clarifies a few relevant issues, and obtains some new results in the field dealing with the interaction between China and the West during that period, especially concerning the topic of Western knowledge of the human body. 

 

  Peter Parker’s Medical Activities in Singapore and the Possible Motivation for the Establishment of Early Mission Hospitals 

  YAN Yiwei 

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

  Peter Parker, the first medical missionary to be sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to China in 1834, began his attempts at propagating the Gospel by providing medical aid gratis to Chinese immigrants in Singapore. His journey to Singapore shortly after his initial arrival in Canton resulted for the most part from the political upheaval caused by the “Napier Affair”, rather than the often claimed reason that he went there “to learn Chinese and practice medicine” as part of an earlier plan. Further evidence of the abrupt nature of the trip was that the oral Chinese that Parker learned in Singapore was Fukien, a dialect spoken in the southern part of Fujian Province, China, which would be useless in his Canton work. Once in Singapore, Parker found he was needed more on medical than spiritual grounds. After a while he opened a dispensary with the help of other missionaries in a region of the port city where immigrants from southern Fujian predominated. The dispensary was warmly welcomed, providing medical aid to more than a thousand poor Chinese patients in the first 11 months of its operation, during the course of which more than 50 diseases were treated. It later served as a model for Parker’s Ophthalmic Hospital in Canton. These medical activities did not originate from a pre-existing strategy of the ABCFM, but were, in fact, occasioned by the local situation. Although successful, this medical institution failed to earn support from the mission board at home either in the form of funds or personnel, and was discontinued after Parker and another physician in attendance had both left, leaving only sparse records in local documents. When Parker was in Singapore, the demand for medical facilities in society at large was strikingly urgent, the two existing hospitals clearly insufficient to meet the needs of the large number of impoverished immigrants. Yet this wide-open field for medical activities did not persuade any of the protestant missions then active in that area, including ABCFM, to establish a mission hospital there. The absence of mission hospitals in Singapore is still noticeable today. Observation of Parker’s Singapore journey leads us to presume that the demands of society for medicine may hardly have been the main motivation for any protestant mission to set up hospitals, if it was a motivation at all.  

 

  Analysis of About Apectroscopy Contents in The Diary of Kuo Sung-tao  

  PANG Xuechen,  

  (Research Center for Philosophy of Science and Technology, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006) 

  YANG Xiaoming 

  ( Humanities College, Donghua University, Shanghai, 201620) 

  Kuo Sung-tao (1818—1891) set a precedent of official travel in the Western world as the first ambassador in modern Chinese history. This diplomacy was especially significant for the history of the spread of Western learning to the East. The spectroscopy content in The Diary of Kuo Sung-tao is among the first attempts to learn and accept modern optical knowledge by a Chinese scholar-official. From the angle of the history of science and technology, this article uses the case of the spectroscopy contents in The Dairy of Kuo Sung-tao to analyze the process of how he came to accept this strange thing in order to set a special example for the study of how Western learning spread to the East. 

 

  Survey and Research on Tilted Looms of the Dong Minority 

  ZHAO Hansheng ,LI Jinsong, 

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

  QIN Shuangxia 

  (Guangxi University for Nationalities,Nanning 530006,China) 

  In July 2012, we made on-the-spot investigations in Tongle, Gaoding, Dangchao and other locations in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County of Guangxi Province. We found that tilted looms are in common use in the Dong area. Although their mechanical structure is simple, the looms are highly practical. Without a “hanging flower” harness attached they are typical multi-heddle & peddle looms, whereas when a “hanging flower” harness is attached they are a kind of special multi-heddle pedal loom with fewer pedals, called simple Jacquard looms. Because they are suitable for weaving plain cloth and twill cloth as well as brocade, they have a certain practicability in remote Dong settlements. On the basis of the on-the-spot investigations and analysis of related documents, we make a detailed analysis of the structure and features of the weaving techniques of the loom, especially the opening operation of its “hanging flower” harness. In addition, we discuss the origin of the loom’s technology and its correlation with Zhuang Minority bamboo machines. The tilted loom is considered to have originated in Han areas and then spread to minority areas and retained there, while Zhuang bamboo machines developed from Dong tilted looms. 

 

  Rise and Decline of Coal Liquefaction Technology in China 

  CHEN Jialei 

  (University of Science and Technology of China, Department for the History of Science and Scientific Archaeology,  

  Hefei 230026, China) 

  The development of coal liquefaction technology in China is divided into several stages. The features of each stage are reviewed here, namely, initial developments and frustration during the Republican period, upsurge after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, decline and stagnation in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and recovery and progress since the era of reform and opening-up. Based on these facts the impact of complex external factors, such as military demands, the US economic blockade against China, international political conflicts and local wars, and national policy support are closely examined. Furthermore, the conclusion is reached that the sufficient domestic oil supply had a direct impact on the decline of coal liquefaction technology in China. 

 

  A Review of Studies on Textiles of the Han to Jin Dynasty 

  LIU Hui 

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

  At the beginning of the 20th Century, many explorers from the West flocked to Central Asia to carry out excavations. It was around this time that studies on textiles of the Han to Jin dynasties began. After nearly a century of hard work, scholars have made great progress in the areas of weave structure, pattern, origins of weaving and dyeing techniques, technical exchanges between China and the West, etc. This paper gives a brief review of related studies. 

 

  Studying Mathematics under the Mentorship of Prof.  GU Chaohao - interview with Prof. CHEN Shuxing,  

  Department of Mathematics of Fudan University 

  Recorded and emended by ZHOU Guifa,  

  (Archives, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200443) 

  ZHANG Jian, DUAN Lian, DING Shihua 

  (Institute of History, SASS, Shanghai, 200235) 

  Prof. CHEN Shuxing entered the Department of Mathematics of Fudan University in 1957, and then entered the graduate school for his masters degree under the mentorship of Prof. GU Chaohao in 1962. He has been working in Fudan since graduation. During this period he worked on education and research following Prof. GU. Working for over 50 years in the Department of Mathematics of Fudan, Prof. CHEN has made great contributions to the development of the department and also is very familiar with it. With this interview, besides deepening the understanding of the Department of Mathematics of Fudan, we obtained detailed and accurate materials on Prof. GU’s research work: how he took the research turn during his academic development and why; how he inherited and developed the academic school established buy SU Buqing and CHEN Jiangong, etc. 

 

  The Brief Biography of Shipbuilding Historian Zhou Shide 

  ZHOU Jianping, 

  (Beijing Juxingde Restaurant Management Co., Ltd., Beijing 100021China) 

  LUO Guihuan, 

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

  ZHOU Jianhe 

  (Beijing Shougang International Engineering Technology Co.,Ltd., Beijing 100043China) 

  ZHOU Shide (1921—2012), historian of technology, studied at the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, CAS, as a graduate student, completing his studies in October 1962. He subsequently devoted his research to the history of shipbuilding and machines. 

 

  Reminiscences of Mentor Yan Kangnian 

  YAO Licheng 

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

  Yan Kangnian (1933 ~2011), the historian of science and professor of the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, CAS, studied the history of physics and the history of technology. He loved the history of science, to which he assiduously devoted himself for many years, publishing more than 200 works since the 1970s. 

 

  Old Scientists Visited Shanxi Villages in 1965 

  WANG Yangzong 

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

  Based on archives, the diary of Zhu Kezhen and the reports of Science News, the author gives a brief introduction of old scientists’ visits to the rural areas of Shanxi in April and November of 1965. The purpose of the visits is to promote the thought reform of them, causing great psychological pressure on them.