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“Global Health History Program Asian Module”Initiated at Jilin University

18, May, 2018 3

On May 17, over 30 famous bioarchaeologists from 23 world leading universities of 8 countries gathered together at Jilin University to attend the Organization Conference of Global Health History Program Asian Module and officially initiate Global Health History Program Asian Module. Mr. Zheng Weitao, vice president of Jilin University, attended the opening ceremony and made an address. The opening ceremony was hosted by Mr. Zhu Hong, director of Frontier Archaeology Research Center. 


As President Zheng said in his address, Jilin University has stepped into a new stage of “Focusing on development with connotation, trying efforts to become a leading university”. Therefore, Jilin University puts a high value on the importance of international communication and cooperation in promoting disciplinary construction, high-level talent cultivation and scientific research. Having been engaged in biological archaeology research for many years, the Department of Archaeology now owns the biggest human bone specimen bank in China, also the department keeps close communication and practical cooperation with experts and scholars around the world. With the substantial support from counterparts of home and abroad, Global Health History Program Asian Module was initiated at Jilin University, which marks the Department of Archaeology has made great progress in research philosophy and methods, academic achievements and talent cultivation and wins wide recognition. Through this conference, we hope to build a platform of mutual reference and learning for experts and scholars of bioarchaeology related fields, so that to further enhance communication and cooperation, and make joint contribution to human civilization and social development.

After that, Richard Steckerl, the senior professor from the Ohio State University (US), Clark Larsen, a member of National Academy of Sciences (US) and a professor from the Department of Anthropology, Ohio State University, Charlotte Roberts, a member of the Royal Academy of sciences (Britain) and a professor from the Department of Archaeology, Durham University made their addresses respectively. They gave a high appraisal to the research and talent cultivation achievements of Jilin University’s Department of Archaeology. They are full of confidence in the future development of Global Health History Program Asian Module as well as bioarchaeology. They believe that with the powerful support from Jilin University, combining the experiences of Western Hemisphere Module and European Module, bioarchaeology will make globally remarkable development in Asia.

Before the opening ceremony, Mr. Zheng Weitao met with some attendees and introduced the development status of Jilin University, archaeology discipline and the “Double-First Class” initiative (to build world-class universities and first-class disciplines). He hopes to take this conference as an opportunity and establish an international institute of bioarchaeology, contribute the wisdom and strength of Jilin University to focus on and study deeply the global issues. Apart from giving specific suggestions and requirements upon the target and organizational structure of the institute, Mr. Zheng invites Professor Clark Larsen to act as the honorary dean.


Relevant person in charge from Frontier Archaeology Research Center, College of Humanities and the Office of Global Engagement attended the meeting as escorts.

Professor Clark Larsen, Charlotte Roberts and Wang Qian, the associate professor from the School of Biomedical Sciences of Texas A & M University think highly of the academic standing and achievements made by the archaeology discipline of Jilin University. They think the international institute of bioarchaeology that Jilin University advocates will become the first specific bioarchaeology research institute in the world, which will create a high-end platform for global bioarchaeology research, contribute a lot for solving global issues, improve greatly the international reputation of Jilin University and let Asia speak loudly at the same time.

Global Health History Program was initiated in 1988 by Richard Steckerl, the senior professor from the Ohio State University and Clark Larsen, a member of National Academy of Sciences (US) and a professor from Ohio State University. They called out bioarchaeologists around the world to carry out systematic research upon the health index of ancient human skeletons, rebuild human disease evolution history and health development history in the past 10,000 years and establish a global human health history research platform. So far, over 500 scientists from 23 countries (including the US, Britain, France and Germany) have participated in the Western Hemisphere Module and European Module of this program. A standard data bank containing 18,000 ancient individual specimens have been successfully established. Initiating Global Health History Program Asian Module at Jilin University fills the gap of human health history research in Asia.