A brief analysis of the distribution of top scientific and technological talents in China in the early days of the founding of the people’s Republic of China!

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Original: Shenzhen ningnanshan source: ningnanshan

Distribution of top talents in China at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China

It took several days to check one by one the list of 172 academicians in the category of science and technology of the first Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1955 and the list of 18 newly elected academicians in 1957, a total of 190.

Note that these 190 are only in the field of science and technology, and others include philosophy and politics. This will not be taken into account.

Among them, 172 academicians in 1955:

Department of Mathematical Physics (30 persons)

Among the 30 people, there must be masters, including Hua Luogeng, Su Buqing, Ma Dayou, yeqisun, wangganchang, wuyouxun, zhoupeiyuan, zhaozhongyao, qiansanqiang, QianWeichang, penghuanwu, etc.

The chemical department (22 people), including lujiaxi and wuxuezhou.

Biology Department (60 persons)

The biology department also includes medicine, including the famous linqiaozhi and Tongdizhou.

Geoscience Department (24 persons)

This department of Geosciences includes not only geology, but also meteorology. Both lisiguang and zhukezhen are academicians of the Department of Geosciences, as well as meteorologist and space physicist zhaojiuzhang. His representative work is high altitude atmospheric physics. Zhaojiuzhang is one of the founding fathers of the two bombs and one satellite, and has made great contributions to the cause of China’s artificial satellites.

Department of technology and Science (36 persons)

What does the Department of technology and science do? As the name suggests, it is engaged in technology,

Like jinshuliang and shaoxianghua in the iron and steel industry,

Hou Debang in the chemical industry, Liang Sicheng in architecture, Mao Yisheng in bridges, and Wang Dayan, a laser technology expert, are among them.

List of academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1957 (18 in total)

Mathematical physics department (6 persons)

Chemical department (2 persons)

Biology Department (5 persons)

Geoscience Department (3 persons)

Technical science department (2 persons)

These 190 people were the top talents in China at that time. For example, among the 18 academicians selected in 1957, guoyonghuai, Qian Xuesen, Tang Feifan, who first isolated Chlamydia trachomatis in the world, and so on.

Then I made a statistics according to the provinces.

This workload is not small. It takes a lot of time to query. After all, there are as many as 190 people.

However, it is very valuable to study the distribution of top talents in China at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China, and it can also reflect the level of education development in all parts of the country before the founding of the people’s Republic of China.

Of course, most scientists have the same place of origin, birthplace and place of growth,

But sometimes there will be inconsistencies. Where is he?

I use the principle of “place of growth” giving priority to the comprehensive consideration of place of origin and place of birth,

For example, sun Dehe, a scientist, was born in Beijing, but his native place was Tongcheng, Anhui Province. He also read books in Tongcheng. Of course, he was from Anhui Province.

Another example is Liangsicheng, whose native place is Guangdong, born in Japan, but who grew up in Beijing and studied in primary and secondary schools. Then I can be regarded as a Beijinger.

Another example is Yan Kai, who was born in Tianjin and studied in primary school in Tianjin, but in middle school in Zhejiang. This kind of person is from Tianjin.

In general, among the 190 scientists, there were not many scientists who had much experience in life since childhood. There were only about 10 scientists. Most of them were born in the same place and grew up the same,

Therefore, even if there are different opinions about where the scientist is from, it will not have much impact on the whole.

Here are some scientists in the table I made.


According to my statistics, of the 190 academicians, 174 had studied, studied or worked abroad when they were young, and only 16 had been growing up in China. Of course, some of these 16 people went abroad for investigation after they became famous. For example, liuxianzhou went to the United States for investigation for almost a year when he was 56 (1946), which was not considered as studying and working abroad when he was young.

It can also be seen that foreign countries with more advanced technology, especially Europe and the United States, are the main learning places for the growth of China’s senior talents.

Like Hua Luogeng, one of the 190 top talents, although his first degree was a rare junior high school graduate, he went to Cambridge University for two years as a lecturer of Tsinghua University in 1936 at the age of 26.

Hua Luogeng is a rare genius. After graduating from junior high school, he taught himself mathematics in senior high school and junior college. Later, he caused a sensation in the mathematical world because he published the reason why sujiaju’s solution to the quintic equation of algebra could not be established in the Shanghai Science magazine. He was attracted by the dean of the Department of mathematics of Tsinghua University and invited to work as a librarian in the Tsinghua University Library. Later, he became a lecturer all the way, After studying in Cambridge University in 1937, he became a professor of Tsinghua University.

As predicted in advance, among the 190 top scientists in China in the 1950s, the largest number came from Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces,

There are 40 people in Jiangsu and 34 people in Zhejiang, accounting for 38.95% of the country in total. If Shanghai is included, there are 87 people in total, accounting for 45.79%, which is basically half of the country.


In old China, Shanghai was the economic center of the country (in fact, it is now), and Nanjing was the capital at that time. Therefore, both Nanjing and Shanghai were places where top universities in old China gathered, especially Shanghai,

It goes without saying that Academician Qian Xuesen graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University.

I found that several academicians graduated from Shanghai Datong University, which we haven’t heard of today. In 1952, it was merged into Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tongji, Fudan and other Shanghai universities,

Other Shanghai universities that have cultivated academicians include Hujiang University, Tongji University, Donghua University, Soochow University, Guanghua University and St. John’s University.

For example, Guanghua University, although we haven’t heard of its name today, it has more than 800 students at its peak. Hu Shi, Li Linxiang, Xuzhimo and other famous scholars have taught in the University. Later, the University merged with Shanghai Daxia University and other institutions to establish East China Normal University in 1951.

In Nanjing, Jinling University and Central University (and its predecessor Nanjing Normal University) have trained many academicians, especially central university. I counted as many as 15 people who graduated from Central University.

Hebei Province, on the other hand, outshines other provinces in North China with 15 academicians. Only Beijing (9 academicians) can compete with it, far exceeding the sum of Henan (6) and Shandong (5), and ranking third in the country after Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

I looked at the hometown distribution of Hebei academicians and found that they mainly came from Tangshan and Baoding.

Tangshan is one of the earliest cities in the industrialization of China’s westernization movement. Kailuan coal mine, large cement plant Qixin foreign ash, China’s first domestic steam locomotive (today CRRC has a Tangshan Locomotive and rolling stock company), and the first sanitary ceramics for producing toilets are all made in Tangshan. Until 2021, Tangshan is still the city with the highest economic aggregate in Hebei Province, surpassing Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, It is also the city with the highest per capita disposable income in Hebei Province.

During the period of the Republic of China, there was also a top university in Tangshan, that is Jiaotong University (Tangshan). Many of the 190 academicians graduated here, but it is interesting that none of the 15 academicians in Hebei studied here.

There are also several academicians in Baoding. I know that there was a famous school in Baoding from 1912 to 1923, that is, the Baoding army officer school. There were more than 11000 graduates before and after, and more than 1500 generals. Chiang Kai Shek also came from this school. Colleges and universities will bring a large number of excellent teachers to drive the local reading atmosphere. I don’t know whether this has anything to do with it.

In addition, Hebei has many academicians, and its proximity to Beijing and Tianjin should also be a factor. These two cities are higher education centers in North China and even the whole country, with many top universities.

Among the 190 academicians, Tsinghua University, Peking University and Yanjing University in Beijing have all trained academicians,

In particular, Tsinghua University and Peking University have the most graduates among the 190 academicians. More than 60 academicians have studied in these two universities, accounting for more than one third.

In fact, the top2 status of these two universities was established because most top talents were trained during the Republic of China. For example, the scholars of the Institute of geology at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China were basically trained by the Department of geology of Peking University, and lisiguang was a leading figure.

There are also two universities in Tianjin, Beiyang and Nankai, which have trained several academicians. Of course, the number is far less than that in Beijing.

The following figure shows the academicians I selected from the Department of geology of Peking University. I feel the monopoly of the Department of geology of Peking University on domestic geological science at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China. I may ask why there is no lisiguang in it, because lisiguang is a professor in the Department of geology of Peking University, but he is not a graduate of Peking University.


In the central region, Hubei (9 people), Hunan (9 people) and Jiangxi (8 people) are almost equal. It is worth mentioning that there is a good university in Hunan, that is, Xiangya Medical School. In the old Chinese medical school, it was known as “Peking Union Medical College, South Xiangya”. Among the nine academicians in Hunan, this school has trained three academicians, including world-class scientist Tang Feifan.

However, it is interesting to note that only one of the nine academicians in Hubei graduated from a university in Hubei Province. They graduated from Wuhan University. Most of the other eight academicians in Hubei graduated from universities in Beijing (all Tsinghua), Shanghai, Nanjing and other places.

None of the eight academicians in Jiangxi studied in Colleges and universities in the province. All of them graduated from colleges and universities in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and other places outside the province.

In addition, there are two provinces, Guangdong and Fujian. Fujian has 14 academicians (ranking the fourth in the country) and Guangdong has 9. These two provinces have cultivated many academicians for two reasons,

First, during the period of the Republic of China, there was Sun Yat sen University in Guangdong and Xiamen University in Fujian. These two well-known universities each trained two academicians. In addition, Xiamen women’s normal university also trained an academician, the famous linqiaozhi, the only female among the 190 academicians.

The second is the hometown of overseas Chinese. Some academicians were born overseas and are the children of overseas Chinese. Four academicians from these two provinces studied directly in the Netherlands, Japan and the United States.

Of course, as a coastal area, Guangdong and Fujian, the earliest trading port in China, are naturally beneficial to the development of Education under the open atmosphere.

In the southwest, Chongqing (4 people), Sichuan (2 people) and Guizhou (1 person) were the three provinces. Of course, Chongqing still belonged to Sichuan at that time. In the old China, the higher education in the southwest was still relatively backward. Among the academicians in the western region, only chenwengui graduated from Chengdu Union Medical College with a doctor’s degree. No one else had the experience of studying in western universities. They were all studying in Universities in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Changsha, Guangdong and other places.


This shows that the higher education in the southwest was relatively backward at that time,

Of course, although there were colleges and universities such as the Southwest Associated University in the Southwest during the Anti Japanese War, they were moved here.

During the war of resistance against Japan, a large number of colleges and universities throughout the country, especially in Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu and Shanghai, moved to the southwest, which reserved a platform for training Chinese national high-level scientific and technological talents. Many academicians studied in the rear area during the war of resistance against Japan.

In all regions of China,

The northwest and northeast became the most backward regions for high-level scientific and technological talents at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China,

Among the 190 academicians, there are only two from the northwest and northeast respectively. The two from the northwest are from Shaanxi Province. It is interesting that both were born in Weinan.

Two academicians from the northeast region at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China,

One is penghuanwu from Changchun, Jilin Province. He just graduated from high school in 1931 and was admitted to the Department of physics of Tsinghua University. He successfully avoided the September 18th Incident. Later, he went to Edinburgh University in the United Kingdom to study for a doctor and did research work at the Dublin Institute of higher studies in Ireland. In 1947, he returned to China to teach. After the founding of the people’s Republic of China, he became a founding member of the two bombs and one star.

The other is wuyingkai from Liaoning Province. He studied in Fengtian medical school from 1927 to 1933. After graduation in 1933, he went to Beijing Union Medical College Hospital to work until 1941. In 1941, he went to the United States for further study for three years. After returning to China in 1944, he served as the director of surgery of Chongqing central hospital. The Pearl Harbor Incident broke out at the end of 1941, and the Japanese army immediately occupied the United States funded Union Medical College Hospital.

The main reason for the backwardness of senior scientific and technological talents in Northeast China at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China is the impact of the September 18th Incident.

Before 1931, the ethnic education system in Northeast China had developed considerably. If it continued to develop, it would not be at the level of two academicians. However, after the September 18th Incident in 1931, Japan carried out a series of colonial reforms on the education system in Northeast China.

The puppet Manchukuo shortened the middle school from six years to four years, while Japanese students studied for six years, resulting in a sharp decline in the quality of secondary education.

At the same time, a series of colleges and universities established by the Japanese in Manchukuo, except for the police and military academies, the enrollment scale of ordinary colleges and universities is generally very small, and they mainly recruit Japanese students. The scale of higher education for Chinese students has been greatly reduced.

Take the most famous Jianguo University in Manchuria as an example,

During the whole puppet Manchukuo period, the total enrollment of the school was only about 1500, half of which were Japanese students. In March, 1941, the total number of registered students in the second semester of the first year of Jianda was 126, of which 60 were Japanese, 5 were Korean, 1 was Taiwanese, 49 were “Manchu”, 5 were Mongolian, 6 were Russian, and the Chinese accounted for less than 40%.

Japan’s Shinsei University of technology, which opened in Manchukuo, enrolled only more than 1600 students during the whole period of Manchukuo, while only one third of the students of Chinese origin.

Similarly, in 1942, there were only 296 students in Xinjing Medical University, with an average enrollment of only a few dozen students per session, and only a part of them were Chinese students.

The year of the highest educational development in the puppet Manchukuo was 1942. There were 20 colleges and universities with 6794 students, of which only 2716 were Chinese students, only about half of that before the September 18th Incident.

Being able to go to university is only a prerequisite for becoming a top scientific and technological talent in a country. After graduation, elite students also need a platform and projects for research and training. Chinese people do not have a platform for scientific and technological research and development in puppet Manchuria. All national industries are annexed by Japanese Enterprises. The teaching posts of universities and scientific research institutions are monopolized by the Japanese. For example, among the teachers in Jianguo University in July 1941, only 9 are outside the Japanese, There are 71 Japanese teachers.

This is completely incomparable with that before September 18th. In 1931, the number of students in Northeast University alone reached 3000. Not only the students were basically Chinese, but also the professors and teachers were mainly Chinese.

Under colonial education, it is difficult for Chinese people to go to university, and it is also difficult for them to have a platform to play and grow after finishing college.

I have studied the industrial construction in the early days of the founding of the people’s Republic of China, and found that there were very few senior core technicians in large factories in Northeast China at that time. The main force came from the returned personnel sent by the national government to study abroad and practice in factories, as well as the personnel who held senior technical positions in national industrial factories in Southwest China during the Anti Japanese War, including Angang, FAW, Shenfei, Shenyang 51 Arsenal (Shenyang Arsenal).

Take the six Chinese core technical engineers responsible for Angang’s resumption of production before and after the founding of the people’s Republic of China as an example. Three of Jin Shuliang (from Hebei), shaoxianghua (from Zhejiang), lisongtang (from Jiangsu), yangshutang (from Hebei), wangzhixi (from Hebei) and maohenian (from Beijing) graduated from Beiyang University, and the other three graduated from Zhejiang University, Beiping University and Tongji University respectively.

In 1936, the national government sent six people to Germany Krupp iron and steel company for training in order to prepare for the construction of the Central Iron and steel plant. After returning home, these people were given different tasks during the Anti Japanese war. Some of them were responsible for the relocation of Hanyang Iron plant to Chongqing Iron and steel relocation club and continued to carry out iron and steel production during the Anti Japanese war. Some were responsible for the preparation and production of Yunnan Weiyuan iron and steel plant, Yunnan iron and steel plant, Chongqing Qijiang iron and steel plant, etc, Some developed 75mm gun steel, and some designed their own steel mills.

After the victory of the war of resistance against Japan, the six senior metallurgical talents were responsible for accepting Angang as the Assistant Manager (deputy manager, responsible for Technology). When Anshan was liberated, they all stayed in Anshan and were responsible for Angang’s resumption of production. Later, four of the six became academicians.

Since the middle and high-level technical posts in the puppet Manchukuo under the Japanese colonial rule were controlled by the Japanese, the Chinese could only be the primary labor force. Therefore, in the Northeast factories in the early days of the founding of the people’s Republic of China, the phenomenon of foreign engineers + northeast workers was formed in the technical work.

For example, Raobin, Guoli and mengshaonong, the three core figures of Changchun FAW plant.

Raobin, the factory director, and Guoli, the chief engineer, were both cadres who grew up in the base areas behind the enemy lines in North China. Neither of them was engaged in automobile technology;

Mengshaonong, deputy chief engineer, is the technical core of FAW. Born in Beijing, he is the main founder of automotive industry technology in New China. He graduated from the Mechanical Department of Southwest Associated University (Tsinghua) in 1940. In 1943, he obtained a master’s degree from the Department of mechanics of Massachusetts Institute of technology. After graduation, he worked in several automobile companies such as Ford Motor in the United States for three years and returned to China as a professor of Tsinghua University.

With the large-scale industrial construction of the first five year plan and the second five year plan in Northeast China, as well as the supporting large-scale training of local colleges and universities, this phenomenon of lack of senior technical talents from Northeast China has gradually changed after training and growth.

For example, in 1949, four years after Japan’s surrender, due to the key management of the Communist Party, the number of colleges and universities in the northeast region grew to 28, with 35097 students, more than ten times that of more than 2000 Chinese students in the highest year of the puppet Manchukuo period.

From the 190 academicians of science and technology in the early days of the founding of the people’s Republic of China, it can be seen that the development of the national education level was extremely unbalanced at that time, but this situation has changed greatly. Higher education in the northwest, southwest and northeast has developed greatly. For example, Xi’an and Chengdu have become a city with a number of famous schools, and the northeast is now one of the easiest regions in the national 985211 exam.

According to the information provided on the official website of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as of 2021, Jiangsu Province (50), Anhui Province (37), Zhejiang Province (35), Hunan Province (34) and Shandong Province (28) ranked among the top five places of origin of the 381 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences who received higher education after 1977.

Compared with the early days of the founding of the people’s Republic of China, it is obvious that the regional distribution has been greatly balanced.

The proportion of academicians from Jiangsu and Zhejiang decreased from 38.95% at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China to 22.3%.

Other regions have increased to varying degrees. The three regions with the lowest proportion of academicians in this paper:

The proportion of academicians in Northeast China has increased from 1% to 8%,

The proportion of academicians in Southwest China has increased from 3.7% to 7%,

The proportion of academicians in Northwest China has increased from 1% to 8%.

The total has risen to 23%, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country, which is comparable to 22.3% in Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

The correlation between higher education and regional development

1: At the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai accounted for almost half of the country’s senior scientific and technological talents. It is reasonable that the Jiangnan region is still the most developed region in China today. The most important thing for development is to rely on people.

2: The 190 academicians graduated from universities in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing at the beginning of the founding of the people’s Republic of China.

3: Today’s strong second tier cities, such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan, Nanjing and Hangzhou, have a good level of higher education, providing a large number of local talents. Perhaps it is because of this recognition that Shenzhen, which has the worst level of higher education among the first tier cities in recent years, is also attracting a large number of domestic colleges and universities.

Therefore, I think it is very important to continue to promote the equalization of higher education. In some populous provinces that lack top higher education universities in China, such as Henan, Hebei, Shandong and other provinces, the concentration of resources to establish several high-level universities will not only improve the probability of local students attending famous universities, but also provide many posts for doctoral students to do basic research, which is beneficial to China as a whole.

Today, of course, this article only talks about the distribution of the first batch of academicians of natural sciences selected in the 1950s. Later, I will discuss where the senior scientific and technological talents who promoted China’s industrialization came from. I will have some interesting conclusions.

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