李約瑟（Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham，1900年12月9日－1995年3月24日）英國近代生物化學家和科學技術史專家。所著《中國的科學與文明》（即《中國科學技術史》）對現代中西文化交流影響深遠。他關於中國科技停滯的李約瑟難題也引起各界關注和討論。
[編輯] 貢獻李氏改變了國際社會對中國只會農業和藝術的觀感。他以受非正式漢學教育的外國學者的身份，突出中華傳統科技文化的豐富內涵並給予了充分的肯定。另外他對中國科技史的見解很獨到。他的工作亦打開了國際社會對中國科技史的研究和重視，使其成為重要的國際的學術，同時令中國學者對自己的科技史做更加深入廣泛的研究。但是由於其自身並未接受過正規的科學史教 育，研究中國科學史乃興趣所致（這一點可以從他夫人的話中得證：「魯桂珍曾坦言：李約瑟並不是一位職業漢學家，也不是一位歷史學家。他不曾受過學校的漢語 和科學史的正規教育。實際上他根本沒有正式學過科學史，只是在埋頭實驗工作之餘，順便涉獵而已。」），他的研究成果和結論後人必須以科學的態度正確對待。
- 李約瑟研究所（Needham Research Institute）（英文）
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Born||Noel Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham |
6 December 1900 (1900-12-06)
|Died||24 March 1995 (1995-03-25) (aged 94) |
|Alma mater||Oundle School |
Gonville and Caius College
|Spouse(s)||Dorothy Moyle Needham (m. 1924–1987) «start: (1924)–end+1: (1988)»"Marriage: Dorothy Moyle Needham to Joseph Needham" Location:United Kingdom (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Needham) |
Lu Gwei-Djen (m. 1989–1991) «start: (1989)–end+1: (1992)»"Marriage: Lu Gwei-Djen to Joseph Needham" Location:United Kingdom (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Needham)
 Early yearsNeedham was the only child of a London family: his father was a Scottish doctor and his mother, Alicia Adelaïde Montgomery (1863–1945) was a French-Irish composer and music teacher. Needham was educated at Oundle School, before receiving his bachelor's degree in 1921 from Cambridge University, master's degree in January 1925 and doctorate in October 1925. After graduation, he worked in F.G. Hopkins's laboratory at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, specialising in embryology and morphogenesis. Although his career as biochemist and an academic was well established, his career developed in unanticipated directions during and after World War II.
 CareerThree Chinese scientists came to work with Needham in 1936: Lu Gwei-djen (traditional Chinese: 鲁桂珍; pinyin: Lu Gui-zhen), Wang Ying-lai (王應睞), and Chen Shi-zhang (沈詩章). Lu (1904–91), daughter of a Nanjingese pharmacist, taught Needham Classical Chinese. This ignited Needham's interest in China's technological and scientific past.
Under the Royal Society's direction, Needham was the director of the Sino-British Science Co-operation Office in Chongqing from 1942 to 1946. Needham collaborated with the historian Wang Ling (王玲), who solidified Needham's passion for Chinese scientific history.
Needham wrote his first book on the history of Chinese technology in 1945, titled Chinese Science. He also met numerous Chinese scholars, including the painter Wu Zuo ren (吳作人), and travelled to sites in western China, including Dunhuang and Yunnan. He also visited educational institutions, from which large amounts of references and materials were collected, which would aid his editing of Science and Civilisation in China Series.
After two years' tenure as the first head of the Natural Science division at UNESCO in Paris, France — indeed, it was Needham who insisted that Science should be included in the organisation's mandate — he returned to Gonville and Caius College in 1948, when Cambridge University Press partially funded his Science and Civilisation in China series. He devoted much energy to the history of Chinese science until his retirement in 1990, even though he continued to teach biochemistry until 1966.
In 1965, with Derek Bryan, a retired diplomat, Needham established the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding, which for some years provided the only way for the British to visit the People's Republic of China.
 Science and Civilisation in ChinaIn 1943, Needham with an international team of collaborators, started a project to study the science and civilisation of ancient China. This project produced a series of volumes titled Science and Civilisation in China (SCC) published by the Cambridge University Press. The project is now proceeding under the guidance of the Publications Board of the Needham Research Institute, chaired by Christopher Cullen.
The massive project produced a series of volumes under Needham's direct supervision; and the regular production of further volumes continued after his death in 1995. Successive volumes have been published as they became ready, which means that they have not appeared in the order originally contemplated in the project's prospectus—see Needham's SCC organizating scheme:
- Vol. I. Introductory Orientations
- Vol. II. History of Scientific Thought
- Vol. III. Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and Earth
- Vol. IV. Physics and Physical Technology
- Vol. V. Chemistry and Chemical Technology
- Vol. VI. Biology and Biological Technology
- Vol. VII. The Social Background
 Evaluations and critiques"Needham's Grand Question", also known as "The Needham Question", is why China had been overtaken by the West in science and technology, despite its earlier successes. His works attribute significant weight to the impact of Confucianism and Taoism on the pace of Chinese scientific discovery, and emphasizes what it describes as the 'diffusionist' approach of Chinese science as opposed to a perceived independent inventiveness in the western world.
Needham's work has been criticized by some scholars for its strong inclination to exaggerate Chinese technological achievements and its propensity to prove a Chinese origin for the wide range of objects his work covered. Nathan Sivin, one of Needham's collaborators, while agreeing that Needham's achievement was monumental, suggested that the "Needham question," as a counterfactual hypothesis, was not susceptible of a useful answer: "It is striking that this question – Why didn't the Chinese beat Europeans to the Scientific Revolution? – happens to be one of the few questions that people often ask in public places about why something didn't happen in history. It is analogous to the question of why your name did not appear on page 3 of today's newspaper."  Sivin's criticism can arguably be rejected as ruling out all discussion of causes in history, on the basis that the cause of every historical event is that if it hadn't occurred that would be counterfactual, and thus supposedly not susceptible of a useful answer.
Needham's accusations against Confucianism and Taoism can arguably be seen as simply reflecting early Chinese Communist hostility to these rival thought systems. A common (though disputed) alternative answer  to the Needham Question is that China had no equivalent of the alphabet. Among other alleged consequences, it could not gain the full benefits of movable type printing. Among other disadvantages (such as allegedly making it harder for people to learn to read and write ), complete type-sets were very expensive. For instance, in 1725, the Qing Dynasty government had to make 250,000 bronze movable type characters to print 64 sets of the encyclopedic Gujin Tushu Jicheng Complete Collection of Illustrations and Writings from the Earliest to Current Times 《古今图书集成》/《古今圖書集成》. The Needham question then arguably must be re-phrased to ask why the distant West was able to beat every other civilisation with an alphabet (such as Islam's Arabic alphabet), or with other small character sets (such as the 247 characters used in the Tamil script), bearing in mind that proximity to China usually meant that these civilisations tended to get developments such as block printing before the West.
Needham's political views were unorthodox and his lifestyle controversial. His work in science was based in an idiosyncratic form of Christian socialism and after 1949 his sympathy with Chinese culture was extended to the new government. Needham agreed to be an inspector in North Korea (1952-53) during the Korean War and in his report he supported the controversial Chinese communist claims that the Americans had used biological warfare there. Needham's biographer Simon Winchester comments that "Needham was intellectually in love with communism; and yet communist spymasters and agents, it turned out, had pitilessly duped him". Winchester also notes that because of his assertions Needham was blacklisted by the U.S. government until well into the 1970s.
 Personal lifeNeedham was first married to Dorothy Moyle (1896–1987). Simon Winchester notes that, in his younger days, Needham was an avid gymnosophist. In 1989, two years after Dorothy's death, Needham married Lu Gwei-djen (1904-1991). He suffered from Parkinson's disease from 1982, and died at the age of 94 at his Cambridge home. In 2008 the Chair of Chinese in the University of Cambridge was endowed in honour of Joseph Needham as the Joseph Needham Professorship of Chinese History, Science, and Civilization.
 Honours and awardsIn 1961, Needham was awarded the George Sarton Medal by the History of Science Society and in 1966 he became Master of Gonville and Caius College. In 1984, Needham became the fourth recipient of the J.D. Bernal Award, awarded by the Society for Social Studies of Science. In 1990, he was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize by Fukuoka City.
The Needham Research Institute, devoted to the study of China's scientific history, was opened in 1985 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
- Science, Religion and Reality (1925)
- Chemical Embryology (1931)
- The Great Amphibium: Four Lectures on the Position of Religion in a World Dominated by Science (1931)
- Perspectives in Biochemistry: Thirty-One Essays Presented to Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins by Past and Present Members of His Laboratory (1937)
- Time: The Refreshing River (Essays and Addresses, 1932-1942) (1943)
- Chinese Science (1945)
- History Is On Our Side (1947)
- Science Outpost; Papers of the Sino-British Science Co-Operation Office (British Council Scientific Office in China) 1942-1946 (1948)
- Science and Civilisation in China (1954, etc) - 25 volumes to date
- Science and Civilization in China, by Joseph Needham, with the research assistance [and collaboration] of Wang Ling (1954-59) (2 volumes)
- A History of Embryology (1959)
- The Grand Titration: Science and Society in East and West (1969)
- Within the Four Seas: The Dialogue of East and West (1969)
- Clerks and Craftsmen in China and the West: Lectures and Addresses on the History of Science and Technology (1970)
- Chinese Science: Explorations of an Ancient Tradition (1973)
- Moulds of Understanding: A Pattern of Natural Philosophy (1976)
- The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China (3 volumes) (1978) - an abridgement of the 1954- version.
- Science in Traditional China : A Comparative Perspective (1982)
- The Genius of China (1986)
- Heavenly Clockwork : The Great Astronomical Clocks of Medieval China (1986)
- The Hall of Heavenly Records : Korean Astronomical Instruments and Clocks, 1380-1780 (1986)
 Science and Civilisation in China volumes
|1954||Introductory Orientations||1||Joseph Needham, |
Wang Ling (research assistant)
|1956||History of Scientific Thought||2||Joseph Needham, |
Wang Ling (research assistant)
|1959||Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and Earth||3||Joseph Needham, |
Wang Ling (research assistant)
|1962||Physics||4/01||Joseph Needham, |
Wang Ling (research assistant),
|1965||Mechanical Engineering||4/02||Joseph Needham, |
|1971||Civil Engineering and Nautics||4/03||Joseph Needham, |
|1974||Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Magisteries of Gold and Immortality||5/02||Joseph Needham, |
|1976||Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Historical Survey, from Cinnabar Elixirs to Synthetic Insulin||5/03||Joseph Needham, |
Ho Ping-Yu [Ho Peng-Yoke],
|1980||Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Apparatus and Theory||5/04||Joseph Needham, |
|1983||Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Physiological Alchemy||5/05||Joseph Needham, |
|1985||Paper and Printing||5/01||Tsien Tsuen-Hsuin||>|
|1986||Textile Technology: Spinning and Reeling||5/09||Dieter Kuhn||>|
|1986||Botany||6/01||Joseph Needham, |
|1987||Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic||5/07||Joseph Needham, |
Ho Ping-Yu [Ho Peng-Yoke],
|1994||Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges||5/06||Joseph Needham, |
Robin D.S. Yates,
|1996||Agroindustries and Forestry||6/03||Christian A. Daniels, |
Nicholas K. Menzies
|1998||Language and Logic||7/01||Christoph Harbsmeier||>|
|2000||Fermentations and Food Science||6/05||Huang Hsing-Tsung||>|
|2000||Medicine||6/06||Joseph Needham, |
(edited by Nathan Sivin)
|2004||Ceramic Technology||5/12||Rose Kerr, |
|2004||General Conclusions and Reflections||7/02||Joseph Needham, |
(edited by Kenneth Girdwood Robinson),
contributions by Ray Huang,
introduction by Mark Elvin
|2008||Ferrous Metallurgy||5/11||Donald B. Wagner||>|
|2__?||Work in progress||5/08||Volume editor/contributors unknown||>|
|2__?||Work in progress||5/10||Volume editor/contributors unknown||>|
|2__?||Work in progress||6/04||Volume editor/contributors unknown||>|
 See also
- List of Sinologists
- List of historians
- Rise of the West
- G.E.R. Lloyd
- Four Great Inventions of ancient China
- ^ a b Winchester, Simon. (2008). The Man Who Loved China, pp. 28-29.
- ^ a b Winchester, p. 238.
- ^ a b Winchester, p. 250.
- ^ "Science and Civilisation in China". Needham Research Institute. http://www.nri.org.uk/science.html. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- ^ Pierre-Yves Manguin: “Trading Ships of the South China Sea. Shipbuilding Techniques and Their Role in the History of the Development of Asian Trade Networks”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 36, No. 3. (1993), pp. 253-280 (268, Fn.26; Robert Finlay, "China, the West, and World History in Joseph Needham's Science and Civilisation in China," Journal of World History 11 (Fall 2000): 265-303.
- ^ Why the Scientific Revolution Did Not Take Place in China – Or Didn't It?" in Nathan Sivin, Science in Ancient China (Aldershot, Hants: Variorum, 1995), chapter VII)
- ^ "Beijing embraces Confucian communism". Asia Times Online. http://www.atimes.com/china/AI15Ad01.html. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
- ^ see Confucius
- ^ see History of Taoism
- ^ "Dispelling the Alphabet Effect". Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 29, No 2 (2004). http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/viewArticle/1432/1540. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
- ^ "The superiority of the Latin alphabet". everything2. http://everything2.com/title/The+superiority+of+the+Latin+alphabet. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
- ^ see Movable type
- ^ see History of Printing
- ^ The Man Who Loved China, p. 212.
- ^ Winchester, Simon. "Bomb, Book, and Compass" p.23.
- ^ Sterckx, Roel, In the Fields of Shennong: An inaugural lecture delivered before the University of Cambridge on 30 September 2008 to mark the establishment of the Joseph Needham Professorship of Chinese History, Science and Civilization. Cambridge: Needham Research Institute, 2008 (ISBN 0-9546771-1-0).
- Lyall, Sarah. "Joseph Needham, China Scholar From Britain, Dies at 94," New York Times. March 27, 1995.
- Winchester, Simon. (2008). The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom.. New York: HarperCollins. 13-ISBN 978-0-06-088459-8
- Sterckx, Roel, In the Fields of Shennong: An inaugural lecture delivered before the University of Cambridge on 30 September 2008 to mark the establishment of the Joseph Needham Professorship of Chinese History, Science and Civilization. Cambridge: Needham Research Institute, 2008 (ISBN 0-9546771-1-0).
- Interview with biographer Simon Winchester on ABC Brisbane September 2000
- Joseph Needham and the rise of the West
- Needham Research Institute (NRI)
- Science and Civilisation in China
- Asian Philosophy and Critical Thinking Divergence or Convergence?
- Guide to manuscripts by British scientists: N, O.
- BBC Radio4 'In Our Time' audio stream on the Needham Question.
- Works by Joseph Needham at Internet Archive
- Question marks: Chinese invention - The Economist, Jun 5th 2008, review of Needham biography by Simon Winchester