The Chinese, Diversity, and the History of Science


  • Ian Winchester



The following special issue of JET includes some of the papers from the recent Ninth International History and Philosophy of Science Teaching Education (IHPST) conference held at Calgary, Alberta in June of 2007. They are all fine papers and worth reading by any student of science, the history of science, and the philosophy of science. But one thing is missing from the papers because it was missing at the conference and indeed all the earlier versions of this conference, namely, some sense of science originating other than in Europe or North America. For we tend to think of natural science as something invented in Europe in the 16th and especially the 17th centuries and thereafter progressing along the lines there laid down. And indeed the achievements of European scientists of that era are unparalleled and astonishing. But they did not spring out of nowhere. And part of that somewhere from which they did spring had wider roots and deeper origins.