Year of the Monkey

JC-s108(cropped0The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery celebrated the Chinese New Year in style over the weekend. Such was the interest that queues formed in the driving rain, as the building filled to capacity.

Among the attractions, was the exhibition The ‘Chinese Wartime Science Through the Lens of Joseph Needham’. This exhibition is part of a digitisation and engagement project between the University of Bristol and the Needham Research Institute, sponsored by the British Inter-University China Centre.

Needham at BMAG

In early 1943, British biochemist Joseph Needham arrived in China, sponsored by the British Council to support scientific research and teaching in country torn apart by its war with Japan. Over the next four years, Needham criss-crossed ‘Free China’ building links with the country’s scientific community, bringing them much needed supplies and equipment, as well as facilitating the exchange and publication of their research overseas. He visited factories built underground to avoid Japanese bombing to laboratories, libraries, and classrooms rehoused in disused temples and even mud huts as academic institutions fled westward ahead of invading troops.

Dr. Needham kept detailed dairies and took over a thousand photographs during his travels.   ‘Chinese Wartime Science’ draws on this collection of material providing a unique window on life in wartime China. The exhibition was curated by Gordon Barrett.

We hope to show ‘Chinese Wartime Science Through the Lens of Joseph Needham’ again soon, at the University of Bristol.

Wishing you a very happy new year!


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