In Our Time: History

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and ideas of Li Shizhen (1518-1593) whose compendium of natural medicines is celebrated in China as the most complete survey of natural remedies of its time. He trained as a doctor and worked at the Ming court before spending almost 30 years travelling in China, inspecting local plants and animals for their properties, trying them out on himself and then describing his findings in his Compendium of Materia Medica or Bencao Gangmu, in 53 volumes. He's been called the uncrowned king of Chinese naturalists, and became a scientific hero in the 20th century after the revolution.

With

Craig Clunas

Professor Emeritus in the History of Art at the University of Oxford

Anne Gerritsen

Professor in History at the University of Warwick

And

Roel Sterckx

Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History at the University of Cambridge

Producer: Simon Tillotson

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