The Exploitation of the Works of Nature (Tiangong Kaiwu)
Tiangong kaiwu (Exploitation of the works of nature), an integrated work on agriculture and handicrafts, is one of the most important works on science and technology in the history of China. A European scholar has called it a 17th-century version of the Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie published in France in the 18th century. The author was the noted Ming dynasty scientist Song Yingxing. While working as an instructor in Fenyi County in Jiangxi province, he researched agricultural and artisanal technology, which he then organized into a book. This work was ...