Song Ci (1186–1249), “Father of World Legal Medicine”: History, Science, and Forensic Culture in Contemporary China

  title={Song Ci (1186–1249), “Father of World Legal Medicine”: History, Science, and Forensic Culture in Contemporary China},
  author={Daniel {\AA}sen},
  journal={East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal},
  pages={185 - 207}
  • D. Åsen
  • Published 22 April 2017
  • History
  • East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Song Ci (1186–1249) was an official of the Southern Song Dynasty best known for authoring the Collected Writings on the Washing Away of Wrongs (Xiyuan jilu), a work often hailed as the world's first systematic treatise on forensic medicine. While biographical details about his life were known in local history writings during the late imperial period, Song had garnered relatively little attention among those who handled forensic examinations, despite the fact that his work had impacted Chinese… 
3 Citations

Forensic Pluralism and the Dead Body in Early 20th-Century China

  • D. Åsen
  • Medicine
    Academic forensic pathology
  • 2021
This article untangles the complexities of forensic practice during this period through the rather unexceptional exchange over a case of suspected drowning that occurred between local officials in Hebei province and Lin Ji (1897-1951), director of the Beiping University Medical School Institute of Legal Medicine.

History of Forensic Science



The Art of Medicine in Early China: The Ancient and Medieval Origins of a Modern Archive by Miranda Brown (review)

Miranda Brown’s new monograph spotlights a fundamental, yet surprisingly neglected question: Why did the development of medicine in China come to be narrated in the way that it is? Her work is a

Traditional Medicine in Modern China: Science, Nationalism, and the Tensions of Cultural Change.

Although he discusses the important material obstacles to medical modernization in a country of China's size and poverty, he is most interested in the persistence of medical conservatism as a cultural phenomenon.

Death in Beijing: Murder and Forensic Science in Republican China

In this innovative and engaging history of homicide investigation in Republican Beijing, Daniel Asen explores the transformation of ideas about death in China in the first half of the twentieth

Uneasy encounters : the politics of medicine and health in China, 1900-1937

This book discusses League of Nations Efforts towards a Reformed National Health System in China and the role of religion and science in the development of public health in China.

The Making of Modern Chinese Medicine, 1850-1960

This book examines the dichotomy between Western and Chinese medicine, showing how it has been greatly exaggerated and challenges the supposed superiority of Western medicine in China while showing how traditional Chinese medicine was deliberately created in the image of a modern scientific practice.

Forensic cultures in historical perspective: technologies of witness, testimony, judgment (and justice?).

  • C. Hamlin
  • History
    Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2013

Painters and Politics in the People's Republic of China, 1949-1979

This study of art, artists and artistic policy during the first three decades of the People's Republic of China aims to make a contribution to our understanding of modern China. From 1949 to 1979,

Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China: Plurality and Synthesis

In attempting to illuminate the plurality in Chinese medical practice, Scheid redefines-and in some cases abandons-traditional anthropological concepts such as tradition, culture, and practice in favor of approaches from disciplines such as science and technology studies, social psychology, and Chinese philosophy.

Current Medico‐legal Death Investigation System in China

There is a wide variation in the scope, extent, and quality of investigations among the agencies and at the different levels of county/district, municipal, and provincial governments.

The Construction of Racial Identities in China and Japan

Far from being a negligible aspect of contemporary identity, racialised senses ofbelonging have often been the very foundation ofnational identity in East Asia in the twentieth century. As this