By Christine Yi Lai Luk
This publication provides a concise historical past of biophysics in modern China, from approximately 1949 to 1976. It outlines how a technological know-how distinctiveness advanced from an ambiguous and amorphous box right into a fully-fledged educational self-discipline within the socio-institutional contexts of up to date China. The publication relates how, whereas at the beginning such as cellphone biologists, the chinese language biophysics neighborhood redirected their disciplinary priorities towards rocket technology within the overdue Nineteen Fifties to deal with the nationwide pursuits of the time. Biophysicists who had labored on organic sounding rockets have been attracted to the army zone and persevered to give a contribution to human spaceflight in post-Mao China. along with the rocket-and-space missions which supplied the cloth context for biophysics to extend within the overdue Fifties and early Sixties, chinese language biophysicists additionally created study and academic courses surrounding biophysics by means of exploiting the institutional possibilities afforded through the coverage emphasis on science's function to force modernization. The booklet explores and demonstrates the collective achievements and struggles of chinese language biophysicists in construction their clinical discipline.
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They met twice in Moscow to exchange views and papers. Since they were acquaintances, and since Lepeshinskaya was a sloppy charlatan, for many observers it followed that Bei was probably a fraudulent scientist too. It is worth knowing that the correspondence of Bei and Lepeshinskaya ran deeper than their social acquaintance and comparable theoretical contentions. Bei was intrigued by Lepeshinskaya’s work before China turned communist and before Lepeshinskaya became one of Stalin’s favorites. Prior to Lepeshinskaya’s political debut in 1950, Bei had already studied and made reference to her research papers.
Harms’ lifelong emphasis on the environmental conditions and organic development shaped Bei’s formulation of scientiﬁc theory. Apparently, this “intellectual trait” of dedication to knowledge synthesis but failure to account for internal mechanics also inadvertently passed on to Bei. On the one hand, Bei was cultivated to synthesize specialties with divergent methodological approaches and theoretical worldviews. On the other hand, Bei’s humble academic record also stems from the same intellectual commitment: he saw the big picture and the connection among previously separated ﬁelds, but did not attach enough weight to details and intricacies, and the details are important, especially when attempting to communicate the merits of a new theory to detail-oriented people.
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.
A History of Biophysics in Contemporary China by Christine Yi Lai Luk