Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


world power of science and technology, Needham Puzzle, Qian Xuesen's Question, poverty of philosophy, cultivation of philosophy

Document Type

Philosophy and Science


Since the founding of the People's Republic of China more than 70 years ago, China's science and technology development has gained great achievements. However, some deep-rooted problems still pose serious impediments for China to build itself into a world power of science and technology in the next 30 years. It is a must for us to explore the root causes of these problems and find the solution. Through the analysis of the historical context of the "Needham Puzzle" and "Qian Xuesen's Question", as well as the philosophical origin of the bottleneck of China's science and technology development, this study proposed that "poverty of philosophy" is probably the root cause of the problem hindering S&T development in China. This study analyzed the influence of philosophy on science and technology, and further proved that "poverty of philosophy" is one of the root causes for China's inability to establish an independent scientific system, to train distinguished scientists, to accomplish original innovation, and to build a healthy academic ecology. By analogy with famous Mencius statement:"To cure a disease lasting for seven years, one must seek mugwort stored for three years", this study proposed that the cultivation of philosophy is the "mugwort stored for thirty years" to boost China's endeavor for a world power of science and technology. Moreover, we suggested that the government should implement the cultivation of philosophy as one of national strategies. It is necessary to strengthen the construction of philosophy while deepening the reform of science and technology system in a more mature and systematic way, so as to lay a realistic and long-term foundation for China's endeavor for a world power of science and technology.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences

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