Sciences in Communist China: A Symposium Presented at the New York Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 26-27, 1960

By Sidney H. Gould | Go to book overview

Geophysics

J. TUZO WILSON, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Much as I appreciated the honor, the opportunity, and the responsibility of being invited to participate in this symposium, my first enthusiasm was dampened by the reflection that I cannot read Chinese and made an intensive study of Chinese science during the period of only one month which I spent in China in 1958. I demurred and consented to speak only when it was pointed out to me that I would be the only speaker who had gained any first-hand knowledge of the subject for more than ten years, and that the committee considered such observations important. Because of this and for other reasons which follow, I shall make this account a much more personal one than would normally be the case.

To prepare for this talk, I have perused the geophysical journals which I have received from China, from the organizing committee, and from other sources. I find that I have visited several of the institutions most prominently mentioned in the literature and that I have met many of the authors of these papers. In two review papers written by Dr. Chao Chu-chang and Dr. Fu Cheng-yu, both of whom I met, the principal achievements in Chinese geophysics during the past ten years are described as being in the subjects of meteorology, oceanography, seismology, and geophysical prospecting. Summaries of the work are given. I can confirm that what I saw and am about to describe in the last two subjects coincides with the statements in the review articles. I also saw meteorological stations operating, but I was not near the coast and did not see any oceanography. Fortunately, I have not been asked to speak about the latter subject.

At the same time I must report that, although the literature reflects accurately the type of work I saw, had it been my sole

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