Zhu Kezhen 竺可桢

A famous modern meteorologist and educator

Overview

Chinese Name: 竺可桢

English Name: Zhu Kezhen

Other Names: Oufang 藕舫

Born: March 7, 1890

Died: February 7, 1974

Achievements:

Be the president of Zhejiang University from 1936 to 1949 1936年至1949年担任浙江大学校长

Be elected as an academician of the Central Academy of Sciences in 1948 于1948年被选为中央研究院院士

Be elected as a member (academician) of the Academic Department of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1955 于1955年选聘为中国科学院学部委员(院士)

Main Works:

Meteorology 《气象学》

Phenology《物候学》

Zhu Kezhen 竺可桢
Zhu Kezhen 竺可桢

Brief Biography of Zhu Kezhen

Zhu Kezhen was the academician of the Academia Sinica, CAS Member, member of the Communist Party of China, modern Chinese meteorologist, geographer and educator, founder of modern Chinese geography and meteorology, and the former president of Zhejiang University 浙江大学.

Zhu Kezhen (March 7, 1890, to February 7, 1974), courtesy name of Oufang 藕舫, was born in Dongguan Town 东关镇, Shaoxing County 绍兴县, Zhejiang Province 浙江省.

On March 7, 1890, Zhu Kezhen was born in Dongguan Town, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province (now Shangyu District 上虞区, Shaoxing 绍兴, Zhejiang Province 浙江省), a small business family. In 1909, Zhu Kezhen was admitted to Tangshan Road Mine Academy 唐山路矿学堂 (now Southwest Jiaotong University 西南交通大学) to study civil engineering

In 1910, he studied in the United States at public expense; In 1918, he received a doctor’s degree from Harvard University 哈佛大学; In the autumn of 1920, he applied to Nanjing Normal University 南京高等师范学校; Since 1929, he has been elected as the president of China Meteorological Society for many times; In 1934, he participated in the establishment of the Chinese Geographical Society.

The statue of Zhu Kezhen 竺可桢塑像
The statue of Zhu Kezhen 竺可桢塑像

He served as President of Zhejiang University in April 1936, lasting 13 years; In 1949, he served as the president of the Chinese Geographical Society. After the founding of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in November of the same year, Zhu Kezhen was appointed as the vice president and director of the Department of Biology and Geography; In 1950, he was elected as a member of the National Committee of the All-China Federation of Natural Science Special Societies, and vice chairman of the All-China Association for the Popularization of Science and Technology.

In 1955, he was elected as a member (academician) of the Department of Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and concurrently served as the director of the Department of Biology and Geography; In 1956, the “Comprehensive Investigation Work Committee” was officially established, with Zhu Kezhen as the director of the committee; Joined the Communist Party of China in June 1962. He died on February 7, 1974, at the age of 84.

Zhu Kezhen, the founder of Chinese phenology, has made profound research on the formation, characteristics, zoning, and changes in China’s climate, geography, and the history of natural science.

Personal Life and Major Contributions

Young talents

On March 7, 1890, Zhu Kezhen was born in Dongguan Town, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province (now Shangyu District, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province). Since childhood, he studied hard and developed patriotic thoughts. He admired the knowledge and ideas of Lu You 陆游, a poet in the Song Dynasty 宋, and Wang Yangming 王阳明, a scholar in the Ming Dynasty 明朝. Zhu Kezhen was smart and eager to learn when he was young. He began to read at the age of 2.

The former residence of Zhu Kezhen 竺可桢故居
The former residence of Zhu Kezhen 竺可桢故居

In 1909, Zhu Kezhen was admitted to Tangshan Road Mine Academy (now Southwest Jiaotong University) to study civil engineering, and his academic achievements ranked first in the class.

Be the founder of Historical Climatology

Zhu Kezhen is the founder and founder of historical climatology. Among them, historical climate change is a field in which he has made the most efforts and achievements, and is famous in the international scientific community. Zhu Kezhen’s other great contribution to historical climatology is historical phenology. Zhu Kezhen once established a Chinese meteorological observation network with more than 40 meteorological stations and more than 100 rainfall measurement stations in China.

Zhu Kezhen at Work 工作中的竺可桢
Zhu Kezhen at Work 工作中的竺可桢

On the one hand, he paid attention to the observation and record of phenology. From the day after he returned to China in 1921 to the day before his death in 1974, he observed and recorded phenology and weather every day; On the other hand, historical phenological data are widely collected. He and Wan Minwei 宛敏渭 have collected rich historical phenological data and research results in the book Phenology, which is rare in phenological works in other countries.

Contribution of “sustainable development” thought

As a pioneer of the idea of “sustainable development”, Zhu Kezhen has always been paying attention to China’s population, resources, and environmental issues from a scientific perspective. He not only pays great attention to the theoretical issues related to sustainable development in theory but also integrates knowledge with practice.

Southwest Jiaotong University 西南交通大学
Southwest Jiaotong University 西南交通大学

He devotes himself to the practice of economic and social development. From the historical process of the formation of the world’s sustainable development idea, his proposal of these ideas marks that Chinese scientists have earlier independent attention to and research on population, resources, and environmental issues is a forward-looking early exploration of the concept of “sustainable development” by the Chinese scientific community.

Video: Zhu Kezhen

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