International Society for Quantitative History

Workshops

The Jesuits and Chinese Science

12:30 | Thursday, February 14, 2019

Asia Global Institute, MB 328, 3/F Main Building, HKU

English

Chicheng Ma

Chicheng Ma

Assistant Professor of Economics, HKU Business School

In a historical context of the Jesuit mission to China between 1560 and 1820, Professor Chicheng Ma’s lecture will examine the importance of knowledge diffusion in scientific production.

To facilitate their China mission, the Jesuits introduced European sciences to Chinese cultural elites—the Confucian literati. This stimulated the literati toward scientific research. In places where the Jesuits diffused European sciences, the number of Chinese scientific works increased significantly. As a placebo, the Jesuits’ missionary work had no effect on Chinese scientific production. The findings of Ma’s study question the conventional wisdom that the Confucian literati of imperial China disparaged science and Western learning, but demonstrates the importance of the openness to the knowledge frontier in scientific production.

Update:

Arthur H. Cole Prize for the outstanding article
Our co-director Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School) was awarded the Arthur H. Cole Prize for his JEH paper "Knowledge Diffusion and Intellectual Change: When Chinese Literati Met European Jesuits". This paper was published in the December 2021 issue of The Journal of Economic History. The editorial board selected the winner.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Asia Global Institute, MB 328, 3/F Main Building, HKU

Chicheng Ma

English

The Society decided to launch the Quantitative History Webinar Series in Spring 2020 through Zoom given the Covid-19 pandemic. We hereby thank the Asia Global Institute for hosting our Economic History Workshops from September 2018 to January 2020.

While we hope to resume in-person events as soon as the city can get beyond this pandemic, please stay tuned for further updates.

We thank the Asia Global Institute for organizing this workshop. 

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