The modern day Joseph Needham, in my opinion, is Professor Peter Nolan, from Cambridge University.
He has done splendid work on China. showing the relevance of the past to the present, and, thereby, to the future.
He has just released a new book which I highly recommend.
‘Understanding China: The Silk Road and the Communist Manifesto’, (Routledge, 2015)
It is good to read this in conjunction with another earlier book
‘China and the West: Crossroads of Civilisation’ (Routledge, 2018) They are a matching pair of books.
It makes most sense for them to be considered together rather than separately.
As we are at the crossroads in relations to the USA- China relationship, and possibly the world faces a crisis, it is timely for us all to read his analysis of China and the West.