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The Needham Question: scientific and technological innovation in China's past, and possible futures

Event

June
122008

18:00 - 19:00

Location

The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Overview

Professor Christopher Cullen, Director, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge

The Needham Question was formulated by Joseph Needham (1900-1995). His researches revealed that pre-modern China was a technically innovative culture that made significant contributions to the construction of the modern world.  However, the scientific and industrial revolutions took place in Western Europe, not in China. Needham sought for reasons for this apparent failure to follow up on past achievements.

Today China has pinned its hopes for continuing economic growth on developing home-grown innovation, zizhu chuangxin. Has China's past experience anything to tell us about what its chances of success might be?

Prior to and following the lecture there will be an opportunity to view the current exhibition 'China and the Royal Society: a history of mutual respect'.

The Needham Question: scientific and technological innovation in China's past, and possible futures

Public lecture by Professor Christopher Cullen, Director, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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