New Book: 'Science between Europe and Asia', edited by Feza Günergun and Dhruv Raina (Springer, 2011)

This book explores the various historical and cultural aspects of scientific, medical and technical exchanges that occurred between central Europe and Asia. A number of papers investigate the printing, gunpowder, guncasting, shipbuilding, metallurgical and drilling technologies while others deal with mapping techniques, the adoption of written calculation and mechanical clocks as well as the use of medical techniques such as pulse taking and electrotherapy. While human mobility played a significant role in the exchange of knowledge, translating European books into local languages helped the introduction of new knowledge in mathematical, physical and natural sciences from central Europe to its periphery and to the Middle East and Asian cultures. The book argues that the process of transmission of knowledge whether theoretical or practical was not a simple and one-way process from the donor to the receiver as it is often admitted, but a multi-dimensional and complex cultural process of selection and transformation where ancient scientific and local traditions and elements. The book explores the issue from a different geopolitical perspective, namely not focusing on a singular recipient and several points of distribution, namely the metropolitan centres of science, medicine, and technology, but on regions that are both recipients and distributors and provides new perspectives based on newly investigated material for historical studies on the cross scientific exchanges between different parts of the world.

Table of contents

Introduction, Feza Günergun, Dhruv Raina On technologies Christopher Cullen, Reflections on the transmission and transformation of technologies: Agriculture, printing and gunpowder between East and West Gabor Agoston, The Ottoman Empire and the technological dialogue between Europe and Asia: the case of military technology and know-how in the gunpowder age Kahraman Şakul, General observations on the Ottoman military industry, 1774-1839: Problems of organization and standardization Nanny Kim, Cultural attitudes and horse technologies: a view on chariots and stirrups from the eastern end of the Eurasian continent On maps, astronomical instruments, clocks and calendars Sonja Brentjes, Patchwork - the norm of mapmaking practices for western Asia in Catholic and Protestant Europe as well as in Istanbul between 1550 and 1750? Feza Günergun, The Ottoman ambassador's curiosity coffer: Eclipse prediction with De La Hire’s ‘machine’ crafted by Bion of Paris Atilla Bir, Şinasi Acar, Mustafa Kaçar, The clockmaker family Meyer and their watch keeping the alla turca time Takehiko Hashimoto, The Adoption and adaptation of mechanical clocks in Japan Pingyi Chu, Adoption and resistance: Zhang Yongjing and ancient chinese calendrical methods On localizing, appropriating and translating new knowledge Dhruv Raina, Travelling Both Ways: The Adaptation of Disciplines, Scientific Textbooks and Institutions Meltem Akbaş, Between translation and adaptation: the Turkish editions of Ganot’s Traité Manolis Patiniotis, Eclecticism and appropriation of the new scientific methods by the Greek-speaking scholars in the Ottoman Empire On medicine and medical practices Harold J.Cook, Conveying Chinese medicine to 17th-century Europe Deepak Kumar, Adoption and adaptation: a study of medical ideas and techniques in colonial India Akiko Ito, How electricity energizes the body: Electrotherapeutics and its analogy of life in the Japanese medical context Hormoz Ebrahimnejad, What is ‘Islamic’ in Islamic medicine? An overview