- Address from the Director
Founded on January 1, 1957, the predecessor of the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences (IHNS) was the Research Department on the History of Natural Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which was the first comprehensive organization devoted to research on the history of science and technology in China. In 1975, the Department expanded to an institute.
The Institute is pursuing the highest levels of excellence in the study of the history and nature of science and technology, and the routes and models of their development in China and the wider world. Through its research it aims to map the complex interactions that exist between science, technology, society and culture, reveal trends in scientific and technological development, and make a unique contribution to building national advisory structure. As China’s main source for producing talent in the history of science and technology, it nurtured graduate students in a vibrant and rigorous academic atmosphere.
Since 1980s, the Institute has been expanding our research into modern history and other new fields. The Institute is still on a course of appropriate expansion and transformation encapsulated by the phrases "from traditional China to modern China" and "from China to the world". We make excellent use of the Institute’s multidisciplinary research competence to organize interdisciplinary or cross-cultural research programs.
The Institute Library is of international significance, with exceptionally rich holdings of books and journals on the history of science and technology in China, and related fields. Its collection of foreign literatures on the subject is the finest in China. The Institute is always open to all scholars from China and around the world. The Library has started to digitize pre-modern sources in order to promote international sharing of Chinese resources.