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From the Royal Society's foundation in 1660, knowledge and understanding of parts of the world which had become newly accessible to Europeans was high on the Fellows' agenda, as a cornerstone of their scientific information-gathering and its practical application. The Society has remained steadfastly committed to productive dialogue with the culture and science of other lands ever since. This exhibition offers just a small sample of the rich history of intellectual, cultural and material exchange between China and the Royal Society from the seventeenth century to the present day which can be traced using the Society's archives. What emerges is a story of mutual respect, even during periods when political and economic relations between the two countries were far from cordial.
We gratefully acknowledge loans and assistance from the following organisations:
HSBC Holdings plc
Needham Research Institute
Victoria and Albert Museum
All images were taken by Richard Valencia and are copyright of the Royal Society unless otherwise stated.
Book prize event 6 Mar
History of science lecture 7 Mar
We run a programme of regular events, conferences and exhibitions on the history of science for researchers and members of the public.
Audio recordings and video recordings are available for many of our events.
An archive of some of our past exhibitions is also available.
Full listing of our events and exhibitions.
Watch videos of past events.
Most of our talks are free and open to the public.
We host major conferences for leading scientists.
Explore our annual science exhibition
Contact the events team.