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Centre CHSA


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Organizers: Florence Bretelle-Establet, Agathe Keller, Christine Proust, (CNRS, SPHERE), Daniel P. Morgan.

The Center for a History of Science seen from Asia, CHSA, is a SPHere team. It is home to six statutory researchers and a varying number of associate members, doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers working in different parts of Asia (mainly the Indian subcontinent, China, and the ancient Near East) and share the desire to contribute not only to the history of science in China, India or Mesopotamia, but also to the general history of science. They start from the fact that working on Asia brings out specific issues that can be redeployed in a general history of science. Contribute to Sinology, Indianism, Assyriology, and more broadly to the history of ancient societies located in Asia through the study of science, and, at the same time, contribute to a theoretical approach to the history of science by renewing questions and methods, this is the goal of this center. In fact, its researchers work in a resolutely transversal way. They are all involved, in this respect, in other themes or other axes of the unit such as "History of Sciences, History of Text", "Cultures and Practices", "History and Philosophy of Mathematics", "History and Philosophy of Medicine".

The research axes of this Center are the history of mathematics, astral sciences, medicine in China, in the Indian subcontinent, in the ancient Near East. Its researchers are particularly keen to highlight, through a careful analysis of sources and their history, attentive to content as well as to the shaping and social contexts, the diversity of cultures and scientific communities in Asia. Historiographical questions, such as the history of the collections of sources and their consequences on the historiography of the sciences or the history and the stakes of the constructions of the so-called "Chinese", "Indian", "Babylonian" sciences, also occupy a important place.

This Center brings together a group of specialists in scientific texts produced in China, in the Indian subcontinent, and in the ancient Near East, experts in both science and philology. The CHSA, in coordination with the CHSPAM , is thus able to contribute to develop teaching and research that offers a global view of the practice of science as it does not exist in any other laboratory or master in France or internationally. Lastly, the Center has also developed a network of co-operation that links the planet, spreading as far as Europe, Asia, the Pacific and America, and thus enjoys an international reputation. Many collaborations with foreign universities and research centers have been developed for many years and will continue to be, for example with the Center for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC, Hamburg), Institute for the History of Natural Sciences (Peking, Academy of Science of China), the University Ts’ing-Hua, Taiwan, the Fudan University, Shanghai, the Department of Mathematics of the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), as well as with museums and libraries on all continents.