In a bid to advance the history of science and technology as a discipline in China and to enhance the international influence of the Chinese academic community, the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences (IHNS), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Science Press, in collaboration with and Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), have inaugurated the English journal Chinese Annals of History of Science and Technology (CAHST), the first issue of which has been officially published by Science Press. The first issue focuses on ancient Chinese history and brings together archaeological studies with the study of ancient texts. For future issues, the thematic scope will be widened substantially and also include papers on subjects pertaining to later history.
The history of Chinese civilization can be traced back to thousands of years ago, and the Chinese tradition of scientific knowledge and technology has its distinguishing features in the history of mankind. The distinctive history of Chinese science and technology can help us to understand how science and technology emerges and evolves and how it is communicated in globalization processes. Historical sources and new archaeological discoveries in China have been intensively studied since the beginning of the twentieth century. The results of this research, however, have been published mainly in Chinese, so that the vast majority of results and historical data remain unknown to the international community. The publication of CAHST may reverse the previous situation that the research findings of the history of Chinese science and technology are in a disadvantaged position among international journals.
CAHST offers a broad platform for the exchange of research results, which will support further research on the formation and development of science and technology in China and disseminate the results both in China and in other parts of the world. CAHST is a peer-reviewed international journal that encourages studies with different perspectives and approaches, especially interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and transnational studies on the history of science and knowledge, including issues of dissemination and transformation that go beyond the Chinese tradition.
Prof. Zhang Baichun from IHNS and Prof. Jürgen Renn from MPIWG serve as Editors-in-Chief for this journal. The International Editorial Committee of CAHST comprises historians and sinologists from various countries and includes international experts versed in history of science and technology who will take into account a wide range of disciplines and cultural traditions. As the sponsor of CAHST, the IHNS is known as a research institute with nearly 100 staff on the history of science and technology. It excels at research on the history of science and technology in China, the history of knowledge dissemination and comparative studies between China and other countries. It is incumbent on us to succeed in CAHST and to make more contributions to cooperation with fellow academics.
(Written by Lü Xin)