Lu Gwei-djen

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Lu Gwei-djen
魯桂珍
Born(1904-07-22)July 22, 1904
DiedNovember 28, 1991(1991-11-28) (aged 87)
OccupationAcademic, Biochemist,[1] Historian of science and technology in China
Spouse(s)Joseph Needham (m. 1989)[2]

Lu Gwei-djen (Chinese: 魯桂珍; pinyin: Lǔ Guìzhēn; Wade–Giles: Lu Kui-chen; July 22, 1904 – November 28, 1991) was a Chinese biochemist and historian. She was an expert on the history of science and technology in China and a researcher of nutriology. She was an important researcher and co-author of the project Science and Civilisation in China led by Joseph Needham.

Career[edit]

Lu began her distinguished career teaching biochemistry at the Women's Medical College in Shanghai between 1928–30, then moved to teach at the Medical School at St John's University, Shanghai between 1930-33. She then took up a post as Research Assistant at the Henry Lester Institute for Medical Research, Shanghai from 1933-37.[3]

In 1938, she came to the UK for a year's postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge under Dorothy M. Needham, as a research student at Newnham College.[3]

In 1939, during World War II, she took up a post as Research Fellow at the Institute of Experimental Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley, and at the Harriman Research Lab, San Francisco, from 1939-41. She moved to the Hillman Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama from 1941–42, and then to the International Cancer Research Foundation, Philadelphia, from 1942-45.[3]

In 1945, she joined the Needhams in Chongqing as a consultant for nutrition at the Co-operation office and in 1948, moved to Paris to work at UNESCO at the secretariat for natural sciences.[4]

From 1947 onwards, she was a Research Fellow of the Wellcome Medical Foundation, working with Dr Joseph Needham in Cambridge on the 'Science & Civilisation in China' project.[3]

She was a Foundation Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.[3]

Works[edit]

Among the work on which she is credited as co-author are:

  • Lu Gwei-djen & Needham, Joseph (1980). Celestial Lancets: A History and Rationale of Acupuncture and Moxa. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Needham, Joseph; Wang Ling & Lu Gwei-djen (1971). Civil Engineering and Nautics. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. IV.3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-07060-0.
  • Needham, Joseph & Lu Gwei-djen (1983). Spagyrical discovery and invention : Physiological alchemy. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. V.5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521085748.
  • Needham, Joseph; Lu Gwei-djen; Combridge, John H. & Major, John S. (1986). The Hall of Heavenly Records: Korean Astronomical Instruments and Clocks, 1380-1780. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521616980.
  • Lu Gwei-Djen & Needham, Joseph (1951). "A contribution to the history of Chinese dietetics". Isis. 42 (1): 13–20. doi:10.1086/349229. JSTOR 226660. PMID 14831972. S2CID 10054102.

Legacy[edit]

The Lu Gwei-Djen Prize for the History of Science awarded by Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge is named in her honour[5] as is the Lu Gwei Djen Research Fellowship awarded by Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge - a position previously held by biophysicist Dr Eileen Nugent.[6]

Personal life[edit]

The daughter of a pharmacist,[4] she was well known as Needham's long-time collaborator, co-author, Chinese language teacher and his second wife.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yiu, Y.N. (January 2010). "The Man Who Loved China by Simon Winchester". Book Talk. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03.
  2. ^ Xinhua (24 September 2008). "Biography tells secrets of Joseph Needham's China love". China Daily. Xinhua.
  3. ^ a b c d e Newnham College Register. Vol. II. p. 170.
  4. ^ a b "Joseph Needham (1900-1995): A more detailed biography of Joseph Needham". Rise of the West.
  5. ^ "Gonville and Caius College: elections and awards". Cambridge Reporter. 21 July 1999.
  6. ^ "Dr Eileen Nugent". Lucy Cavendish College. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  7. ^ Winchester, Simon (2008). The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-088459-8. Also published as Gun, Book and Compass.

Additional sources[edit]