About me

I am Gianamar Giovannetti-Singh, a PhD Candidate in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and a Ri Freer Prize Fellow of the Royal Institution. My thesis, Globalising China: Jesuits, Eurasian Exchanges, and the Early Modern Sciences, examines how the Manchu conquest of China transformed the early modern sciences. My project radically reorients common accounts of the history of science by showing that several scientific debates typically deemed “European” originated in China, emerging through East Asian peoples’ interactions with Jesuit missionaries. Focusing on the missionary Martino Martini’s writings, I reveal the ways in which Chinese scientific and technological knowledge came to be seen as credible and even valuable in Enlightenment Europe.

I am passionate about decolonising research and pedagogy in the history of science and provincialising European contributions to "science" and "modernity." My research interests include cultural and intellectual histories of colonial encounters, the Jesuit China mission, history of natural history, history of scholarship, histories of race, science and empire studies, and the sociology of scientific knowledge.

From September to November 2021, I was a Visiting Predoctoral Fellow in Department III at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where I led the project "Of Soils and Stars: Jesuit Perceptions of Chinese Agricultural Practices through Calendrical Construction". The project examined how Jesuit missionaries made sense of the historical connections between agriculture and astronomy in late Ming and early Qing China. From March to May 2022, I was a Junior Fellow at the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Science and the Humanities at Universiteit Utrecht, where I studied early modern Dutch representations of southern Africa and its inhabitants. In June 2022, I held a Lisa Jardine Grant Award to study the reception of Chinese astronomy at the Royal Society in London.

Gianamar Giovannetti-Singh in front of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City

Research trip to the Archivio de Propaganda Fide in December 2019

Biblioteca Casanatense, December 2019

Printed engraving of the Imperial Astronomical Bureau at Beijing. The print shows a zodiacal sphere, an equinoctial sphere, an azimuthal horizon, a quadrant, a sextant, and a celestial globe.

The Imperial Astronomical Bureau of Beijing, taken from the French Jesuit Louis Le Comte's (1655-1728) Memoirs and observations topographical, physical, mathematical, mechanical, natural, civil, and ecclesiastical (London: 1698).


I can be contacted by email at gg410[at]cam.ac.uk (replace [at] with @)