By Christine Yi Lai Luk
This booklet offers a concise background of biophysics in modern China, from approximately 1949 to 1976. It outlines how a technology distinctiveness advanced from an ambiguous and amorphous box right into a fully-fledged educational self-discipline within the socio-institutional contexts of latest China. The ebook relates how, whereas at first along with cellphone biologists, the chinese language biophysics neighborhood redirected their disciplinary priorities towards rocket technology within the past due Fifties to deal with the nationwide pursuits of the time. Biophysicists who had labored on organic sounding rockets have been attracted to the army quarter and persisted to give a contribution to human spaceflight in post-Mao China. in addition to the rocket-and-space missions which supplied the cloth context for biophysics to extend within the past due Fifties and early Sixties, chinese language biophysicists additionally created study and academic courses surrounding biophysics through exploiting the institutional possibilities afforded through the coverage emphasis on science's function to force modernization. The publication explores and demonstrates the collective achievements and struggles of chinese language biophysicists in construction their medical discipline.
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Extra resources for A History of Biophysics in Contemporary China
Bei was attracted by her revolutionary thesis that yolk spheres could generate cells after “remaking” (改塑). But at the same time he cautioned that Lepeshinskaya’s discovery exceeded the general principle of cell generation, and thus in need of a careful examination (Bei 1943a, p. 111). Bei’s skepticism about Lepeshinskaya appeared in print before Lepeshinskaya was formally ostracized by the Western scientiﬁc community. Although Bei did not disprove Lepeshinskaya’s claims, he did not unconditionally accept her arguments either.
He never claimed that cells, or any fundamental units of life, could come from mysterious non-living matter a priori. He never wanted to dismiss rigorous evidence in favor of an inexplicable vitalistic cause of life (Hu 1982). As far as I know, Hu’s vindication is probably the only existing writing that appraised the theory of cell reformation from a philosophical perspective. Hu addressed “the possibility of the theory of cell reformation” in a historiography paper (Zhang 1996). Situating the theoretical plausibility of the theory of cell reformation within the context of the natural history of cells, Hu concluded that Bei’s theory should not be dismissed of its philosophical plausibility simply because it looked similar to the failed attempt of Lepeshinskaya.
Vintage Books, New York References 31 Gould SJ (2002) The structure of evolutionary theory. Belknap Harvard Press, Cambridge Harms W (1909) Postembryonale Entwicklungsgeschichte der Unioniden. Zoologische Jahrbücher: Abteilung für Anatomie und Ontogenie der Tiere 28:325–386 Harms W (1926) Körper und Keimzellen vol 1 & 2. : Lamarckismus und Darwinismus als historische Theorien. Ein Kampf um Überlebtes. Zeitschrift für Medizin und Naturwissenschaft 73:1–27 Harris H (1999) The birth of the cell. Yale University Press, New Haven Hu WG (胡文耕) (1982) Philosophical questions in molecular biology (分子生物学中的哲学问 题).
A History of Biophysics in Contemporary China by Christine Yi Lai Luk