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Scientist, Humanist, and Great Intellectual


Launched in Hong Kong, 1981



To promote the scholarly legacy of Joseph Needham in Hong Kong and beyond for the educational benefit of students and the general public. Specifically this will be done through outreach activities such as:

1. The Joseph Needham Memorial Lecture, symposia and the like;

2. The establishment of endowed professorships and graduate fellowships;

3. Engaging secondary school students and the general public through the joint EDB-JNFSC STEM public lecture series, exhibitions and other outreach events.

The founding members of EAHST, 1981

Chairman's Remark

In 1979 we established the East Asian History of Science Trust in Hong Kong as a branch of the UK Trust, two years after a similar USA Trust was incorporated in New York.  The objective of the Hong Kong Trust was to raise funds for the construction of a building for Dr. Joseph Needham’s East Asian History of Science Library in Cambridge, whereas the New York Branch was mainly to seek funding for sustaining the UK operations so that Dr. Needham could continue to focus in his monumental Science and Civilisation in China series.

The success of our Foundation and the contributions to the UK Trust in the 90s were made possible by many dedicated fellow directors.  I would be remiss in not singling out the late Dr. Philip Mao, the founding Chairman with whom I served from the early 80s until his retirement in the mid-90s, and my predecessor Dr. K.P. Li, whom I succeeded in 2014. I am truly indebted to them for building up a network of benefactors and their common commitment to sustaining the Needham legacy.

Today, 40 years on, the Joseph Needham Foundation for Science & Civilisation (JNFSC) is embarking on several new initiatives outlined separately under our Mission and Objectives (As presented above).  My fellow directors and I are confident that our initiatives will attract future leadership to continue to sustain the Needham scholarly legacy, and the universality of science.

I am indebted to my colleagues at the NRI, particularly to Mr. John Moffett for valuable input and photos of the Needhams from the pre/post WW2 period through to 1995.

I sincerely hope that the revamped website will serve as a dynamic platform for academic exchange and dissemination of new initiatives.

Thank you.

Peter L. Lee, PhD



The Needhams with the HK, UK, and US directors / Trustees at the NRI, Aug 1990

JN with CH medal_small.jpg

The Award of the Honour of Companion,

the Buckingham Palace, 22 October 1992


Dr. Needham still hard at work in 1995

The Joseph Needham Foundation

(Hong Kong)

Board of Directors
(The Joseph Needham Foundation for Science and Civilisation Hong Kong Ltd)

Mr. Raymond Y.H. Leung 

(Deputy Chairman)


Mr. Herman Tsoi

 (Hon. Legal Advisor)

Non – Executive Directors

Dr. Arun Bala, Formerly National University of Singapore

Professor Martin K. Jones, Chairman, Needham Research Institute


Senior Advisors

Professor P.C. LEUNG, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Professor L.C. TSUI, Founding President of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences, former V.C. of HKU, and former director of JNFSC

Professor Rosie YOUNG, University of Hong Kong and former director of JNFSC

Professor WANG Gungwu, University Professor of NUS, former VC of HKU, and former director of EAHSF

Professor Vivian Taam Wong, Honorary Professor of Hong Kong University

Prof. Naubahar Sharif​, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Prof. Raymond W. K. Lau, Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Contemporary China Research Centre, Hong Kong Shue Yan University; Adjunct Professor, Department of Social Science, Hang Seng University of Hong Kong

Professor Chack Fan Lee, University of Hong Kong

Needham Research Institute



Board of Trustees
(Needham Research Institute Trust, U.K.)

Professor Martin Jones (Chairman)

Dr. Mary Augusta Brazelton

Dr. Imre Galambos

Lord Broers Ph.D., Sc.D, FRS, FREng

Mr. Charles Harpum

Dr. Christopher Hughes 

Professor Liu Dun 

Ms. Katie Lee

Mr. Stephen Perry 

Professor Roel Sterckx, FBA

Mr. Michael Womack 

Ms. Elizabeth Wright 

For more details please access website




Phone: 852-2866-6598

Address: G.P. O. Box 4021, Hong Kong

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