Devoted to the history of non-Western science, technology, and medicine, this path-breaking volume goes beyond the legacy of the late historian of Chinese science, Joseph Needham, by covering an unprecedented range of countries and by adopting new approaches. The seventeen chapters address topics in China, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. However, the contributors do not view the histories of these countries in isolation. Many adopt a cross-cultural approach by tracing interaction with other Asian countries and the West. The volume begins with four chapters that provide a "big picture" overview of science and civilization in Asia. These are followed by more focused essays, which deal with aspects of science, technology, and medicine in specific countries.
Specialist and non-specialist readers alike will leave this volume with a strong sense of the political and economic imperatives behind knowledge systems in Eastern Asia, their cultural contexts, and how they have coexisted along with those in the West.