Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 March 1997
With the death of Joseph Needham on 24 March 1995 the world of learning lost one of the greatest scholars in this or any country, of this or any century. For more than thirty years Needham had been the greatest sinologist in the West, having previously achieved an international status as a research biochemist and as a historian. Intellectually a bridge-builder between science, religion and Marxist socialism, and supremely so between East and West, he has been called the Erasmus of the twentieth century. A sober assessment suggests that with the passage of time he will be recognized as a greater figure than the scholar from Rotterdam.
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