The first issue of BJHS Themes, the new open access, annual journal, on the‘Science of giants’, looks at science and technology in modern India and China, and is the outcome of several years’ intensive discussion at workshops across the world. The guest editors are the historian of Indian science Jahnavi Phalkey, who lectures at King’s College London, and the Toronto-based historian and photographer Tong Lam. ‘We bring historical knowledge to speak usefully to the excitement, anxiety and aspiration around science and technology in China and India’, explain Phalkey and Lam in their introduction, adding that a focus on China and India, sometimes comparatively, sometimes in parallel, is a method of exploring new historiographical questions of science.
Papers address branches of science as varied as natural history, space technology and statistics. There are papers on science policy, industry,science parks, science fiction and snow leopards. There is also a variety of approaches from historiographical inquiry to case studies, fromphoto-essay to roundtable discussion.