• Studies in the History of Natural Sciences NO.3 2003

Studies in the History of Natural Sciences  NO.3 2003




Coordination Among National Needs, Sectional Benefits and Scientists' Autonomy: A Study on the Creation of Institute of Chemistry Under Chinese Academy of Sciences……ZHANG Li

【Abstract】 In 1953, Institute of Chemistry, the fifth institute focusing on chemistry in Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) , was planned to be created. Three years later, research works in the new institute began. Various opinions from groups with different functions or benefits, such as scientists vs. scientific administrators and scientists among themselves, had been contending and coordinating unceasingly throughout the creating process of the institute until a certain balance was finally obtained . Looking back upon the institute' s creation is helpful for one to understand the attempt of the government in utilizing very limited manpower and material resources for creating a new scientific system, in conformity with the economical and political structures in 1950s' China.




The Spread of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Western World:An Attempt at an Explanation of a Surprising Phenomenon ……Paul U. Unschuld

【Abstract】 This paper addresses the issue of cross-cultural exchanges in the realm of health care sciences with special attention to the spread of so- called Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM ) in Western industrialized nations. Some facets of Chinese traditional medical theory and clinical practice have been known to Europeans since the 16th century. In fact, in the early 19th century, a German physician spoke of "acupuncture mania" when he commented on the interest in Chinese needle therapy in Europe. Nevertheless, it was only beginning with the late 1970s that TCM became known worldwide, especially so in Europe and North America. If one assumes that TCM is a product of Chinese culture, it should be based on Chinese rather than European values and world views. Hence, one may wonder why TCM was so rapidly accepted in Western societies.At least in the late 1970s and in the 1980s, when the spread of TCM began, no clinical success stories ( not to speak of clinical statistics) were available to demonstrate positive effects of TCM in the treatment of Western patients. Still, an increasing number of physicians and patients showed an interest in using TCM . The question to be asked is; what factors other than clinical statistics contribute to the attractivity of a system of medical ideas and therapeutic practices. In the case of TCM, this paper hypothesizes, two main reasons account for its attrativity. First, so-called traditional Chinese medicine represents an adaptation of Chinese traditional medical ideas and practices to Western values and scientific principles. That is, on the surface, TCM maintains a certain "exotic" nature, but its logic has been largely adapted to Western thought styles. Second, Chinese traditional medical theory is presented to Western audiences in a re- interpreted version which responds to currently widespread fears aroused, for instance, by environmental pollution and technological supremacy in daily life. TCM is marketed in the West as a "natural", "holistic", and "energetic" approach to therapy. Thus, the westernized version of Chinese medicine appears to address existential worries widespread in Western societies. At the same time, it has discarded substantial elements of its historical heritage which could hamper its success in the Western world. Clinical successes were of little if any significance in the early, decisive phase of the spread of TCM in the West.




The Mathematics of Music During the 16th Century:The Cases of Francesco Maurolico, Simon Stevin, Cheng Dawei and Zhu Zaiyu……Tito M. Tonietti

【Abstract】 A comparison is made between the different traditions of China and Europe concerning the mathematics of music during the 16th century. In Europe, the considering of certain numbers ( square root of 2, ?) as irrational also impeded a division into tones of the musical scale, different from the Pythagorean one ( Francesco Maurolico). However, although this tenet was maintained by the majority of scholars, some exceptions occurred. Simon Stevin proposed an equable temperament.In China, there was no such prohibition on (infinite) numbers. Therefore, together with tones based on integers and on ratios between integers (Cheng Dawei) , the equable temperament was developed more easily than in Europe, as was done by Zhu Zaiyu.In Europe, musical theories derived from Greece were mainly based not directly on what musicians did, but rather on the idealization of string instruments called the monochord.In China, musicians appear to have insisted on theory more than in Europe. Moreover, in China, the problem of tuning sets of zhong (bells) favoured the equable temperament, as well as the making of two- tone asymmetrical shapes. However, the theory was mainly based on wind instruments which were tuned by means of the twelve liilii ( pitch pipes) . In the sequel, I will show that the Hanshu offers evidence that here someone already offered a modern solution to the problem of end-effect in pipes.In Europe, there was the music of spheres; in China, the music of the atmosphere. That is, music was based on the qi (breath) and linked to the hou ( seasonal terms) and the dizhi ( earthly branches, months ) .It is thus advisable to review the whole matter, mainly in view of the questions of cultural diversity that it poses, rather than its suggestions of a contest of priority.




Science Under Asian-American Continuity: Anthropological Perspective of "Needham Puzzle……WANG Jichao

【Abstract】 Science" is a term in the Western Language hegenomy. Asian and American Cultural Continuity is a common anthropological phenomenon outside the Western civilization, featured with cosmic entirety and continuity. Restricted by ideology, the term "science" in the Asian and American Cultural Continuity has a totally different meaning from what it means in Western civilization. Actually, " Needhara puzzle "is only the result of the concept of regarding the West as the center, originated from the theory of evolution, which maintains that the society develops in a single line. The backwardness of China's "science & technology" , queried by Dr. Joseph Needham,does not exist in the background of the Asian and American Cultural Continuity. " Needham puzzle" in Western terminology is just a paradox in the Asian and American Cultural Continuity.




Further Reflection on the Query of Needham' s Puzzle……DONG Yingzhe, KANG Kai. SHI Jianxiao, WU Guoyuan

【Abstract】 This paper deems that the Needham' s Puzzle is rational, and reflects again on the doctrines which query if the puzzle is scientific, or perfect, or a real problem. These doctrines involve deep-level issues , such as the notions about history, science, history of science, and methodology. Doctrine 1 believes that the Western world was a center in the development of science, and that in ancient China there appeared only technology with no science. It refuses to acknowledge the brilliant achievements gained by the ancient Chinese. Doctirne 2 negates the coherence and generality of science , holding that science is something particular and only modern science can be looked upon as science or scientific. Doctrine 3 claims that the Needham ' s Puzzle is too narrow in historical perspective, and hinders the modernization of the study of history. These three doctrines have something in common, that is, all of them have degenerated into metaphysics.The Needham' s Puzzle is a masterpiece of Joseph Needham in his study of the history of the development of science in both China and the Western world. It also shows the great advantage of the methodology used in his study, which is to compare the development of science of both China and the Western world from a contemporary perspective as well as a historical perspective. His study grasps the key point and has the nature of dialectics, and is quite beneficial to the discovery of the laws of the development of science in both China and the Western world.




A Review of Ayurveda:Traditional Indian Medicine……CHEN Ming

【Abstract】 The relationship between Chinese medicine and Indian medicine is very important for looking into the history of Sino- Indian cultural exchanges, whose research must be based on a deep understanding of the original works of India. Liao Yuqun ' s Ayurveda: Traditional Indian Medicine has translated into Chinese some parts about the medical doctrines of Caraka - samhita and Susruta-samhita, supplying a mirror for us to have a perspective of traditional Indian medicine. This paper points out the main value of the book with an analysis of some mistakes in it.




An Epic Story of a Heroic Period──A Review of Inward Bound of Matter and Forces in the Physical World……HAO Liuxiang

【Abstract】 This article discusses the book Inward Bound of Matter and Forces in the Physical World, written by the eminent physicist and historian Abraham Pais. Its title is borrowed from C. N. Yang' s review printed on the back cover of the book: The author believes the book is a genuine epic story, which tells us the stirring struggle of modern physics from the discovery of X-ray to the discovery of Z particles. Although the book is mainly focused on the flow of ideas, as we read on we would find as if we are watching an appealing drama one act after another. In the article, the author also points out some translation mistakes which are listed at the end of the paper.