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A Bridge between China and the Rest of the World


Dec. 19, Tuesday: Prof. Richard de Grijs on 17th C exploration

 How do we know where we are, or what time it is? In this era of smartphones and GPS, it’s hard to imagine how 17th century intellectuals answered such basic questions.  Even how they communicated with one another – largely through letters – was different in the days before scientific journals. Prof. Richard de Grijs’ new book combines excerpts from many of these letters for the first time in a single volume, exploring how the uptick in world trade in the 17th  and 18th  centuries gave determinations of location and time strategic importance. In discussing his book “Time and Time Again: Determination of Longitude at Sea in the 17th Century”, de Grijs will lead us on a journey through time, back to when Europeans scrambled to measure positions at sea and Chinese admiral Zheng He ventured across the Indian Ocean.  

WHAT: Prof. Richard de Grijs on 17th century exploration 

    WHEN: Dec. 19, Tuesday, 7:30-9:00 PM

    WHERE: The Courtyard Institute, 28 Zhonglao Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing (see map)

    HOW MUCH: RMB 30 for RASBJ members, RMB 50 for non-members

    RSVP: email communications.ras.bj@gmail.com 
by Dec. 18 and write “de Grijs” in the header


Richard de Grijs is a professor of astrophysics at the Kavli Institute
for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University. He received the
2012 Selby Award for excellence in science from the Australian Academy
of Science, a 2013 Visiting Academy Professorship at Leiden University
from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 2017
Erskine Award from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), and a
2017 Jan Michalski award (Switzerland) for interdisciplinary
authors. His research focuses on many aspects of star cluster physics,
from their stellar populations to their dynamics and their use as
star-formation tracers in distant galaxies. He is currently also
engaged in a number of research projects related to the history of
astronomy, with special emphasis on the 17th Century. His research
group at Peking University is popular with both undergraduate and
graduate students. He considers interactions with students among the
highlights of his professional life.

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