Needham Research Institute
Address8 Sylvester Road, Cambridge CB3 9AF, England
Coordinates52°12′18″N 0°06′06″E / 52.2050°N 0.1018°E / 52.2050; 0.1018

The Needham Research Institute (NRI; Chinese: 李約瑟研究所),[1] located on the grounds of Robinson College, in Cambridge, England, is a centre for research into the history of science, technology and medicine in East Asia. The institute is named after the biochemist and historian Joseph Needham, who initiated the Science and Civilisation in China series. The current director is Mei Jianjun, a noted archaeo-metallurgist.

The organization was founded as the East Asian History of Science Trust in August 1968. In June 1983 the trustees conferred the title Needham Research Institute.[2] The Trustees of the NRI is a registered charity.[3]

The institute grew out of Needham's research collection, which was originally housed in Gonville and Caius College, where he was Master until his retirement in 1976. After several moves, it moved into its current purpose-built structure in Robinson College in 1991. The building was designed in the Chinese style, and has been described by its architect as "East Anglian Asian".[4]

List of directors

  1. Joseph Needham 1983-1990
  2. Ho Peng Yoke February 1990[5]-2001
  3. Christopher Cullen October 2003[6]-December 2013[7]
  4. Mei Jianjun January 2014-


  1. ^ "Intute: Health and Life Sciences — Full record details for Needham Research Institute". Intute (formerly the Resource Discovery Network). Retrieved 25 June 2009.
  2. ^ "Needham Research Institute" (PDF). Needham Research Institute Newsletter. January 1987. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Needham Research Institute". Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  4. ^ Davies, Mansel (27 March 1995). "OBITUARY: Joseph Needham". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
  5. ^ "Appointments" (PDF). Needham Research Institute Newsletter. June 1990. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  6. ^ "New Director for the Institute" (PDF). Needham Research Institute Newsletter. October 2004. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Professor Christopher Cullen's Retirement as Director of the Needham Research Institute" (PDF). Needham Research Institute Newsletter. August 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2018.