The Man Who Loved China
Joseph Needham was a brilliant Cambridge scientist and a bit of an eccentric; but he loved China, its history, and its culture. A biochemist, Needham was particularly drawn to Chinese science and the many areas in which its accomplishments anticipated much later Western developments. The first volume of his magnificent Science and Civilization in China was published in 1954 and eighteen volumes were released before his death in 1995. There are now 24, with more to come. As the lecture unfolds, we’ll take up what’s known as “the Needham question” — why did the meteoric rise of modern science take place in the West, rather than in China?