Bulletin Vol. 4 No. 5 Feb 1968

D r. George W ong, Senior Le cturer, T h e Chinese U n iv e rs ity o f H ong K ong, and Chairm an, D e p a rt ment o f H isto ry, C hung C h i College. He d is tin guished him se lf in the study o f the in tro d u ctio n o f W estern science and religion in to China and subsequent in s titu tio n a l and inte lle ctual develop ment. Besides the above-mentioned scholars, the fo llow in g were also in vited to be observers: Professor M a rk G raubard, Professor in the H is to ry o f Science, M innesota State U n iv e rsity , U .S .A . Professor Y .C . Wong, Head, D epartm ent o f M a th e matics, U n ive rs ity o f H o ng K ong. H e is renowned fo r his study in Chinese mathematics. M r. P .K . Y u, Le ctu re r in Chinese, U n iv e rs ity o f H ong K ong. He specializes in the study o f modern Chinese historiography and the histo ry o f Sung. T h e Conference was declared open by D r. C .T . Yung, President o f Chung C h i College. T h e Vice-Chancellor, D r. C .M . L i, then delivered the opening address. T h e purpose o f this Conference, as ou tlined in the V ice-C hancellor's speech, was to promote understanding in Chinese science and to provide an o p p o rtu n ity fo r scholars from Asian countries to discuss and exchange views on th e ir studies. By means o f this, it is hoped tha t some con tribu tion s toward in te rna tiona l co-opera­ tio n in research and cu ltu ra l exchange may be developed. O w ing to the success o f the Conference, a fu tu re conference was agreed upon. I t is expected tha t this next conference w ill be inte rna tiona l in scope and more scholars in the field o f Chinese science w ill attend. T h e p a rty o f scholars were in vited to an excursion around H o ng K on g and the N ew T e rrito rie s on the 25th, and they visited the U n ive rs ity o f H ong K ong, N ew Asia College and U n ite d College on the 26th. Vice-Chancellor's Speech at the opening o f the Conference I would like to give you m y own welcome and the greetings o f T h e Chinese U n ive rs ity o f H ong Kong. P a rticu la rly, I wanted to greet you at the beginning o f you r conference and to convey to you why I th in k what you w ill do th is week is im portan t. As the V ice-Chancellor o f this new and grow ing un ive rsity, I know from the registrations and from, the budget the high place science holds in the m inds and the hopes o f Chinese students. I t is a prestige subject in the modern university. A nd it has even higher prestige in Asia than abroad. B ut too little attention has been given to the major role o f science in either national or w o rld history. O u r modern w o rld is much more the produ ct o f science than politics. T h e scientific revo lu tion w h ich began in the 17th century has changed our way o f life. By com pari­ son p o litica l revolutions have been secondary. T h e m ajor im pact o f the West upon the East has been that o f science and technology, not po litics or the arts. T h e Chinese student in the arts and commerce faculties as well as the social and physical sciences is confrontep w ith a method o f study and a body o f knowledge w h ich his own past as presented to h im in secondary school provides little preparation. A serious study o f Chinese concepts o f nature and o f the several sciences could help the Asian student to relate his own past to the ways o f the modern un ive rsity and the com m u n ity w h ich it serves. H is to ry o f science — especially science in China — could b u ild a bridge over the w iden ing canyons between the faculties o f the modern unive rsity. I t could relate science to its own history and to its proper background in general history. Science has not only its social and econom ic roots b u t also the deeper roots o f sp iritua l and artistic traditions. M od ern science is the meeting place o f East and West. Its conclusions, if not its presuppositions, are neutral not national, rational no t racial. Science makes the same demands upon its students at Harvard as it does in H ong K ong. I t asks no lo yalty except to its own principles and purposes. I t grants no special privilege to any people or any person. I t is the neutral c ritic o f all tradition s, even its own. B u t science its e lf needs to be understood as a human a ctivity and as related to other human activities. I t is significant that in the last few years many o f the best m inds among the undergraduates o f the best u n ive r­ sities in the U .K . and the U .S . have moved from the physical science to sociology. T h e y did not find in modern science either the answer or even an approach to the basic concerns o f m ankind in this decade. Science too needs its external examiners. A nd it needs to find its proper place and its proper relationships in the fam ily o f u n ive rsity disciplines and in the larger comm u nity o f the deeper concerns o f m ankind. H isto ry thus serves as confessor to science. On behalf o f T h e Chinese U n iv e rsity o f Hong K ong let me say that I welcome this conference on science in China as an Asian c o n trib u tio n to the histo ry o f science. T h e U n ive rs ity and the H a rvard-Y ench ing In s titu te recognise the im portance o f the task you have set for yourselves in the week ahead. T h e U n ive rsity, in 2