Curriculum Vitae

Nathan Sivin 席文

Professor of Chinese Culture and of the History of Science, Emeritus

Room 361, Logan/Cohen Hall, University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6304 Email:

U.S.A. Web site:

8125 Roanoke Street (215) 898-7098 or 898-8400

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118-3949, U.S.A. (215) CH2-1596

Born 11 May 1931, married to Carole Sivin.

For additional personal information see Who's Who in America.


Experimental 18-month course in Chinese, U. S. Army Language School, 1954-1956.

S.B. in Humanities and Science (Chemistry minor), M.I.T., June 1958.

M.A. in History of Science, Harvard University, June 1960.

Ph. D. in History of Science, Harvard University, January 1966.

M. A. (Hon.), University of Pennsylvania, October 1978.


Assistant Professor of Humanities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1966; Associate Professor, 1969; Professor, 1972

Professor of Chinese Culture and of the History of Science, University of Pennsylvania, 1977-2006. Emeritus, 2006– .

Study Abroad

Taipei, Taiwan (Chinese language and philosophy), October 1961 - August 1962, December 1974.

Singapore (Visiting Lecturer, History of Chinese alchemy), August 1962 - March 1963.

Kyoto (Visiting Professor, Research Institute of Humanistic Studies, History of Chinese astronomy, alchemy, and medicine), September 1967-September 1968; September 1971-September 1972; June-November 1974; September 1979-February 1980, various shorter stays after 1980.

Leiden, Netherlands (Sinologisch Instituut, History of Chinese alchemy and medicine), Summers 1969-1971, 1973.

Cambridge, England (Gonville and Caius College, St. John's College, Needham Research Institute, History of Chinese medicine and mathematical astronomy), most summers 1974-2000.

People's Republic of China, September-October 1977, September 1979, October 1981, August, December 1984, December 1986-June 1987, and many short stays later.

Taught seminars at the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, September 1979; Sinologisches Seminar, Universität Würzburg, June-July 1981; Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, July 2007.

Language Ability

Chinese, speaking and reading: excellent.

Classical Chinese, reading: excellent.

Japanese, speaking and reading: good.

French, reading: good.

German, reading: fair.

Courses Taught

Chinese Literature

Chinese Science and Natural Philosophy

Classical Chinese

Classics of Science and Medicine

Current Sinology

Health Care in Traditional and Contemporary China

Introduction to the Far East

Introduction to the History of Science

Medicine and the Body (research seminar)

Methods of Research in Sinology

Methods of Research in the History of Chinese Medicine

Readings in Chinese Science

Science and Philosophy from Antiquity to Copernicus

Science, Medicine and Ritual

Scientific Revolution

Seminar in Chinese Culture

Seminar in Organizational Culture (anthropological field work course)

Seminar in the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment

Graduate and Undergraduate Seminars on Methodology in the History of Science

Professions (sociology field work course)

Taoism (history of Taoist religious movements)

Various experimental and collaborative courses

Elective Memberships

Membre effectif, Académie internationale d'histoire des sciences (1991- ; membre correspondant 1971)

Member, University Seminar on Traditional China, Columbia University (1972-99)

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1977- )

Member, American Society for the Study of Religion (1977- ); Executive Committee (1982-1983); Vice President (1994-1997)

Member, Board of Directors, The T'ang Studies Society (1986-1991); East Asian History of Science, Inc. (a New York philanthropic foundation; 1984- , member, Executive Committee 1990- , Chairman of the Board 1994- 2003)

Member, The Franklin Inn Club, Philadelphia (1988); Secretary and Member of the Board (1989-90); President (1995-1997); Wine Steward (2005–).

Honorary Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Academia Sinica), Beijing (1989).

Honorary Member, The Philomathean Society (1994)

Current Professional Responsibilities

Visiting Associate Director, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, England (1987- )

Member, Editorial Board, Fundamenta scientiae(1976- ); Comparative Civilizations Review(1979- ); Journal for the History of Astronomy (1981- ); Archeoastronomy (1985- ); Yearbook of Comparative Philosophy and Religion (1988- ); Arabic Sciences and Philosophy (1991- ); Chinese Science (1992- ); Ziran kexueshi yanjiu 自然科学史研究 (Studies in the history of natural sciences, Beijing, 1999-); Zhongguo xueshu 中国学术 (Scholarship on China, Beijing, 2000-); Asian Medicine. Tradition and Modernity (London, 2004-)

Member, Board of Directors, Center for Traditional Chinese Science and Civilization, Chinese Academy of Science.

Chairman, U. S. Committee for Consultation for Projet Tao tsang (1981–2004).

Member, Scientific Committee, Ferdinand Verbiest Project, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven/Louvain, Belgium (1984- )

External Assessor, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

Member, Society for the Study of Chinese Religions; Association for Asian Studies; The T'ang Studies Society

Advisor, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing; "Biographies of Chinese Thinkers" Project, University of Nanjing; Center for the Study of East Asian Civilizations, National Taiwan University.

Founder, EASCI Internet list for the history of science, medicine, and technology in East Asia; EAAN Internet list on early Chinese archeology and history (for Society for the Study of Early China), 1994-; and ASSR list on comparative religion for the American Society for Study of Religion, and MEDICINE-BODY list for interdisciplinary studies of medicine and the body (on CCAT.SAS.UPENN.EDU).

Reviewer for many foundations, scholarly publishers, and journals.

Some Previous Responsibilities

President, International Society for the History of East Asian Science, Medicine, and Techology (1990-1993).

Editor and publisher, Chinese Science (1973-92; now East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine).

General Editor, "Science, Medicine and Technology in East Asia" monograph series, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan (3 books published).

General Editor, MIT East Asian Science Series (6 books published).

Chairman, Committee on Isis (governing board).

Editorial Advisor, International Encyclopedia of Communications, Technology and Culture.

Member, Panel of Consultants, Dictionary of Scientific Biography.

Member, Board of Directors and Executive Council, Society for Studies of Chinese Religion (1986-1989).

Chairman, First International Conference on the History of Chinese Science, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven/Louvain, Belgium, August 1982; Seventh International Conference on the History of East Asian Science, Keihanna, Japan, 2-8 August 1993.

Symposium Chairman, XIVth International Congress of the History of Science (Kyoto, August 1974), XVIth Congress (Bucarest, August 1981), XVIIIth Congress (Berkeley, August 1985), International Conference on Ch'in Chiu-shao (history of mathematics; Beijing, May 1987); Fifth International Conference on the History of Chinese Science (La Jolla, 1988); Seventh International Conference on the History of East Asian Science (Keihanna, Japan, 1993.8.5); Eighth International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia (Seoul, Korea, 1996.8.28); XXth International Congress of the History of Science (Liege, Belgium, 1997.7.20).

Founder, Technology Studies Program, MIT; founder and chairman, East Asian Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania.

Chairman, Fulbright Review Panel in History of Science, 1993.

Member, Administrative Board, Chinese Cultural and Community Center, Philadelphia (1983–84).

Member, Board of Directors, The Research Fund, University of Pennsylvania (1984-86).

Subject of three-day international seminar on The Way and the Word, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, England, 21-23 July 2000.

Post-Doctoral Fellowships and Grants

National Science Foundation, Grant for Scientific Research, History of Science, July 1968- June 1970, July 1979-October 1981.

Ford Foundation Grant in Comparative Modern History, Summer 1970.

Guggenheim Fellowship, June 1971-June 1972.

National Library of Medicine (NIH), Research Grant, June 1974-December 1976.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Research Fellowship, September 1979-January 1980.

International Business Machines Corporation Threshold Grant, June 1985.

National Program for Advanced Study and Research in China, Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China, December 1986-June 1987.

Research Foundation of the University of Pennsylvania, September 1992-January 1993.

Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, Senior Scholar Research Grant, July 1998-June 1999; Publication Subsidy, 2008.

Travel grants from American Philosophical Society, American Council of Learned Societies, European Association for Chinese Studies, etc.

University Administrative Responsibilities

Member, Committee on East Asian Studies (Provost=P), 1977-2006. Chairman, 1977-78.

Member, Advisory Committee on East Asian Studies (School=S), 1978-2006. Chairman, 1978-81.

Member, Committee on Contacts with the P.R.C. (P), 1979- . Chairman, 1979-80.

Member, Personnel Committee (S), 1979-81, 1990.

Member, Committee to Review Tenure Procedures (S), 1981-82.

Member, Editorial Board, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980-3.

Member, Oversight Committee, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (P), 1980-1.

Member, Steering Committee, Ethnohistory Workshop, 1980-87.

Member, Board of Advisors, Office of International Programs (P), 1981-2006.

Member, Humanities Coordinating Committee (S), 1981-1983. Member, Graduate Groups in Dynamics of Organization, East Asian Studies, History, History and Sociology of Science, International Studies, Lauder Institute, Religious Studies

Board Member, Research Fund (P), 1984-86.

Acting Chairman, Department of the History and Sociology of Science, 1989; Undergraduate Chairman, 1993- 2001.

Faculty Liaison, Committee on External Affairs, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, 1989-92.

Member, Health Professions Advisory Board (P), 1989-2000.

Member, Nassau Grants Committee (S), 1997-98.

Member, Rose Awards Committee (S), 1997-98.


Christian Science Monitor (nomenclature), 1956.

United States Information Agency, "The United States in World Science" Exhibition, 1959-61.

Charles Scribner's Sons, Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 1969-1975.

Scientific American, editorial consultations, 1970–82.

International Astronomical Union (naming of mountains on planet Mercury), 1972.

Yoshida Mitsukuni, NHK Television (Japan) series on Chinese Medicine, 1973.

Australian Radio, "Culture and Science in China" Series, 1980.

Carl Sagan, "Cosmos" Television Series, 1981.

David Kennard, Thames Television, "The Heart of the Dragon" Series, 1984.

McNeil-Lehrer Enterprises, Supplementary filming for "The Heart of the Dragon" Series, 1986.

The Longbow Group, "To Taste the Hundred Herbs" (film for French television), 1986.

Kenyon & Kenyon, Esqs. (patent law), 1986-88.

Australian television and Nova, "The Genius that was China" Series, 1987-90.

Marshall Publications Ltd., The Authorized Atlas of China (editorial consultant), 1988.

University of Chicago Press, The History of Cartography (editorial advisor), 1988-1994.

Time Life Books (publications), 1990.

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, international conference (held 1993) and exhibits on the utilization of medicinal plants, 1992–.

Art Institute, Chicago, major exhibition on Taoist art, 1994-2000.

President's Ad Hoc Committee, Harvard University, 2004.

World Health Organization, International Standard Terminologies on Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific Region (Traditional Chinese Medicine), 2005-6.

Nanzan University, Source book on Japanese Philosophy and Science, 2007.

Freer Gallery, “Encompassing the Globe” exhibition, 2006-7.


Over 250 public lectures and colloquia in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. A few examples:

"Next Steps in Learning about Science from the Chinese Experience." Colloquium on Science and Society in China and Japan, International Congress of the History of Science, International Center, Kyoto, 1974.8.26.

"Social Relations of Healing in Traditional China: Preliminary Considerations." First International Symposium on the Comparative History of Medicine-East and West, Susonoshi, Japan, 1976.10.23.

"Science and Taoism." Lecture to Zurich-China Gesellschaft, Academic Senate, Universität Zürich, 1979.9.3.

"Alchemy et Taoisme." Seminar (with Ch'en Kuo-fu) for Projet Tao-tsang, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, 1979.9.11-24.

"Why the Scientific Revolution Did Not Take Place in China-or Didn't It?" The Edward H. Hume Lecture, Yale University, 1981.2.19.

"Alchemy, Medicine, and Taoism." Seminar for Project Tao-tsang, Universität Würzburg, 1981.6.29 - 7.3.

"The Limits of Scientific Knowledge in Traditional China." Opening Lecture, First International Congress of the History of Chinese Science, Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven, Belgium, 1982.8.16.

"China: 7000 Years of Discovery." Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, 1983.6.12.

"Science in China's Past: Recent Discoveries." American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York, 1984.5.25.

"Science and Religion." 25th Anniversary Panel, Annual Meeting, American Society for the Study of Religions, Chicago, 1984.4.27.

"Ailment and Cure in Traditional China." Second Annual East Asian History of Science Foundation Lecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1984.12.17.

"Chinese Technology and World History." Keynote Lecture, World History Association, Aspen, CO, 1985.6.16.

"Superstones in Chinese Alchemy and Medicine." Symposium, "The Rock in Chinese Art," China Institute in America, New York, 1985.11.15.

"Traditional Chinese Medicine and The United States: Past, Present, and Future." American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Cambridge, 1986.1.8.

"Chinese Archeoastronomy." Plenary Lecture, Second Oxford International Conference on Archeoastronomy, Merida, Mexico, 1986.1.17.

"Science and Medicine in Ancient China." Sigma Xi Lecture, Swarthmore College,1986.11.11.

"Prospects for the History of Chinese Science." Collège de France, Paris,1986.12.15.

"Prospects for the History of Chinese Medicine." Collège de France, Paris,1986.12.19.

"New Perspectives in the History of Chinese Science." Three lectures, Institute for the History of Natural Science, Academic Sinica, Beijing, 1987.1.21, 1.26, 2.16 (note: all lectures in China were in Chinese).

"Chinese Science." Institute for Science Policy and Scientific Management, Academia Sinica, 1987.2.16.

"East Asia in Victorian Gardens." Centennial Lecture, Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, 1987.11.18.

"Authority, Education, and Science in China." Sloan Foundation Mini-Conference, Bryn Mawr College, 1989.4.7.

"Research in the History of Chinese Alchemy." International Conference on Alchemy, University of Groningen, 1989.4.16.

"Science and Religion." Arden House Conference on Science and Religion, Columbia University, 1990.1.20.

"Over the Borders: Technical History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences." Opening Lecture, Sixth International Conference on the History of Chinese Science, Robinson College, Cambridge, England, 1990.8.2.

"Sacred Mountains in China." Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990.11.9.

"Reflections on Ancient Chinese Science." Darwin College, Cambridge, 1991.7.18.

"Comparing Natural Philosophy in Early Greece and China." Distinguished Scholar Series in Philosophy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1991.10.16.

"Chinese Calligraphy." Aegean Center for the Arts, Paros, Cyclades, Greece, 1992.12.1.

"Exploiting Medicinal Plants: Why Do It the Hard Way?." Opening lecture for World Health Organization Symposium on the Utilization of Medicinal Plants, Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, 1993.4.19.

"Comparing Greek and Chinese Science." Public Lecture, Seventh International Conference on the History of East Asian Science, Keihanna, Japan, 1993.8.5.

"The Idea of Comparison" and "The Practice of Comparison." The Mircea Eliade Lectures, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, 1995.3.7-8.

"Science Elsewhere." Public Lecture, Edinburgh International Science Festival and British Association for Chinese Studies, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1995.4.8.

"The Future of Chinese Medicine." Invited lecture for Conference on the Future of Chinese Thought, Victoria College, University of Toronto, Canada, 1996.10.27.

"Why Didn't Chinese Have Bodies?" Keynote lecture for conference Thinking through Comparisons: Ancient Greece and China, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1998.5.29; Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, Australia, 1998.11.11-17.

"Early Chinese and Greek Science: Outcomes of Comparison." Opening Lecture, Ninth International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia, Singapore, 1999.8.23.

"Science and Taoism in Ancient China." Templeton Lecture, York University, Toronto, Canada, 1999.11.26.

"Railways in China, 1860-1898: The Historical Issues." Conference on the Evolution and Diffusion of Steam Power and Steam Engines in Europe Compared with China from 1589 to 1914, Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Park, England, 2002.4.17.

"Calendar Reform and Occupation Politics." Conference on the Disunity of Chinese Science, University of Chicago, 2002. 5. 10-12.

"Networking: The Case of Chinese Science." Symposium on Networks in Intellectual History, Griffiths University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 2002. 7. 1.

"A New Approach to Comparative and Other Research in Pre-modern Science in China and Europe." Plenary Lecture, Third International Symposium on Ancient Chinese Books and Records of Science and Technology, University of Tuebingen, Germany, 2003. 4. 1.

"Drawing Insights from Chinese Medicine." Keynote Address, Conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2005.7.14.

"Cultural Manifolds and the Reintegration of History." Symposium on Cultural Manifolds, XXnd International Congress of the History of Science, Beijing, China, 2005.7.24.

"Chinese History in View of Medicine and Healing" Keynote Address, Conference on Chinese History in View of Medicine and Healing, 80th Anniversary Celebration of Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan, 2005.12.13.

"Government Policy and the Astronomical Reform of 1280." Opening lecture, International Symposium on the Song State and Science, Hangzhou, China, 2006.7. 25.

Current Research

An extended investigation of Chinese health care ca. A.D. 1000, from a point of view that combines the conceptual tools of history of science with those of cultural and social anthropology and sociology. A central issue is the interplay between elite and popular therapies. One chapter is finished, and accepted for separate publication.

The first book-length intellectual biography of a traditional Chinese scientist, the polymath and diplomat Shen Kua 沈括 (1031-1095). A preliminary, exploratory version appeared in 1975.

Translations of key documents for a source book of Chinese science and medicine. Planned overall and gradually accumulating.

A study of the theoretical structure of alchemy, part of a many-faceted study of the theoretical bases of Chinese scientific thought. The first product, a contribution to Joseph Needham's Science and Civilisation in China, appeared in 1980. A more general book will follow after further study.



1968. Chinese Alchemy: Preliminary Studies. Harvard Monographs in the History of Science, 1. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Chinese translation, Taipei: National Translation Bureau, 1973.

1969. Cosmos and Computation in Early Chinese Mathematical Astronomy. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Separate book version of 1969 essay (see below).

1973. Chinese Science: Explorations of an Ancient Tradition. MIT East Asian Science Series, 2. Edited by Shigeru Nakayama & N.S. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Includes an introduction and three articles by N.S., listed below.

1977. Science and Technology in East Asia. Articles from Isis, 1913-1975. Selected and edited by N.S. New York: Science History Publications. Includes an introduction and an article by N.S., listed below.

1979. Astronomy in Contemporary China. A Trip Report of the American Astronomy Delegation. By ten members of the Delegation. CSCPRC Reports, 7. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Includes several contributions by N.S., including a chapter on the history of astronomy.

1980. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. 5, Part 4. Chemical Discovery. By Joseph Needham, Lu Gwei-djen, Ho Ping-yu, & N.S. Cambridge, England: At the University Press. Includes a section by N.S. on the theoretical background of laboratory alchemy, pp. 210-305.

1984. Chūgoku no Kopernikusu (Copernicus in China), trans. Nakayama Shigeru 中山茂 & Ushiyama Teruyo 牛山輝代. Selected essays by N.S., 1. Tokyo: Shisakusha.

1985. Chūgoku no renkinjutsu to ijutsu (Chinese alchemy and medicine), trans. Nakayama & Ushiyama. Idem, 2.

1987. Traditional Medicine in Contemporary China. A Partial Translation of Revised Outline of Chinese Medicine (1972) with an Introductory Study on Change in Present-day and Early Medicine. Science, Medicine and Technology in East Asia, 2. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Chinese Studies.

1988. Contemporary Atlas of China. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Consulting Editor. German translation: Bildatlas China. München: Südwest, 1989.

1989. Science and Medicine in Twentieth-Century China: Research and Education, ed. John Z. Bowers, William J. Hess, & N.S. Science, Medicine, and Technology in East Asia, 3. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan.

1995. Science in Ancient China. Researches and Reflections. Variorum Collected Studies Series. Aldershot, Hants: Variorum.

1995. Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in Ancient China. Researches and Reflections. Variorum Collected Studies Series. Idem.

1996. History of Humanity. Scientific and Cultural Development. Vol. III. From the Seventh Century BC to the Seventh Century AD, ed. J. Herrmann & E. Zürcher. Paris: UNESCO. Integrated contributions on science, medicine, and technology.

2000. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. 6, pt. 6. Medicine. Edited and with an Introduction by N.S. Cambridge University Press.

2002. The Way and the Word. Science and Medicine in Early Greece and China (with Sir Geoffrey Lloyd). Yale University Press.

2008. Granting the Seasons. The Chinese Astronomical Reform of 1280, with an Annotated Translation and Study of its Many Dimensions. Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Secaucus, NJ: Springer.


(J) indicates that a Japanese translation of the essay appears in the 1984 or 1985 book; (N) means that the essay was new, (R) that it was reprinted, and (U) that it was revised and updated, in one of the two 1995 volumes.

1963. William Lewis (1708-1781) as a Chemist. Chymia, 8: 63-88.

1965. On 'China's Opposition to Western Science during Late Ming and Early Ch'ing.' Isis, 56: 201-205.

1966. A Simple Method for Mental Conversion of a Year Expressed in Cyclical Characters to the Corresponding Year in the Western Calendar. Japanese Studies in the History of Science, 4: 132-134.

1966. Chinese Conceptions of Time. The Earlham Review, 1: 82-92. (J, R)

1967. A Seventh-Century Chinese Medical Case History. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 41: 267-273.

1967. On the Reconstruction of Chinese Alchemy. Japanese Studies in the History of Science, 6: 60-86.

1968. Chinese Alchemy as a Science (Abstract). Transactions of the International Conference of Orientalists in Japan, 13: 117-129.

1969. Cosmos and Computation in Early Chinese Mathematical Astronomy. T'oung Pao (Leiden), 55: 1-73. (R)

1969. On the Pao p'u tzu nei p'ien and the Life of Ko Hung. Isis, 60: 388-390.

1970. Chinese Alchemy as a Science. In Nothing Concealed. Essays in Honor of Liu Yü-yün, ed. Frederic Wakeman, Jr., pp. 35-50. Taipei: CMRASC, Inc.

1973. A Systematic Approach to the Mohist Optical Propositions, with A. C. Graham. In Sivin & Nakayama 1973: 105-152.

1973. Man as a Medicine. Pharmacological and Ritual Aspects of Drugs Derived from the Human Body, with W. C. Cooper. In ibid., pp. 203-272.

1973. An Introductory Bibliography of Traditional Chinese Science. Sources in Western Languages. In ibid., pp. 279-314. (U)

1973. Copernicus in China. Studia Copernicana (Warsaw), 6: 63-122. In special series Colloquia Copernicana, 2. (J, U)

1973. The Celestial Elder's Canon of the Spirit Lights. Io, 4: 232-238.

1973. Li Shih-chen (1518-1593). In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, VIII, 390-398. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

1974. Next Steps in Learning about Science from the Chinese Experience. Proceedings, XIVth International Congress of the History of Science (Tokyo and Kyoto, 19-27 August 1974), I, 10-18. (J)

1974. Kagakushi kenkyū ni okeru saikin no keikō 科學史研究に おける 最近の傾向 (Recent trends in understanding the evolution of science). Chūgoku no kagaku to bunmei 中國の科學と文 明, December, 1. 2: 2–4.

1975. Shen Kua (1031-1095). In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, XII, 369-393. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Reprinted as "Shen Kua: A Preliminary Assessment of his Scientific Thought and Achievements," Sung Studies Newsletter, 1977 (publ. 1978), 13: 331-56. (J, U)

1975. Introduction and Directory of Chinese Science. Chinese Science, 1: 1-51.

1976. Wang Hsi-shan (1628-1682). In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, XIV, 159-168. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Technical and interpretive, with bibliography. This and the next item were combined in 1995 (J, U)

1976. Wang Hsi-shan, with Chaoying Fang. In Dictionary of Ming Biography, 1368-1644, ed. L. Carrington Goodrich, II, 1379-1382. New York: Columbia University Press. Mainly biographical. (U)

1976. Éloge. Giorgio de Santillana. Isis, 67: 439-443.

1976. Chinese Alchemy and the Manipulation of Time. Isis, 67: 513-527. Reprinted in Sivin 1977: 108-122, and in The Scientific Enterprise in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ed. Michael H. Shank (University of Chicago Press, 2000), pp. 257-270. (J)

1977. Chūgoku dentō no gireiteki iryō ni tsuite 中國傳統の儀禮的醫療に ついて (Ritual therapy in Chinese tradition). In Dōkyō no sōgōteki kenkyū 道教 の 綜合的研究 (General studies of Taoism), ed. Sakai Tadao 酒 井 忠 夫, pp. 97–140. Tokyo: Kokusho kankōkai.

1977. Further Comments on the Use of Statistics in the Study of Han Dynasty Portents, with Hans Bielenstein. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 97: 185-187.

1977. Social Relations of Curing in Traditional China: Preliminary Considerations. Nihon ishigaku zasshi 日本醫學史雜誌, 23: 505-532. Reprinted in History of Traditional Medicine. Proceedings of the 1st and 2nd International Symposia on the Comparative History of Medicine-East and West, ed. Teizo Ogawa, pp. 21-46. Osaka: The Taniguchi Foundation, Division of Medical History, 1986. (J)

1978. On the Word Taoism as a Source of Perplexity. With Special Reference to the Relations of Science and Religion in Traditional China. History of Religions, 17: 303-330. (J, R)

1978. Current Research on the History of Science in the People's Republic of China. Chinese Science, 3: 39-58.

1979. Report on the Third International Conference on Taoist Studies. Bulletin, Society for the Study of Chinese Religions, Fall, 7: 1-23.

1980 (publ. 1981). Science in China's Past. In Science in Contemporary China, ed. Leo A. Orleans, pp. 1-29. Stanford University Press.

1980. The Roanoke Conference-Critical Issues in the History of Technology: Roanoke, Virginia, August 14-18, 1978. Concluding Remarks on the Conference. Technology and Culture, 21: 621-632.

1982. Why the Scientific Revolution Did Not Take Place in China-Or Didn't It? The Edward H. Hume Lecture, Yale University. Chinese Science, 1982, 5: 45-66. Reprinted in Transformation and Tradition in the Sciences (ed. Everett Mendelsohn; Cambridge University Press, l984), pp. 531-554, and in The Environmentalist, 1985, 5. 1: 39-50. Earlier draft published in Explorations in the History of Science and Technology in China (ed. Li Guohao, Zhang Mengwen, & Cao Tianqin; Shanghai Chinese Classics Publishing House, 1982), pp. 89-106. Trans. into Chinese by Wen-jen Chün 聞人軍 & Yü Kang 余崗 in K'o-hsueh yü che-hsueh 科學與哲學, 1984, 1: 5–43; better trans. in Chung-kuo k'o-chi-shih t'an-so 中國科技史探 索 (Explorations in the History of Science and Technology in China; ed. Li Kuo-hao 李國豪, Chang Meng-wen 張孟聞, & Ts'ao T'ien-ch'in 曹天欽; Shanghai: Shang-hai Ku-chi Ch'u-pan-she, 1986), pp. 97–114; same trans. in Chung-kuo k’o-hsueh yü k’o-hsueh ko-ming. Li Yueh-ssu nan-t’i chi hsiang-kuan wen-t’i yen-chiu lun-chu hsuan中国科学与科学革命. 李约瑟难题及其相关问题
研究论著选 (“Chinese science and scientific revolution. Selected research studies on the Needham Problem and related questions”; Liaoyang: Liao-ning chiao-yü Ch'u-pan-she), pp. 499-515; Japanese trans. by Yano Michio 矢野道雄 in Tōyō no kagaku to gijutsu. Yabuuchi Kiyoshi sensei sōju kinen rombunshū 東洋の科學と技術. 藪內清
先生頌壽紀念 文集 (Science and Skills in Asia. Festschrift for Professor Yabuuchi Kiyoshi; Kyoto: Dōhōsha, 1982), pp. 252–280. (R)

1983. Chinesische Wissenschaft: Ein Vergleich der Ansätze von Max Weber und Joseph Needham. In Max Webers Studie über Konfuzianismus und Taoismus. Interpretation und Kritik, ed. Wolfgang Schluchter, pp. 342-362. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

1983. Dragons and Toads. The Chinese Seismoscope of A.D. 132, with André Wegener Sleeswyk. Chinese Science, 6: 1-19.

1983. A Directory of Scholars in East Asia Engaged in Research on Traditional Chinese Science, with Shigeru Nakayama. Chinese Science, 6: 33-58.

1984. Reflections on 'Nature on Trial.' In Methodology, Metaphysics and the History of Science. In Memory of Benjamin Nelson, ed. Robert S. Cohen & Marx Wartofsky, pp. 323-330. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 84. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.

1985. Max Weber, Joseph Needham, Benjamin Nelson: The Question of Chinese Science (revised version of the essay in Schluchter 1983). In Civilizations East and West. A Memorial Volume for Benjamin Nelson, ed. E. Victor Walter et al., pp. 37-49. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press.

1985. Chung-kuo k'o-hsueh chi-shu i-hsueh shih chan-wang 中國科學技術醫學 史展望 (The Prospects of the History of Chinese Science, Technology, and Medicine). Ta-tzu-jan t'an-so 大自然探索 (Explorations of Nature), 4. 11: 11–16. Transcript of a plenary lecture delivered in Chinese at the Third International Conference on the History of Chinese Science, Beijing, 21 August 1984.

1985. Chinese Science, Medicine, and Technology. Proceedings, The Conference on Technology and World History, Aspen, Colorado, 14-15 June, pp. 38-46. Aspen: The Conference.

1986. Traditional Chinese Medicine and the United States: Past, Present, and Future. Bulletin, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, May, 39. 8: 15-26.

1986. On the Limits of Empirical Knowledge in the Traditional Chinese Sciences. In Time, Science and Society in China and the West. The Study of Time V, ed. J. T. Fraser et al., pp. 151-169. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press.

1987. The First Neo-Confucianism. An Introduction to the "Canon of Supreme Mystery" (T'ai hsuan ching, ca. 4 B.C.), with Michael Nylan. In Chinese Ideas about Nature and Society. Studies in Honour of Derk Bodde, ed. Charles le Blanc & Susan Blader, pp. 41-99. Hong Kong University Press. (U)

1987. A Supplementary Bibliography of Traditional Chinese Science. Introductory Books and Articles in Western Languages. Chinese Science, 7: 33-41.

1988. Science and Medicine in Imperial China. The State of the Field. Journal of Asian Studies, 47. 1: 41-90. For a Japanese summary with commentary by Nakayama Shigeru see Chūgoku kagakushi kokusai kaigi: 1987 Kyōto Sympo­sium hōkokusho 中国科学史国際会議。1987 京都 Symposium 報告書 (International Conference on the History of Science in China. 1987 Kyoto Symposium Proceedings), ed. Yamada Keiji 山田慶児 & Tanaka Tan 田中淡 (Kyoto: Kyōto Daigaku Jimbun Kagaku Kenkyūshō, 1992), pp. 155–162.

1989. Chinese Archeoastronomy: Between Two Worlds. In World Archeoastronomy. Selected Papers from the Second Oxford International Conference on Archeoastronomy Held at Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, 13-17 January 1986, ed. Anthony R. Aveni, pp. 55-64. Cambridge University Press.

1989. On the Limits of Empirical Knowledge in Chinese and Western Science. In Rationality in Question. On Eastern and Western Views of Rationality, ed. Shlomo Biderman & Ben-Ami Scharfstein, pp. 165-189. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Revision of 1986 essay. (R)

1989. A Cornucopia of Reference Works for the History of Chinese Medicine. Chinese Science, 9: 29-52.

1989. Alchemy: Chinese Alchemy. In The Encyclopedia of Religion, s.v. University of Chicago Press. Reprinted in Hidden Truths. Magic, Alchemy, and the Occult (Religion, History, and Culture), ed. Lawrence E. Sullivan, pp. 253-260. Idem.

1989. East Asia, Ancient. In International Encyclopedia of Communications, II, 71-78. New York: Oxford University Press.

1990. Science and Medicine in Chinese History. In Heritage of China. Contemporary Perspectives on Chinese Civilization, ed. Paul S. Ropp, pp. 164-196. University of California Press. Italian and Chinese translations. (R)

1990. Research on the History of Chinese Alchemy. In Alchemy Revisited. Proceedings of the International Conference on the History of Alchemy at the University of Groningen. 17-19 April 1989, ed. Z.R.W.M. von Martels, pp. 3-20. Leiden: E. J. Brill. (R)

1990. Traditional Medicine in Contemporary China and Reflections on the Situation in the People's Republic of China, 1987. American Journal of Acupuncture, 18. 4: 325-343.

1991. Seiyō kagaku to Tōyō kagaku no hikaku 西洋科学と東洋科学の比較 (Comparing Eastern and Western science). Kokusai kōryū 国際交流, 56: 24–29.

1991. Change and Continuity in Early Cosmology. The Great Commentary to the Book of Changes. In Chūgoku kodai kagaku shiron. Zoku 中国古代科学史論.続 (On the History of Ancient Chinese Science, 2), pp. 3–43. Kyoto: Institute for Research in Humanities.

1991. Over the Borders: Technical History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences. Chinese Science, 10: 69-80. (R)

1993. Huang ti nei ching. In Early Chinese Texts. A Bibliographical Guide, ed. Michael Loewe, pp. 196-215. Early China Special Monograph Series, 2. Berkeley: The Society for the Study of Early China and the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California.

1994. Introduction to East Asian Cartography, with Gari Ledyard. In The History of Cartography, ed. J. B. Harley & David Woodward, II, pt. 1, 23-35. Cartography in the Traditional East Asian Societies. University of Chicago Press.

1995. State, Cosmos, and Body in the Last Three Centuries B.C. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 55. 1: 5-37.

1995. Text and Experience in Classical Chinese Medicine. In Knowledge and the Scholarly Medical Traditions, ed. Don G. Bates, pp. 177-204. Cambridge University Press.

1995. Comparing Greek and Chinese Philosophy and Science (N). Reprinted in slightly revised form in East Asian Science: Tradition and Beyond. Papers from the Seventh International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia. Kyoto, 2-7 August 1993, ed. Hashimoto Keizo, Catherine Jami, & Lowell Skar, pp. 23-31. Osaka: Kansai University Press. Public lecture.

1995. The Myth of the Naturalists (N).

1995. Emotional Counter-therapy (N).

1995. Taoism and Science (N).

1995. Wang Hsi-shan. Combined version of the two 1976 essays. Trans. into Chinese by Kuo Shih-jung 郭世榮 in Wang Hsi-shan yen-chiu lun-wen chi 王 錫闡 研究論文集 (Collected studies of Wang Hsi-shan; Ho-pei K'o-hsueh Chi-shu Ch'u-pan-she, 2000), pp. 47-63.

1998. Exploiting Medicinal Plants: Why Do It the Hard Way? In Medicinal Plants. Their Role in Health and Biodiversity, ed. Timothy R. Tomlinson & Aloyiwola Akerele, pp. 19-28. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Paper for World Health Organization conference, 1993.

1998. On the Dates of Yang Shang-shan and the Huang-ti nei ching t'ai su. Chinese Science, 15: 29-36.

1998. The History of Chinese Medicine: Now and Anon. Positions, 6. 3: 731-762 (publ. 1999).

1999. Pi-chiao Hsi-la k'o-hsueh ho Chung-kuo k'o-hsueh 比较希腊科学和中国科学 (Comparing Greek and Chinese science). San-ssu p'ing-lun 三思评论 (Science review), 2: 26-35. Revision of 1995, Chinese version tr. with Fan Dainian 范 岱 年. Revised version, translated by N.S. and Sun Xiaochun as Chung-kuo Hsi-la chih k’o-hsueh ho i-hsueh ti pi-chiao yen-chiu 中国希腊之科学和医学的比较研究, Chung-kuo hsueh-shu, 3. 1: 111-126.

1999. [Four translated sources on Han cosmology, medicine, and Taoism]. In Sources of Chinese Tradition, ed. Wm. Theodore de Bary & Irene Bloom, 2d ed., I: 236-241, 273-278, 396-399, 406-410. New York: Columbia University Press.

1999. The Future of Research in a Rapidly Changing World. In Current Perspectives in the History of Science in East Asia, ed. Kim Yung Sik & Francesca Bray, pp. 28-41. Seoul National University Press.

2000. Chinese Astronomy. In Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Institute of Physics Publications. Bristol: Macmillan.

2003. Introduction to Festschrift for Michael Loewe in two issues of Asia Major, ser. 3, 16, part 1, 1-6.

2004. On Some Dimensions of the Zhongyong. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, 3. 2: 167-172.

2004. Railways in China, 1860-1898. The Historical Issues. By NS & Z. John Zhang. History of Technology, 25: 203-210.

2004. East Asia. The Sciences. In New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, 6 vols., pp. 2178-82. New York: Scribners.

2004. Medicine. China. In ibid., pp. 1397-98.

2005. Alchemy: Chinese Alchemy. In Encyclopedia of Religion, 2d ed., 15 vols., I, 237-41. New York: Macmillan Reference. Revised, updated version of 1989 article.

2005. Calendar Reform and Occupation Politics. Tzu-jan k’o-hsueh shih yen-chiu 自然科学
史研究, 24. Supplement: 58-67.

2005. A Multi-dimensional Approach to Research on Ancient Science. East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, 23: 10-25. Also published 2006 in Chung-kuo k’o chi tien-chi yen-chiu. Ti san chieh Chung-kuo k’o chi tien-chi kuo-chi hui-i yen-chiu hui 中国科技典籍
研究. 第三届中国科技典籍国际会议研究会 (“Studies on ancient Chinese scientific and technical texts. Proceedings of the 3rd ISACBRST”), pp. 153-60. Cheng-chou: Ta hsiang Ch'u-pan-she.

2005. Wen-hua cheng-t’i: ku-tai k’o-hsueh yen-chiu chih hsin lu 文化整体: 古代科学
研究之新路 (Cultural manifolds: A new approach to research on ancient science). Chung-kuo k’o-chi shih tsa-chih 中国科技史杂志, 26. 2: 99-106. Revised Chinese version of the last item.

2005. Two essays on medical writings, Ji jiu xian fang 急救仙方 and Xian chuan waike bi fang 仙傳外科秘方. In The Taoist Canon. A Historical Companion to the Daozang, ed. K. M. Schipper & F. Verellen, II, 774-779. University of Chicago Press.

2005. Ho Peng Yoke: A Personal Introduction. East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, 23: 12-14.

2007. Essays on Science, Astronomy, and The Decimal System and Abacus. In The Seventy Wonders of China, ed. Jonathan Fenby, pp. 247-52, 259-260. New York: Thames & Hudson.

2007. Drawing Insights from Chinese Medicine. In New Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Chinese Philosophy, ed. Karyn L. Lai, 34: 43-55. Journal Supplement Series to Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 2.

2007. Government Policy and the Astronomical Reform of 1280. In Sung-tai kuo-chia wen-hua chung ti k’o-hsueh 宋代国家中的科学 (“Science and the state in the Song dynasty”), ed. Sun Xiaochun 孙小春 & Zeng Xiongsheng 曾雄生, pp. 17-29. B: China Science & Technology Press. Eighteen papers from the International Symposium on the Song State and Science, Hangzhou, China, 2006.7. 25.

2007. Levenson, Jay A., editor. Encompassing the Globe. Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Reference Catalogue. Washington: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Catalogue of exhibition held 2007.6.24–9.16. Five items on astronomical instruments by NS, pp. 152-56.

Forthcoming Essays

Reflections on the Batesian Synthesis. In a volume on the work of the late philosopher of medicine Don Bates. Montreal: McGill University Press.

Chinese History in View of Medicine and Healing. In a collection of papers from the conference of the same name, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taiwan, 2005.12.13-15.

Therapy and Antiquity in Late Imperial China. In Antiquarianism and Intellectual Life in Europe and China, 1500-1800, ed. Francois Louis. New Haven: Yale University Press. Announced for 2009.

The History of Chinese Medicine: One Future or Several? Invited article for 60th anniversary issue of Zhonghua yishi zazhi (Chinese Journal of Medical History).

Book Reviews

About seventy on every aspect of East Asian science, technology and medicine and related topics in journals ranging from Quarterly Review of Biology and Scientific American to Contemporary Sociology and American Historical Review; hundreds of brief reviews in Revue bibliographique de Sinologie, the Critical Bibliographies of Isis, and Chinese Science. A few essay reviews:

Blofeld, John (trl.). The Book of Change (London, 1965). Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1966, 26 : 290-298.

Elvin, Mark. The Pattern of the Chinese Past (Stanford, 1973). Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1978 (publ. 1979), 38: 449-480.

Needham, Joseph, et al. Science and Civilisation in China, Vol 4, Part 2 (Cambridge, England, 1965). Journal of Asian Studies, 1968, 27: 859-864. Ibid., Vol. 4, Part 3 (Cambridge, 1971). Scientific American, January 1972, pp. 113-118. T'oung Pao, 1971, 57: 306-320. Ibid., Vol. 5, Part 3 (Cambridge, 1976). Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1981, 41: 219-235.

Teng Ssu-yü; Knight Biggerstaff. An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Chinese Reference Works (3rd ed., Cambridge, MA, 1971). Isis, 1973 (publ. 1974), 64: 534-538.

Some Important Publications on Early Chinese Astronomy from China and Japan, 1978-1980, Archaeoastronomy, 1981, 4. 1: 26-31.

Paul U. Unschuld. Medicine in China (3 vols., Berkeley, 1985-1986). Isis, 1990, 81: 722-731.

Science, Religion, and Boundary Maintenance. Contemporary Sociology, 1991, 20. 4: 526-530. Review of four books on Robert K. Merton's sociology of science.

Ruminations on the Tao and its Disputers. Philosophy East and West, 1992, 42. 1: 21-29. Memoir of A. C. Graham and comments on Disputers of the Tao.

Christoph Harbsmeier. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. 7, part 1. Language and Logic in Traditional China (Cambridge, 1999). East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, 2000 (publ. 2001), 17: 121-133.

Translating Science. Review of Montgomery, Scott L. Science in Translation. Movements of Knowledge through Cultures and Time. University of Chicago Press, 2000, and Wright, David. Translating Science. The Transmission of Western Chemistry into Late Imperial China, 1840-1900. Leiden: Brill, 2000. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 2002, 45. 1: 131-140.

Wang Aihe. Cosmology and Political Culture in Early China. Cambridge University Press, 2000. China Review International, 2001 (published 2002), 8.2: 566-572.

Hsu, Elisabeth, editor. Innovation in Chinese Medicine. Needham Research Institute Studies, 3. Cambridge University Press, 2001. East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, 2003, 20: 132-143.

All of Daoism in One Volume. Essay review of Kohn, Livia, ed. Daoism Handbook. Handbuch der Orientalistik, sec. 4 (China), 14. Leiden: Brill, 2000. In Studies in Central and East Asian Religions, 2001-2002, 12-13: 193-208. Published 2005.

Ch’en Mei-tung陈美东. Ku li hsin t’an 古历新探 (New investigations of ancient astronomy). Shenyang: Liaoning Jiaoyu Chubanshe, 1995, and Chen. Chung-kuo k’o-hsueh chi-shu shih. T’ien-wen-hsueh chüan 中国科学技术史. 天文学卷 (History of Chinese science and technology. Astronomy). Beijing: K’o-hsueh Ch'u-pan-she. 2003. East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, 2004, 22: 113-119. Published 2005.

Strickmann, Michel. Chinese Magical Medicine, ed. Bernard Fauré. Stanford University Press, 2002. East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, 2006, 26: 143-147.


Copyright reserved by Nathan Sivin. Please email
nsivin! at sas! dot upenn! dot edu! (but use normal form and omit the exclamation points)
with comments and corrections.

Back to Nathan Sivin's home page Back to the Department of History and Sociology of Science home page

Use your browser's "back" button to return to your last location.

Last Modified 2008.10.23