Hong Kong Annual Report, 1956/Chapter 18

The University of Hong Kong is continuing with various research projects.

Its current historical projects include work on several aspects of the history of Hong Kong, China, Japan, and South-East Asia. Two books on the history of Hong Kong await publication. The department of Geography and Geology is conducting research into land use throughout the Colony, the distribution of Hong Kong clays and their moulding characteristics and baking temperatures, glazes manufactured from local minerals, the paragenesis of the wolfram and molybdenum deposits in the New Territories, and the geomorphology of Northeast Lantau with special reference to its terraces and erosion surfaces.

Educational projects include further investigation into the value of group methods in teacher-training; continued investigation of mental health problems, particularly as they affect child development and juvenile delinquency; and studies of the educational implications of a plural society.

In the Department of Economics and Political Science research work has been concentrated on the study of economic and social conditions in Hong Kong, China, and the Far East, and on the theory and history of economic development. Research services of the Department were utilized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the High Commissioner for Refugees, the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council, the Government of Hong Kong and several local and foreign institutions. Results of some of the researches have also been published as monographs or articles, and some contributions of the Department were presented at the Conference of the International Economic Association held in September 1956 in Rome.

Research in the Institute of Oriental Studies includes work on the chronological tables of Chinese history, a complete history of the Tai-ping Rebellion, and the classical theatre of China, the results of which have been prepared for publication. Other books in preparation are Characteristics of Chinese Civilization, Common Chinese Characters Explained, A Compilation of Chinese Characters, Ancient and Modern, and Chinese costumes.

In the Department of Biology, work in the Fisheries Research Unit has continued along the lines already laid down, the main fields of activity being related to the oyster industry, fish-pond culture, ichthyology and oceanography. In December 1955 the oceanographical programme of the research vessel 'Alister Hardy' was revised; the new survey includes twenty-nine stations, the farthest of which is 100 miles from the Colony, and is designed to assess the various factors, of which the Pearl River is the most significant, affecting the fishing grounds within the range of the Hong Kong fishing fleet. The 'Alister Hardy' is also conducting a fishing survey in conjunction with the Government Fisheries Division, and has fished in waters up to 240 miles from the Colony.

New discoveries made in the Department of Chemistry in the fields of synthetic organic compounds, products from Hong Kong plants, and the mechanisms of chemical reactions, continued to attract attention in many parts of the world.

In the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, research is being continued on the radiological investigation of the morphology of the Chinese female pelvis. Results of research on the clinical and pathological aspects of hydatidiform mole and Chorion-epithelioma have been published, and results on the sodium pentothal treatment of eclampsia will appear soon. Recent research on various problems relating to toxaemias of pregnancy include the study of hepatic lesion in eclampsia, and an investigation is being done on fibrinolysis in accidental haemorrhage.

An electrolytic tank has been built in the Department of Civil Engineering for solving field problems in various branches of engineering. A long term research programme using the tank will cover the fields of soil mechanics and the theory of elasticity, as well as the usual electric and magnetic fields.

Architectural research includes housing in Kowloon and the New Territories, the development of fishing communities, and the history of the theories of design.

For meteorological research, see under Royal Observatory, page 228.