Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(1,227 words)

When the first pieces of information on modern chemistry reached China during the late 18th century, Chinese scientists and linguists were forced to deal with the problem of how to translate the new scientific vocabulary into Chinese. The first text which focused on chemistry was called Bowu xin (New Natural Philosophy and Natural History). It was published in 1855 by Benjamin Hobson, an English physician who worked for the missionary hospitals in Shanghai and Guangzhou. This text does not only treat chemistry but also other pure sciences. A total…

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Iannaccone, Isaia, “Chemistry”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 11 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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