STS ONLINE EXERCISE: The Needham Question and Science s Revelations

Listen, reflect and leave your comment/opinion on the Neeeham question nBe concise and clear — not more than five (5) sentences. Leave a comment on this post. Required: Comment per group and voluntary individual comments. Do not forget to indiciate your group number and section and for individual comment your name student number and section.

THE NEEDHAM QUESTION
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0038x9m

SCIENCE S REVELATIONS
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p005454c

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103 Responses to STS ONLINE EXERCISE: The Needham Question and Science s Revelations

  1. Peter Lee says:

    The Needham Question seeks to understand why China’s progress in technology took longer than Europe even though they started out being more advanced. One can look at historical developments in how Europe had intense international competition in terms of neighboring countries, whereas China had their warring states earlier on. This follows the natural course in which more competition demands more growth and innovation. There is also the factor of the Industrial Revolution, in which Europe transitioned into capitalism, while China continued in feudalism.

    Lee, Peter Jr., B.
    2014-06407
    STS WFX

  2. STS WFX Group 5 says:

    The Needham Question can actually be dependent on the Western’s ability to view what technological advancement is. China has developed in many ways that don’t necessarily go in line with how a European would view technological advancement. This disparity in the needs of one culture in comparison with another plays a significant role is seeing the differences between the two cultures.

    STS WFX Group 5

  3. Alvin Carandang, Jr. says:

    STS WFX Group 11

    Our group agreed that there existed factors that left China behind in terms of modern technology as compared to Europe. Based on the podcast, it had something to do with cultural and socio-economic factors played in both mainlands several centuries ago. There were differences on how they used technology and how they were governed. China focused more on the state’s well-being and its tradition while Europe had competition that caused the fast growth of technology and innovation that took advantage of the technological advancements of China. Hence, contrasting beliefs, priorities, and mindset lead them to take different paths of development.

  4. I think before anything else, one must first evaluate who is posing the question in the first place. Even though Joseph Needham is a scientist and historian he is still coming from a certain position and perspective. The ideologies that he absorbed throughout his career, was shaped by the institutions around him and it cannot be denied, that he are one’s coming from a European Perspective. think the Needham question, is biased because it imposes that the achievements of Europe in in terms of progress is the standard in considering whether a civilization has advanced or not. It also implicates that China was left behind in terms of development. Different civilizations develop throughout history develop differently for this is influenced by different factors (social, cultural, economic) and this should be considered before posing a question.

    Erica Esteban
    201378855
    STS WFX

  5. Ma. Isabella T. Buensuceso says:

    After listening to the audio discussion, I have to admit that I’ve pondered the point and issues being tackled by the Needham question. In my opinion, I think that Europe is experiencing a rapid development on science and technology because they are more competitive, due to fact that the area consists of a lot of independent countries. Things happened more quickly due to intense international competition that existed in the separate states of Europe unlike in a huge, unified state like China. Furthermore, the Chinese reached the level of “success” in the earlier centuries that gave them a sense of complacency to keep up with the Western technology. Much of the Chinese scientists actually influenced the citizens of the Western countries but Chinese religious groups were portrayed as “dangerous” and not much attention was allotted to vast amount of materials and information they had during the early times.

    Buensuceso, Ma. Isabella T.
    2016-89941
    STS THX

  6. Roda Vasquez says:

    THX GROUP 2

    There’s this label that science is difficult and not for the common people, bombarding us with all that technical knowledge (which some of us may view us boring) that it destroys our sense of poetic wonder and awe of the world. In Science’s Revelations podcast, they talked about “anaesthetic of familiarity”, which sedates how we look at things, that we look at nature at face value without knowing anything about it at all, limiting the beauty of nature on only how we see it. Dawkins’ book “Unweaving the Rainbow” tells us that science doesn’t actually destroy the beauty of our world, rather it fuels our desire to know more how the world works by changing our sense of perception so that we could view things more excitingly. Quoting Einstein: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”, poetry (art) and science are actually connected—that science discovers beauty and poetry in nature by giving us more mysteries to revel in. In our hollowed out view of the world, science gives us the whys and the hows so that we can now look at things, at what nature gives us that we are missing out and take for granted.

  7. Angemeir Chloe C. Francisco says:

    The “stagnation” of science and technology in China which allowed Europe to overtake them in terms of advancement is owed to logistical limitations and cultural prioritization. China’s economic condition for several centuries did not allow for the development of non-pragmatic inventions because finances of the empire were in a poor state, and hence sustaining the polity was the main priority. The Chinese people also valued and put more emphasis on the study and development of humanities as opposed to science and technology because it became their standard for social stratification. Although these two reasons seem logical answers to the Needham Question, these should be taken just as mere historical analysis that can possibly explain the different trajectories that science and technology took in China and Europe. These explanations should not, in any way, be used to establish the dominance and superiority of the West to the East.

    Francisco, Angemeir Chloe C.
    2013-58249
    STS WFX

  8. Hazel Acelar says:

    I think the Needham question really reflects how history, culture, and science develops through time. Needless to say, the fact that this study was conducted by a person with Western-culture upbringing had an impact on the way the study was executed and analyzed. Additionally, it is an interesting take on showing that it is not always the case that the founder/discoverer of a certain entity/idea is the one who gets to harness the most potential from the discovery. Sometimes, with a perfect formula of right timing, motivation, objectives, and consistency, it takes another to achieve an optimum utilization of such ideas. Furthermore, i liked how it explicitly stated that science, though based on facts, can still be viewed with different perspectives.

    Acelar, Hazel M.
    2013-35275
    STS WFX

  9. Chlouie Cruz says:

    The Needham question seeks to understand why modern science did not develop in China which was in fact once far ahead of Europe and other Western countries in terms of science and technology. Cultural and political differences may actually explain the reason why Europe has surpassed China in terms of technological advancement. Politically, there existed an intense competition among separate states of Europe whereas in a huge unified state like China, there was not the same pressure to be ahead in the technological race. And culturally, Chinese were more into preserving their customs rather than elevating their technology.

    Cruz, Chlouie Marie Leigh J.
    2015-02427
    STS WFX

  10. Jessabelle Ibañez says:

    The Needham Questions seeks to understand why modern science technology develop in Europe when China was in a so much better place to achieve it. One factor that can be considered is the transition of Europe into capitalism while China stayed with feudalism. The competition among the different states in Europe helped in the discovery and invention of various modern science technology, while China had a unified state working on certain fields making the progress slower than that of Europe. Another factor also is the Renaissance in Europe which kind of boosted up the progression of technology in Europe, which China didn’t have.

    Ibañez, Jessabelle B.
    2015-04580
    STS THX

  11. STS THX Group 18 says:

    Our group agreed that the Needham Question can be dependent on how Europe view technological advancement. It can be based on the different socio-economic and cultural factors that had a major role in Europe and China back then. Europe’s technology was progressed by the competition of the separate states, making technology and innovation grow greatly. However, China was more focused on their tradition, which affected their technological growth on a macroscopic level. Thus, we can say that different culture, traditions, beliefs, priorities and perspectives can lead to different paths of development and advancement, especially in technology and innovation.

    STS THX Group 18

  12. Jhuwan Fajardo says:

    The Needham question basically asks why China had not developed their modern sciences compared to the European countries. China had greater and more advanced technology during the early years but they failed to continuously do this and eventually the Europeans advanced China. I think the reason this happened was because there aren’t any competition that could make them fight and do more and there aren’t a lot of countries doing the same thing so you don’t really get that motivation and help since there aren’t a lot going on around you.

    Jhuwan Gabrielle V. Fajardo
    2015-90712
    STS THX

  13. Group 7 (STS WFX) says:

    Group 7
    STS WFX

    GROUP ANSWER:
    The Needham Question, posed by Joseph Needham, seeks to provide answers on the significant differences in the national development between China and Europe. China, as well as Europe, has its own perspective in improving as a nation and various contextual factors affected each differently. Overall, using traditional ways as a basis or rather integrating it with new and modern strategies is very important for national growth.

    INDIVIDUAL ANSWERS:
    Andres, Mitzi
    2014-89686
    The Needham question pertains to the guiding question behind Joseph Needham’s massive science and civilization in China, as well as his many other publications. As he phrased it, the essential problem why modern science had not developed in Chinese civilization but only in Europe. In my opinion, each country has its unique way of developing. Even though China didn’t focus on scientific innovations, the country still prosper even more.

    Cabuyadao, John Owen
    2013-40867
    The Needham question seeks to find the answer as to why despite China’s earlier success in science, Europe eventually overtaken them in scientific development. Several hypotheses were presented in the podcast involving cultural, economic and political reasons. However, there was a time when china stagnated in scientific development because they became complacent due to their orderly state of affairs and stable economy. At this time, european countries were finding every possible edge against their rivals. The warfare or competitive environment in Europe drove the technological advancement in the continent.

    Dizon, Cecilia Dannica Marie
    2014-42194
    The existence of different development perspectives leads to different goals or different pathways for every country. What is to be noted is to ensure that development perspectives are precisely inclined to the context of each country given its different backgrounds. Additionally, countries or even individual entities might have a different outlook on the definition of development.

    Galvez, Elijah Obert
    2014-49390
    The different ways in which scholars have attempted to answer The Needham Question over the years provides a holistic look at the way in which China’s scientific development stalled for a certain period. What seems to be a running thread among the wide range of theories proposed over the years is that there seemed to be a sense of complacency among the Chinese during that period. The political economy of China that was largely controlled by its imperial government produced a nation that did not put science and technological development in the forefront. This case study highlights the importance of cultivating a culture with a scientific imagination, rather than a superstitious or fatalistic one.

    Lapada, Ronna Chris
    2012-59798
    The Needham Question led me into thinking how, in terms of national development, each country must carefully look into all of its parts and not just focus solely on a particular area. Traditional ways used by previous generations to contribute to national growth should rather be used now as a foundation in creating more modernized and systematized strategies because a country cannot rely only on what has been used and proven to be effective before as our society is rapidly changing. A country’s openness to change and new ideas is essential. In relation to this, working with other countries around the world is very important to be able to gain new perspectives in different fields of various contexts and also to be able to share one’s own for learning and discourse, and for possible collaborations.

    Matias, Arianna
    2014-07205
    The world is ever-changing and evolving and so should the people living in it. The proposed answers to the Needham Question somehow all points out to the idea that China, specifically their scientific development in the earlier decades, although not necessarily unmoving or static, it is still slow moving and not in any kind of hurry which allowed Europe to quickly catch up despite the many advantages China had. China is depicted by most of the answers as a nation, heavily controlled by the imperial government, that is satisfied and content with what is traditional. China has a lot of opportunities to grow exponentially well in different sectors not just in science but in other aspects as well had they been more open to change.

    Pedregosa, Herald Israel
    2013-78019
    The Needham Question tackles why science in general did not develop as quickly as it did in Europe during the time of Industrial Revolution. Several reasons were proposed to answer this question, such as population, imperialism of western countries, the middle class, tradition, natural resources, and control. As a geographer, I think natural resource endowment plays a huge role in a country’s development, but strong policies must go along with the use of these resources. China in my opinion might have lagged behind in terms of scientific development primarily because of the difficulty in accessing coal, which was needed for industrial development at the time and the strict policies regarding scientific explorations did not help much to ease the extraction of coal. Of course, there are many other reasons — but with China’s policies being softened, their economy has flourished even more and has become a world power in the modern times.

    Senoc, Don
    2013-60173
    There are factors why scientific progress and development in Europe took place ahead of China. First, European scientific development took place at a time when neighboring states were in competition for supremacy. On the other hand, China felt no pressure since there were no rivalry against neighboring countries. Another major factor is the population of both countries. China may have larger land mass but it also has the most number in population. In effect, all lands in China are transitioned into farming to avoid food shortage so there are lesser space for scientific innovations unlike Europe.

    Yangzon, Maria Sofia
    2014-30635
    Needham’s question forces us to realize that scientific innovation and revolution is not a seed that grows just anywhere. There is a certain environment in which it thrives and is able to develop, an environment that China has only developed recently. In my opinion, perhaps the innovation in Europe was helped by the fact that Europe is collection of numerous neighboring countries thus facilitating the exchange of ideas.

  14. John Mark T. Millete says:

    The Needham Question over the years provides a holistic look at the way in which China’s scientific development stalled for a certain period. What seems to be a running thread among the wide range of theories proposed over the years is that there seemed to be a sense of complacency among the Chinese during that period. The political economy of China that was largely controlled by its imperial government produced a nation that did not put science and technological development in the forefront. This case study highlights the importance of cultivating a culture with a scientific imagination, rather than a superstitious or fatalistic one. Aslo The Needham Question tackles why science in general did not develop as quickly as it did in Europe during the time of Industrial Revolution

    Millete, John Mark T.
    2015-90114
    STS THX 2:30-4 TTH

  15. Patricia Lau says:

    The Needham question seeks to find the answer why Europe had overtaken China in scientific development. One reason why the Europeans advanced greatly in science and technology is because of the great competition existing in their society. In China, scientific development is driven by their cultural beliefs from Taoism and Confucianism. Europe is liberal while China was very conservative in their traditions and beliefs. From this, we can truly say that culture influence scientific development and science is progressive and is constantly changing.

    Lau, Patricia Nicole R.
    2015-00003
    STS WFX

  16. Group 16 THX says:

    China was the leading civilization at the start of 19th century. It had the most advanced system and technology, however, as time goes by, China fell off the track and was replaced by Europe in the center stage. One of the factors is that China had no major competition during that era, therefore they felt there was no need for an upgrade since they assumed that they are the ones at the top. This gave Europe the chance to catch up to their technology and further enhance it. What separated the two despite the fact they both have the same technology is the hunger for progress. Europe did not stop from improving their system as compared to China that felt complacent after leading for a while.

  17. STS WFX Group 16 says:

    A sense of competition of the different states pushed the boundaries of science and technology in Europe unlike in China where there is no competition because of political, cultural and confusian influence. However, in the next years, the question would not be why China failed to develop science but how China succeeded to be one of the most powerful countries in the world.

    Aside from competitions, the social positions of business people were significant factors that drive science to prosper in Europe. In China, merchants were given much importance than farmers unlike in Europe where the educated merchants have developed studies of nature. China, however, reached a static but sustainable level of development in the 19th century because it continued making innovations in its own scientific revolution.

    Group 16 WFX

  18. Catrina Magsadia says:

    STS THX
    Group 9

    The Needham question asks why China was not able to develop modern science and influence the world with their inventions. China was able to invent a lot of things that play very important roles in the society like printing, gunpowder, and the magnetic compass. But, some wonder why they weren’t able to follow through with these inventions. As for the gunpowder, the podcast explains that it may have been the fact that China wasn’t in the place to have competition among each but in Europe, there were a lot of states which triggered the need to further develop the use of gunpowder. After listening to this, it made us realize how knowledgeable the Europeans are when it comes to brilliant inventions and being able to use these in a certain way that embodies influence over other nations.

  19. Corinne Bolisay says:

    Maybe the Needham Question answers itself? It says that despite China being more advanced than Europe in the past, Europe was able to invent modern science. I understood it as China being more concerned with more practical discoveries or technology rather than science. It was also because Europe was open to new scientific discoveries and technological advancements from different places, unlike China. It believe it lies between the differences of Eastern and Western cultures.

    Corinne Bolisay
    2014-32759
    STS WFX

  20. Marielle Samson says:

    In my opinion, even though China had the resources needed to flourish in science as much as it did in Europe, the Chinese did not have the same intensity of determination to excel or improve as compared to the Europeans. This is because China was already a huge unified state which did not feel the amount of pressure felt by the separate states of Europe caused by intense international competition.

  21. Marielle Samson says:

    In my opinion, even though China had the resources needed to flourish in science as much as it did in Europe, the Chinese did not have the same intensity of determination to excel or improve as compared to the Europeans. This is because China was already a huge unified state which did not feel the amount of pressure felt by the separate states of Europe caused by intense international competition.

    Samson, Marielle F.
    2014-30403
    THX

  22. John Christian Mapalo says:

    The quote, “The present is the key to the past;” and the basic concept of Uniformitarianism summarizes my thoughts on the Needham question. First of all, definition of terms taken in perspective must be held accountable even before a question like the Needham Question must be taken into consideration. What is Modern Science for China; for Europe; and for you? Then, I ask myself, whose definition should account to claim on who is technologically brilliant? What matters for me is how a subject is defined based on what it is at the present and the process/es it had encountered. Nonetheless, Europe and China are two different things, and both possess different stories of modern science and technology that lives to tell today.

    Mapalo, John Christian L.
    2015-89787
    STS WFX

  23. Julian Manzano says:

    The podcasts seeked to explain why science was able to develop more in European countries rather than in China. Personally, the aspect which could explain this the most would be their respective cultures. European countries were more open to change which inspired innovation, unlike China which chose to focus more on protecting their traditional ways. It could be said that in a dynamic world, there is no surprise that the way of the Europeans brought about the more significant development in science and technology because in order to develop, there is the need first to be open to alteration and adaptation.

    Manzano, Julian Mikael B.
    2015-11127
    STS THX

  24. Katherine Mallari says:

    The Needham Question seeks to understand why China, despite all its cultural and technical sophistication in the early times, was surpassed by Europe in terms of development of modern science. It is through this question that we realize how the differences in beliefs, culture, priorites, and perspectives allow each country to develop differently from one another. For instance, the competing states on the West and the thirst for supremacy at that time may possibly provoked Europe to further their technological development. Whereas China on the other hand, didn’t feel the need to do so because of the lack of competition between its neighboring countries and also because of its idea of being a unified state. The contrast between their situations may have been the reason behind as to why China seemingly became complacent and did not bother to modernize.

    Katherine Mallari
    2014-55639
    STS THX

  25. Melrose Ivy Mendoza says:

    The Needham Question is an interesting take on understanding the difference between the scientific developments in China and Europe. While it is China who made the momentous discoveries, it is Europe who traversed and bore the fruits of these scientific innovations. With this, scholars presented different political, technological, and cultural reasons to answer the question yet the most compelling for me is that, China has a different priority than Europe. It is more focus on upholding its traditions than being more globally competitive in terms of making scientific and technological advancements.

    STS WFX
    2015-02062

  26. Vren Ceralde says:

    In addition to the Chinese thinking they have all they needed and had no need for further innovations, I think the main reason that Europe exceeded China is because the conditions that Europe was in: the states in Europe had intense competition (that drove them to become competitively innovative); their government gave their scientists the freedom to study what they want (unlike in the Chinese imperialism); even their low population has been a factor as it caused them for a mechanical revolution.

    Vren Ceralde 2013-40818
    sts thx

  27. Glenniedel Terania says:

    The Needham question is a very interesting question. Today, China relatively has more advanced technology than most European countries. Then why so did the early Chinese nation did not lead the development of modern science?

    The trouble perhaps lies in the difference in the size of China and European countries. Comparatively, the Chinese nation is a lot larger that European countries. With this, in order to get an idea to permeate the entire people, huge numbers would need to be produced. If the idea stayed in the circle of a select few, the chance that it would be misused or lost is increased. If the leadership decides it doesn’t like this invention, you have to go thousands of miles to escape the government’s grasp. In contrast to Europe, discoveries were passed around by letter to many different political units. If a practical idea was discovered, it was much easier to outfit a city state in Italy with the new invention than all of China. And once new ideas showed practical use, either in agriculture, or building, or military use, then the chance that a second new idea would be accepted is greatly increased. So Europe had nations that were big enough to support research, but not so large as to make implementing it impractical.

    Glenniedel Terania
    2014-00435
    STS WFX

  28. Ian Joseph Alden says:

    It seems to me that the needham question is posed to glorify the great advancements in technology in europe by comparing it to china which is known as a great nation in terms of science and technology.
    In the pursuit of further investigation, answers as to why china decelerated at the peak of scientific advancements were found rather than more words of praise for europe. Answers to the questions provided by scholars have their own merit and are possible candidates that might explain what happened in that part of china’s scientific history.
    Moving forward to the future, China is still an undisputed giant with regards to science. Europe (or the west in general) is running the same race towards developments as china, and each time trying to outdo one another. What the question implies is trying to divide rather than unite. As a western view of eastern science, it does not look at the same point of view which leads to a different perception of a phenomenon, that is the deceleration of science in china.

    Ian Joseph Alden
    2015-00705
    STS WFX

  29. James Guillarte says:

    The Needham question can be best seen in two perspectives. One, is why the Chinese people seem to have lagged in technological advancement—that is, relative to the advancements made in European countries, and another would be why did the Westerners manage to increase their production of newer technology. Culture could be a factor, as the western countries focused more on the natural laws and sees it as a way to advance their countries as opposed to the then great Chinese dynasties who valued a holistic approach to their sciences. Another factor could be the need of the western countries that are in competition with each other.

    James Guillarte
    201421409
    STS WFX

  30. James Guillarte says:

    The Needham question can be best seen in two perspectives. One, is why the Chinese people seem to have lagged in technological advancement—that is, relative to the advancements made in European countries, and another would be why did the Westerners manage to increase their production of newer technology. Culture could be a factor, as the western countries focused more on the natural laws and sees it as a way to advance their countries as opposed to the then great Chinese dynasties who valued a holistic approach to their sciences. Another factor could be the need of the western countries that are in competition with each other.

    James Guillarte
    201421409
    STS WFX

  31. James Carlo Guillarte says:

    The Needham question can be best seen in two perspectives. One, is why the Chinese people seem to have lagged in technological advancement—that is, relative to the advancements made in European countries, and another would be why did the Westerners manage to increase their production of newer technology. Culture could be a factor, as the western countries focused more on the natural laws and sees it as a way to advance their countries as opposed to the then great Chinese dynasties who valued a holistic approach to their sciences. Another factor could be the need of the western countries that are in competition with each other.

    James Carlo Guillarte
    201421409
    STS WFX Group 13

  32. Nikki R. Fernandez says:

    Why did Europe overtake China in terms of technological advancements? Based on the podcast, this is because of the difference in each of their mindsets or priorities. China was said to have prioritized more of the well-being of their country and its people so as not to mind much their involvement in the competition of technological advancements while Europe was said to have been a very competitive country (as it involved it states), making them advance in technology much more because it was their main focus. The difference of their advancements were shaped through their own history and their cultures.

    Nikki R. Fernandez
    201501108
    STS THX

  33. Mariane Angela Capistrano says:

    From what I learned in the podcast, competitiveness played a great role in the earlier advancement of Europe. Looking into Europe’s perspective, I think it is a natural instinct to aspire to be as great as someone or some country you look up to, in this case it is China. And then, you will reach to a point where you exceeded their achievements and really think of them as a competitor–that you should do more and think on ways how to be superior than them.

    Mariane Capistrano
    201503081
    STS THX

  34. Mariane Angela Capistrano says:

    Group 15 STS THX

    Aside from competitiveness, religion made an influence of what would interest people then. Back then, there was Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, and they contributed to the innovations of China (i.e. Buddhists strong link in printing). But when Jesuits and Protestants came, they demonstrated their knowledge in Western science, for example, astronomy, it fostered an anti-Western science, especially by the Buddhists. Because of this conflict, this somehow lagged how would Chinese think and innovate.

  35. Needham Question: discussion about the advancement of science and technology in China. The contribution of politics and culture is apparent to the advanced European countries. Moreover, competition also played a major role in the development of modern science and technology in the West.

    Science Revelations: Science and poetry should be in cooperation with each other. Science should be poetic. Poetry should be scientific. Imagination is the key to science. Poets should also not be speechless about science. Both are important in the innovation of a country and of the whole world.

    Valenzuela, Anna Lee Q.
    2014-62534
    STS THX

  36. Warren Cheah says:

    To be honest, what I got from listening to the podcast was that the Western and Eastern civilizations handled advancements and developments in technology very differently. It can be stated that China was able to start on and invent practical things whereas the European nations were able to further capitalize on the aforementioned inventions. It can be viewed in the sense that China was able to make the big discoveries while Europe was able to globalize and fully operationalize these inventions in the modern world. I guess a lot of this could be attributed to the the differences in Western and Eastern cultures.

    Warren C. Cheah
    2015-08297
    STS THX

  37. Needham question revolves around the reason why China did not flourish like Europe even if they started or inventions that shaped human society greatly came from them. I also like to wonder and ask the reason why it happened to China and like to run my imagination of ‘What ifs’ like “If that event did not happen to China”, how greatly would it shape and affect science and society today. But the thing is, I realized that why would I try to dwell on questions that have less significance even if answered since it did not happen in the first place! The point is, the podcast provides a probable explanation why China has been in decline in technological advancement and Europe prospers because of some factors and even if we find concrete explanations and pieces of evidence of Chinese science, we will likely be disappointed in a sense that what actually happened was the emergence of early modern science happened in Europe so we have study more about it than try to figure what went wrong to China. Lastly, let’s take this in mind that we should prioritize to study more about something that happened rather that to create conspiracy theories on something which I believe is helpful in a sense of imagining things but backward in terms of pursuit of knowledge.

    Power! Peace! Isko Out!

    Gabriel S. Chua
    2015-11849
    STS-THX

  38. Cata Catacutan says:

    STS THX GROUP 17

    Needham Question:
    Why did the scientific and technological advancements happen in the West and not in China?

    Gunpowder, magnetic compass, wheel barrows and printing were all first used and developed in China. How did the West overtake these initial discoveries?
    There are many theories assessed via sinology which gives reasons on why the West overtook the technological advancements in China. The first would be what they refer to as Renaissance Science which initiated the division of science into interdisciplinary fields such as medicine, astronomy, natural science, physics and many other fields that took on forms that are recognizable today. Euclidian geometry, which is a Greek mathematical system, and Aristotelian Logic were also mentioned which were ways to prove things scientifically and are conventionally accepted until today. Ways of abstract thinking in the West also come into play which stimulates thinkers and scientific advocates to develop science and technology. The Industrial Revolution, which was described to happen only once sparked international and local competition in Europe which involved much pressure between local states granting science and technological advancements to flourish in those times. China, on the other hand was described to be unified in such a way that there was no pressure and willingness to compete with the vast and rapid scientific revolution happening in the West. It was also said that the cultural influences of the religious groups in China were also interfering with the ways scientific ideas were promulgated.

    Science Revolution:
    Poetry vs Science:
    Does science really contradict and destroy the poetic idea of seeing things?

    Science, similar to poetry, initiates in awe of a specific thing which then develops many questions, ideas and thoughts to describe its essence. Similar to breaking up the rainbow to describe it further, a single ray of white light is interpreted in physics to be different colors corresponding to a specific wavelength. Both scientific thinking and poetry involve fiction; ideas are initiated from what is referred to as an imaginative step.

    How is Science poetic?
    The anaesthetic of familiarity, described as a sedative of ordinariness which dulls the senses and hides the wonder of existence, is also invoked both in science and in poetry. The aforementioned concept can also be interpreted as seeing something that we do not realize. Biology helps us realize that living things carry in themselves genes, which are the history of our ancestors. Our cells which make up our whole body are described to be towns of bacteria as each cellular component evolved from prehistoric and ancestral bacteria. From these, science is then similar to poetry which enables us to change our sense of perception, to look deeper into the essence of things.

  39. ppmagaoay says:

    What i realized is that, the Needham question is more than a cultural question. I honestly think that China fell behind the innovation that Europe has developed for the coming years mainly because China was mainly after the answers to questions related to their basic needs. They have built a foundation (which Europe developed) of how to improve their own lives – such as in agriculture. They rely on nature as the giver of the things that they need. For example, they still used traditional medicine, one that tehy have proven authentic and reliable, to cure the sick. Moreover, I believe that it was also because during that time, the interest in the cosmos, along with the budding of the industrial revolution, which Europe capitalized on to further develop their country.

  40. Majella Domingo says:

    I think that the events happening in China around this time caused it to fail in keeping up with Europe in terms of modern science and technology. While Britain was experiencing its Industrial Revolution, they were also drugging the Chinese with opium, and started a whole war against China because China wanted to ban the drug. Their defeat in the two opium wars started the public unrest and call to reform that brought down the Emperors and resulted in 50 years of political turmoil. I also agree with what the commentators stated on how China, being a unified nation for so long, and superior to it’s adjacent countries, didn’t have the drive to invent better and better technologies at this point in time, unlike in Europe, where the countries were constantly trying to compete with each other.

    Majella Cayley J. Domingo
    2013-14763
    STS THX

  41. Christine C. AAmor says:

    Coming from the podcast, Europe became more advanced in their technologies because they had greater need for it. Since the countries surrounding them are more or less equal in terms of their power of rulling. So when one clashes with his neigboring country he needs to be more equioed than the other in order to inflict much damage on the oponent. Then we compare it to China, where it is already a superpower at the time. And also taking into account the vastness of the land which makes it more impenetrable, and makes the country even greater in power compared to the waring states contending for its lands. So this already shortens the list of China’s rivals which might have told them to take productivity at its own pace. So to question why China didn’t advance as well as Europe is misleading. The fact that China had been civilized well before the European countries were established would say that China flourished already much like the Maya civilisation which also provided technologies until someone tapped on the idea to use for another purpose. It is just a cycle. Next it might be Europe’s turn and we’d be asking why did Asia or the South Anericas or Africa advanced more than Europe? And this has already took place in Japan and Singapore where AI research is being applied in the society. And we could expect more in the future from China where advancements are being made in the field of genetics. And in the race of who’s going to be the first one is still uncertain but the winner who’ll reap its benefits might one day also pose a question “why did we become more advanced than the others?”

    Amor, Christine C.
    201404173
    STS THX

  42. The reason why Europe (West) and not China developed modern science despite China being way more advanced during the Middle Ages can be linked to cultural and political factors. There was much competition for supremacy happening in the West which explains why weapons there were improved very quickly. Also,Taoism, one of the most dominant religion in China , is more of preserving things of their interest, including information about alchemy.

    Group 20
    STS WFX

  43. Angeli Marie N. Garcia says:

    The Needham question poses a cultural difference in the perception of advancement. The success of European countries in developing technologies is induced by political needs and the demand of society. The shortcomings of China on the discussed matter should be viewed with consideration of their religious beliefs and practices. The Chinese and Western lifestyles are very much different and as a result, they would be resorting to different ways to improve their environment and society. Howsoever, we should not forget that China excelled in a different field–business.

    Science is linked to poetry since science is an art as well. The poetic aspect of science helps the people in that field to effectively convey technical concepts to laymen. This is a matter of restructuring delivery to aid in depth understanding of discoveries.

    Group 8
    STS WFX

  44. Audrielle Santos says:

    The Needham question seeks to find the significance between China and Europe's scientific development, and how Europe became much more technologically inclined than China. I thought of it as a difference between their goals or mindsets. Europe is much more advanced due to their engagement in technological advancements and intense competitions. However, in China, they prioritized in upholding their beliefs and traditional approach to science. Also, China is more unified, wheareas in Europe, there is great competition with one another.

    Santos, Audrielle E.
    201504453
    STS WFX

  45. Kyle Chan says:

    Group 17 STS WFX

    Needham question

    For me it was interesting to see the reasons that led up to why china lagged behind european powers.
    People often marveled at how China was an ancient powerhouse with guns, paper and more but it all changed in the 1900s.
    The power of china fell very quickly compared to other asian countries like japan and was vunerable to outside attacks.
    The point of having humanities as rated higher than sciences was also a point that stood out to me.
    Mainly because there are striking cultural differences between east and west.

    Kyle Chan
    2015-01678
    STS WFX

  46. afbautista says:

    STS THX Group 4

    Upon hearing the two podcasts, I have realized that science is strongly affected by culture and society. The pursuit of science is quite biased because there must be a thirst for knowledge in order for something to be discovered. Even in science, there is political economy because research needs funding and usually, only those who have the resources can do anything productive for the pursuit of science.
    Europe was able to get ahead in terms of developing new technology even though China used to be the frontrunners in scientific discoveries because Europe was more motivated. Culture, tradition, and religion are huge elements that slowed down China?s development despite discovering gunpowder. These elements shape how an individual thinks and behaves, thus affecting the motivation they have for the pursuit of new technology. China is deeply rooted in traditional values while Europe was on a race to colonize many countries.

  47. STS WFX GROUP 2 says:

    it is an interesting take on showing that it is not always the case that the discoverer of a certain idea is the one who gets to harness the most potential from the discovery. Because China has been stuck with their traditions and beliefs, their development has also been stagnant. Their complacency in the idea that they were already doing well, also prevented them from growing into a stronger one.

    Additionally, it is necessary to point out the fact that this study was conducted by a person with Western-culture upbringing, and that must have had an impact on the way the study was executed and analyzed. His perspective is different from how it really is if you were to ask someone who’s Chinese. This shows the limitations of our history.

    STS WFX GROUP 2

  48. The podcast on the Needham Question helped us to understand how the advancement of technology in China affected the West, and also how it helped to make them so advanced that China was soon left behind in that race. For us, it wants to give us an insight on how the advancement of technology in a specific region, whether it is China or Europe, shaped their status today.

    Group 9 STS THX

  49. Francis Fulgar says:

    Our group has viewed the Needham question as more Western in nature. As such this preconceived notion of Western supremacy over technology has neglected the fact that China, a sleeping giant if you may call it that way, has a storied technological past. The problem is not with Eastern technological advancements as inferior to their Western counterparts. The thing is the orientation of the world in terms of technology is heavily-Western. And a lot of will and shake-up are needed to rock the established norms in the field of technology.

    GROUP 4
    STS WFX

  50. Francis Fulgar says:

    Just an insight about the Needham question, Sir. If you try to localize it, we can then consider that there were technological advancements in the Philippines that were not given enough attention because our orientation is heavily-Western, perhaps American. Our own system of writing could have flourished more if we had not adopted the Western model in almost full swing. Imagine the possibilities if we let our technology advanced without giving partial bias to external advancements.

    The Philippines could possibly be a superpower in an alternate universe.

    Francis Jasper F. Fulgar
    2014-43926
    STS-WFX

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