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In the early twentieth century, the first large batch of Chinese civil engineers had graduated from the USA, and together with their American senior colleagues returned to China. They were enthusiastic about reconstructing the young republic by building new railways, highways, and canals, but what the engineers experienced in China, including mismanaged railways, useless highways, and silted canals, did not always meet their expectations and ideals. In this book, Thorben Pelzer makes the stories of these Chinese and American engineers come to life through exploring previously unpublished letters, rare images, maps, and a rich biographical dataset. He argues that the experiences of these engineers include a myriad of contradictions, disillusionment, and discontent, keeping the engineering profession in a constant flux of searching for its meaning and its place in Republican China.
The Quarrel over Swammerdam’s Posthumous Works reconstructs the vicissitudes of Johannes Swammerdam’s Biblia naturae, a pivotal collection of writings in the history of science. Bequeathed to the polymath Melchisédech Thévenot, the manuscripts and drawings of the treatises constituting this collection were instead kept by the editor Hermann Wingendorp after Swammerdam’s death (1680), triggering a quarrel over their publication.

By analysing Swammerdam’s scientific legacy and by offering an edition of the correspondence testifying to the efforts towards such publication, this book sheds light on the editorial history and intellectual context of Swammerdam’s Biblia. This reveals not only an intricate plot of authorized and unauthorized attempts to publish it, but also an exchange of scientific texts and instruments in the late seventeenth century.
This interdisciplinary book focuses on Charles Darwin’s extensively detailed observations of all forms of animate life across the global world—humans included. These existential realities of Nature are not commonly recognized in today’s world, yet they are all of sizable import in impacting both flora and fauna, thus in human understandings of the nature of the world and the nature of all forms of animate life. Darwin’s descriptively anchored observations furthermore tie in directly with Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological analyses of experience. However different their inquiries and wonder at the world and at human experience, their analyses show how descriptive foundations and a concern with origins are integral to both, and how methodology and a living dynamics are central to a recognition of the complementarity of biological-neurological sciences and phenomenology.
Universal Scholar and Natural Scientist of the Renaissance
The Zurich polymath Conrad Gessner (1516–1565) is known as the founder of zoology and plant geography, the father of bibliography, editor of ancient texts, and author of one of the most important paleontological works of the sixteenth century. While preparing his extensive work on plants, he died unexpectedly and early from the plague. Gessner's interest in the natural sciences was rooted, on the one hand, in the new conception of nature that emerged with the Renaissance, and, on the other hand, in the creation theology of the Reformation, which considered nature as a second book of God's revelation next to the Bible. This richly illustrated and erudite biography is the first biography of Gessner to appear in English.

This biography is a translation of Conrad Gessner (1516-1565): Universalgelehrter und Naturforscher der Renaissance (Basel: NZZ Libro, 2016).
At the Interface / Probing the Boundaries seeks to encourage and promote cutting edge inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary projects and inquiry. By bringing people together from differing contexts, disciplines, professions, and vocations, the aim is to engage in conversations that are innovative, i