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June 20, Tuesday: “Technology transfer along the Silk Road: Myth, mystery and reality”

Please join us for an RASBJ presentation about important inventions that were transferred between Europe and China, including their myths, mysteries and reality. Prof. Plinio Innocenzi explains why the architectural marvel of Florence's Duomo -- Filippo Brunelleschi's dome -- was a technological breakthrough, never attempted before nor created ever again. Brunelleschi built machines to construct the dome which profoundly influenced later technologies, reaching beyond the field of architecture. Such designs -- some of which were brought to China by Jesuits -- were categorized centuries later as Chinese inventions. Other innovations were indeed Chinese breakthroughs. And quite a few mysteries remain about inventions that appeared in both China and Europe without any documented exchange. Prof. Innocenzi will present case studies of machines used by Brullelleschi as well other disoveries –  paddle boats, the magic square (pictured, Yuan Dynasty), paper, mechanical clocks, hydraulic devices – which offer a view differing from Joseph Needham’s perspective.  Veteran foreign correspondent Laura Daverio will moderate the event.


WHAT: “Technology transfer along the Silk Road: Myth, mystery and reality” by Prof. Plinio Innocenzi
WHEN: June 20, Tuesday from 7:30-9:30 PM
WHERE: The Bookworm, Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District Tel: 6586 9507 MAP 
HOW MUCH: RMB 65 for members of RASBJ and Bookworm, 75 for non-members
RSVP: Email communications.ras.bj@gmail.com and put “Inventions” in the header


Prof. Plinio Innocenzi is Full Professor of Materials Science at the University of Sassari in Italy and Director of the Laboratory of Materials Science and Nanotechnology (LMNT) of the University of Sassari. In 2010 he was appointed Science and Technology Counsellor at the Embassy of Italy in China. He is also visiting Professor at the Osaka Prefecture University in Japan and at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, as well as Honorary Professor at the Luoyang Normal University . He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and author of more than 250 scientific articles, 5 books and 10 patents. His research is focused on nanoscience and he is very active in popularizing science among a general audience.


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