Magazine article UNESCO Courier

Editorial

Magazine article UNESCO Courier

Editorial

Article excerpt

The origins of many of the things the modern world takes for granted-from paper to porcelain, from mechanical clocks to the harness, steel-making and the extraction of petroleum and natural gas-can be traced to ancient China. Although for centuries these and many other achievements of Chinese inventiveness were forgotten or veiled in obscurity, in recent years the nature of the Chinese scientific genius has become increasingly appreciated. This is largely due to one of the outstanding intellectual ventures of our time, the research and writings of Dr. Joseph Needham of Cambridge University, who has spent over half a century investigating the history of Chinese science and technology. The results of Dr. Needham's investigations, and those of his colleagues at the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge, are beingpublished in a monumental work, Science and Civilisation in China, which will be complete in 25 volumes. (Fifteen have so far appeared or are passing through the press. …

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