• The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology NO.3 2013

  A Survey of Victorian Sciences: New Observations on Two Old Theses 

  Liu Dun 

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

  Based on the macroscopic perspective of the sciences in Victorian era (1837-1901) in England, the author points out the deficiency of Friedrick von Engels’ thesis concerning the three great scientific discoveries of the 19th century. Moreover, he questions Mitsutomo Yuasa’s thesis on the rule governing the shift of the world’s science center, which has been popular since the 1960s. Both theses were widely accepted in China in the past decades which we must clarify today.  

 

  Governmental Monopolization and Supply of Calendaric Books in Ming DynastyCirculation and Its Financial Problem 

  WANG Xiaohu 

  (School of Public Administration, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, 510006, China) 

  Government monopolized the supply of almanacs from Song to Yuan dynasty. Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang relieved the cost of almanacs which should be paid by people in the beginning years of Ming Dynasty. But people should hand in real objects or pay a tax as substitution. The distribution of almanacs was controlled by the privileged stratum, and it was not every family which could get a almanac every year. Using almanac as gifts was a custom in the Ming dynasty. There were more than ten provinces which could get the right to print almanacs, including Zhili region. But in the 10th year of Xuande reign, the government cut Zhili’ a printing amount by a big margin. As a result of supply shortage, thousands of almanacs from other printing places circulated to Zhili privately. To stop the abnormal, the policy in the 7th year of Jiajing reign stipulated that the short supply of almanacs in Zhili should only be circulated by the government. But this policy degenerated into a bribable approach gradually. The innovation after the middle of Ming couldn’t solve the problem in the supply of almanacs. Finally, through the analysis of two crucial elements in the process of conferring calendarproduce &distribute , this paper points out the reason why the allocation of resource was inefficient.  

 

  Jiang Hui’s Map of Transit-Stars in the Twenty-four Solar Terms  

  and Her Astronomical Activities  

  SONG Shenmi NIU Weixing 

  (School of History and Culture of Science, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240,China) 

  From the book called Map of Transit-Stars, it is analyzed that Jiang Hui had increased asterisms in the maps of Map of Transit-Stars, modified the relative locations of stars and repaired the verses. And the mistakes in the book are revealed. This paper also explores the evaluation, academic origins and supports, environment of evaluation of Jiang Hui’s astronomical activities through many prefaces and epigraphs recorded in the book. It is discussed that on the one hand, the significance of her astronomical activities lied in her astronomical activities lied in her going in for astronomical work in the capacity of a female, thus promoting the spread of knowledge of stars-spotting; on the other hand, her astronomical activities, which were surrounded with poor astronomical knowledge and didn't intend to spread astronomical knowledge, also reflected her professional degree. Finally, the paper analyses three features of spread and popularization of folk astronomy in the late Qing Dynasty. 

 

  The Establishment of the Bureau of Planning at CAS and Its Contribution to Institute Adjustments 

  LIU Xiao 

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

  Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was established on the basis of the Academia Sinica and the Peiping Academy. After the creation of CAS, the Bureau of Planning was established to adjust the institutes according to the models of France and the USSR. This article outlines some fundamental characteristics of how the new regime administered the undertaking of science. The function and classification of institutes was changed. To realize the collectivization of scientific research, different institutes were integrated, though the results were mixed. The Party leadership at CAS made the final decision on many important problems, in consultation with Institute Directors, who were largely selected based on scientific criteria. 

 

  The Content, Dissemination and Influence of Bi Suan Shu Xue 

  ZHANG Xuefeng 

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

  Bi Suan Shu Xue, which was compiled by the American missionary Calvin Wilson Mateer (1836-1908) and Zou Liwen from Penglai in Shandong province, was the most widely used arithmetic textbook in the late Qing Dynasty. It used Arabic numerals and four operations, both generally accepted at that time, and directly used Arabic numerals in arithmetic formula. In this textbook, the presentation style was roughly in order of definitions, theorems, examples and exercises. In addition, it paid more attention to the logic of mathematical knowledge and the demands of mathematics teaching. Chinese mathematics was improved greatly due to the introduction of Western mathematics, and it also considered the tradition of Chinese mathematics. Bi Suan Shu Xue was not only widely used in Tengchow College and other missionary schools, but also became a model for other modern mathematics textbooks written in China, and was really an important example in the process of the transition from Chinese mathematics to Western mathematics in modern times. 

 

  The Dissemination of Tycho Brahe’s Lunar Theory in China 

  CHU Longfei, SHI Yunli 

  (Dept. of the History of Science and Scientific Archaeology, University of Science and Technology of China,Hefei 230026, China) 

  Tycho Brahe’s lunar theory is one of his most important contributions to astronomy. It was first introduced into China in the Chongzhen Lishu (Chongzhen Reign Treatises on Calendrical Astronomy). However, there are a lot of confusions and contradictions in the lunar theory in the Chongzhen Lishu. On the one hand, the tables of lunar motions and the method using these tables to calculate lunar position in the Chongzhen Lishu are obviously based on Tycho Brahe’s complete lunar theory. On the other hand, however, the textual description of Tycho Brahe’s lunar theory in the Chongzhen Lishu is quite incomplete. Not only is the Variation, Tycho Brahe’s greatest discovery in the study of the motion of the moon, not discussed explicitly, but the explanation of the table about Variation is also incorrectly based on Copernicus’ model of the moon. In the Lixiang kaocheng (Thorough Investigation of Calendrical Astronomy), which was completed in the Kangxi Reign, there is another lunar model. This model turns out to be different from, but basically equivalent to, Tycho Brahe’s lunar model, and it conforms to the lunar tables in both the Chongzhen Lishu and the Lixiang kaocheng. In fact, this model was probably established by Chinese astronomers through their study of lunar theory in the Chongzhen Lishu. 

 

  Experimental Production of Penicillin at the Chinese National Epidemics Prevention Bureau during the Anti-Japanese War 

  XU Dingding 

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

  In 1941, at the Chinese National Epidemics Prevention Bureau (NEPB), which was temporarily stationed in Yunnan Province, researchers were keenly aware of the potential value of penicillin after they noticed the reports on its preparation and clinical tests by British scientists. Led by microbiologist Tang Feifan, the researchers started China’s own study of penicillin. They completed the whole flow of experimental work from selecting strains to harvesting production relying on the references they had received, and by adapting the processing methods described, even making their own equipment. Despite harsh conditions and lack of equipment, by 1944 they had successfully made batches of penicillin for clinical tests. Due to low output, however, the production of penicillin could not play an important role in clinical treatment at the time, but the experience gained by the research group had a profound influence on the development of antibiotic research and production in the future. 

 

  From the China Medical Missionary Association to the National Medical Association: Localization of the Western Medicine Community 

  LIU Yuanming 

  (Department of social sciences of Guangzhou Medical College, Guangzhou ,510182, China.) 

  In 1886, the China Medical Missionary Association was founded. The double function of medicine and mission determined the membership system: first, formal medical college graduation was a sine qua non for joining the association; second, medical missionary work was an additional condition in order to become an active member. This membership system produced negative effects and hindered localization of the China Medical Missionary Association. In the early 20th century, a local Western medicine community was founded to nurture local western medicine talent, especially by a number of overseas medical students recently returned to China. This article mainly relies on relevant records in the China Medical Missionary Journal and National Medical Journal to discuss the localization process of China's modern Western medicine community. 

 

  Editorial Notes on the Ming Dynasty Document “Bingbu Xing Shiban Yaoliao Xingfu Dushijun Qian Gao” 

  CHEN Qinglian 

  (Library, Guizhou Normal University, Guizhou 550001 China 

  HU Anhui 

  (Marxism Institute, Guizhou Normal University, Guizhou 550001 China) 

  “Bingbu Xing Shiban Yaoliao Xingfu Dushijun Qian Gao” is a valuable historical source on medicinal materials of considerable significance for research on medicines of the Ming Dynasty and other socio-economic issues. At the same time, it furnishes clues about the uses of medicinal materials and logistical guarantees in the wars of the Ming Dynasty, in particular regarding the possible use of medicinal substances for attacking the enemy.  

 

  Historical records on Needham editing the manuscript of  

  Wu Lien-teh's Autobiography 

  MA Xuebo 

  (Department of Medical History, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081) 

  The letters between Joseph Needham and Wu Lien-teh collected in Cambridge University Library record not only their correspondence and subsequent meeting in England in 1956, but also the process of Needham’s editing and revising the manuscript of Wu Lien-teh's Autobiography.  

 

  An Introduction to The Works of Yeh Chi-Sun 

  AI Suzhen, WANG Chuanchao 

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

  The Works of Yeh Chi-Sun, edited by Ye Minghan, Dai Nianzu and Li Yanping, has been published by the Publishing House of Capital Normal Univesity in 2013. It collects many of the works of Yeh Chi-Sun, such as academic papers, lectures, cables, diaries, etc, as well as his Textbook of the Elementary Physics Experiment. It also includes The Chronicle of Yeh Chi-Sun, and his family tree. It is an important reference book for research on the history of science.