Full Text

Needham, Joseph (1900–96)

JAMES P.RICE


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Extract

Author and editor of the massive encyclopedic historical survey of scientific innovation in China, Science and Civilisation in China , Joseph Needham, already an accomplished biochemist before beginning the project in the early 1950s, became a central figure in introducing Western audiences to the breadth and scope of the scientific and material cultural production of China. Originally conceived as a single volume examination of “why modern science originated in Europe and not in China,” by the time of its completion (eight years after Needham's death) the work had expanded to a twenty-volume, seemingly comprehensive, compendium of existing knowledge of virtually all aspects of scientific innovation in China. Published over a fifty-year period, the work was completed by collaborators recruited by Needham, working under the direction of the Needham Institute at Cambridge University. Born in London in 1900, Needham was the only child of a Scottish physician whose strong Fabian socialist views, in combination with a singular emphasis on instilling in his son the importance of embracing an unrelenting pursuit of the acquisition of knowledge, formed the basis for what was to become Needham's lifelong indefatigable work ethic, broad intellectual curiosity, and radical leftist political beliefs. Needham turned away from a planned career as a surgeon – which he considered too intellectually ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top