Pang-Yen Chang


chang pang yen pic






Pang-Yen Chang

DPhil candidate, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



Pang-Yen Chang is a DPhil student in Oriental Studies at Oxford University on a Clarendon Scholarship. He holds an MD and an MSS in Science and Technology Studies from National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan. He is also a physician with a specialty in occupational medicine and worked at National Taiwan University Hospital before coming to Oxford. Apart from his clinical expertise, his academic specialism lies in the history of science and medicine in modern China, with a focus on the history of the science of mind. His first monograph, The Polyphonic Psyche: Hypnotism and Popular Science in Modern China (Taipei: Linking Publishing) [精神的複調:近代中國的催眠術與大眾科學(台北:聯經], was published in Taiwan in 2020, and the simplified Chinese edition came out in China in 2021, which was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by the Chinese Association of Social Psychology. 

DPhil topic

Pang-Yen Chang’s research explores the history of intelligence in the first half of twentieth-century China. In this period a broad array of sciences had emerged to subject human intelligence to the scrutiny of experts of the mind and as the result changed ordinary people’s everyday lives. This dissertation is about how such a thing happened and why it has been so important to modern Chinese people. It centres around different kinds of representation and intervention, including craniometry, psychological testing, case studies, therapeutics and supplements, that constructed the meanings of intelligence. By putting the science of mind in its place and against the historical backdrop, this study interrogates how the global trend of race science interacted with local scientific practices and how the modern Chinese’s understandings of intelligence were interwoven with their political situations, their prospects for the future, and also the influences from the past.