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The Needhams

Drs. Joseph and Dorothy Moyle Needham were the first husband and wife scientists elected to the FRS in the early 1940s. 


United by biochemistry, three young graduate students from China arrived in Cambridge in the mid-30s to pursue their PhDs in Drs Dorothy and Joseph Needham’s research groups.  Though fully focused on their research and during many tea breaks, the trio, Lu Gwei-Djen in particular, managed to engage in many lively discussions and encouraged Dr. Needham to explore the advances of ancient Chinese science and technology.  The trio received their PhDs and also succeeded in instilling a strong sense of curiosity in young Dr. Needham’s mind about China that eventually transformed Dr. Needham from a creative scientist to the world’s most renowned scholar in the study of ancient Chinese science and technology.  Their remarkable lives are role models for us all.


Dr. Joseph Needham

Dr. Dorothy Moyle Needham

Dr. Gwei-Djen Lu-Needham


Ashes of Drs. Joseph Needham, Drorthy Moyle Needham, and Gwei-Djen Lu-Needham

under the Tree of Eternity at the Needham Research Institute (U.K.)

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