Guest Lecture: “Joseph Needham and the “Science and Civilization in China”: An East-West Journey of Destiny”


Dr. Peter Lee (Chairman of the East Asian History of Science Foundation Hong Kong (EAHSF HK))


7 Sep 2017


11:30 - 12:45




Opening Ceremony    :11:00 – 11:30

About the Talk

The talk is a highlight of a Library exhibition on “Chinese Wartime Science Through the Lens of Joseph Needham”to be held from 8 September to 22 September 2017 at the Library G/F. The late Dr Joseph Needham (1900 – 1995) was a prominent biochemist who dedicated most of his life to the history of science and technology in China. He is well known for his great work, the 26 volumes “Science and Civilization in China” series. The exhibition will feature 11 banners with photos documenting Needham’s first encounter with wartime China and its Free Universities in the Southwest.

The Talk by Dr Peter Lee will focus on Dr Joseph Needham, who befriended 3 young graduate students from China pursuing their Ph.D. in the same laboratory. During many enlightening cross-cultural discussions, Lu Gwei-Djen, daughter of a famous Nanjing herbalist, constantly challenged Needham to know more about the contributions of the ancient Chinese science, technology and medicine to the modern world. This was the beginning of Joseph Needham’s curiosity about China that eventually transformed his young scientific career into the most influential Western historian of Chinese Science and civilization.

About the Speaker
Dr Peter Lee received his PhD in chemistry from Michigan State University, did postdoctoral research at New York University, and studied with Dr Joseph Needham at Cambridge University. He has had a longstanding association with EAHSF HK and currently serves as its Chairman. Throughout his academic, corporate, and nonprofit leadership involvement, Dr Lee has worked tirelessly to build bridges of understanding between China and the West.


All are welcome


Department of History
Tel: (853) 8822 8801 / 8822 8821