The Chairman’s Welcoming Remarks
As the principal organizer of the conference, the Joseph Needham Foundation for Science and Civilisation (JNFSC) has the honour to assemble a group of world renowned scholars to expound upon Dr. Needham's scholarly legacy, which embraces both the universality of science, and the rise of Modern Science from ancient multi-civilisational origins. This will begin with a two-day Needham Conference 2023, and end with the Needham Memorial Lectures on the third day.
The Conference will focus on the theme “Needham's Dialogical Vision: Understanding Science as a Multi-Civilisational Outcome.” The programme will end with the 13th Joseph Needham Memorial Lecture Series on the third day. The Conference and Memorial Lectures bring together more than 20 distinguished scholars to explore the rise of modern science, not just from a Western- centric perspective, but as including a fusion of scientific and technological influences from ancient Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Persian and other civilisations. The multi-panel discussions planned would offer excellent platforms for promising, fruitful and illuminating intellectual discussions.
I wish to emphasise that both the conference and the memorial lectures are an effort to turn away from the well-known question associated with Needham concerning why modern science developed in Europe but not in China, to another question also emphasised by him about why and how dialogical exchanges across multiple Eurasian civilisations (including China with Europe) led to the birth and growth of modern science. I believe that answering this question will transform our understanding of the origins and rise of modern science as a multi-civilisational process.
Finally, on behalf of the Event Organizing Committee, I would like to express my indebtedness to the generous financial support from the Bei Shan Tang Foundation, Croucher Foundation, and Jao Studies Foundation for the conference. Moreover, I would like to extend my appreciation to the Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole and the Hong Kong Palace Museum for co-organizing the 13th Joseph Needham Memorial Lectures.
Peter L. Lee, Ph.D.
Chairman, Joseph Needham Foundation for Science & Civilisation (JNFSC) & Conference Organizing Committee
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