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Staff Profile


Career Summary


  • PhD, University of Newcastle, 10/05/2005
  • Master of Arts (Liberal Arts), Heilongjiang Social Sciences Institute - PR China
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Shenyang Architect University - PR China


Research keywords

  • Philosophy

Research expertise

Dr Gao has done extensive research on complex system theory and its philosophical implications in terms its impacts on our understanding of:

* The development of science and technology in terms of the dynamics and organization of their practice;

* The dynamics and organization of ecological system and its implication on ecological investigation and environmental policy;

* The interaction between manmade systems and its ecological environment, especially in the case of engineering systems;

* The dynamics of high technology products market and its implication on science, technology, and industry development policies.

She has extended her work to area such as applying complex system theory in conceptualizing and analyzing traditional Chinese medical theory and practice. She is also working on evaluating the application of evidence-base medicine in traditional Chinese medicine. She is currently involved in organizing a major international conference on Evidence-based Practice in China with IASH.

With her work on complex system theory, she has applied complex system framework in analyzing the organizational and dynamic properties of scientific and technological practice. This work involves examining:

1. the epistemological processes in various scientific and technological research and development settings;

2. the physical infrastructure of science including scientific and technological instrument design and construction, laboratory design, communication network building, etc;

3. the impacts on such infrastructural systems on scientific practice and organization;

4. the dynamic properties of such infrastructural systems, as well as interactions among these systems.

Her work on applying the complex system framework to traditional Chinese medicine includes constructing a set of conceptual tools to reinterpret the medical theory presented in TCM classics such as the Yellow Emperor Inner Classic in terms of articulating the conception of human body, health, and diseases; explaining and analyzing the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies based on such conceptions; and developing appropriate assessment parameters in testing the efficacy of TCM. These works provide a critical bridging framework that helps Western academics and medical professional to understand the working processes underlying TCM practice as well as a set new research tools for TCM researchers and practitioners. She has been working closely with other researchers interested in TCM and TCM practitioners here in Australia and aboard. She and her collaborators have published several papers in this area in both English and Chinese peer-reviewed journals.

Recently, she has started a new project investigating the ethical, methodological and epistemological aspects of applying evidence-based medicine to traditional Chinese medicine.

Fields of Research

220100Applied Ethics35


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Chapter (2 outputs)

2011Gao Y, Herfel WE, 'Constructing post-classical ecosystems ecology. The emerging dynamic perspective from self-organising complex adaptive systems', Philosophy of Complex Systems (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science), Elsevier, Amsterdam, NL 389-416 (2011) [B1]
2011Herfel WE, Gao Y, Rodrigues DJ, 'Chinese medicine and complex systems dynamics', Philosophy of Complex Systems (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science), Elsevier, Amsterdam, NL 675-719 (2011) [B1]

Journal article (5 outputs)

2011Gao Y, Lu A, 'Conception of health and disease in medicine: Philosophical reflections on the 2006 debate of Chinese Medicine in the People's Republic of China', Chinese Journal of Basic Medicine in Traditional Chinese Medicine, 17 101-106 (2011) [C1]
2009Gao Y, Gu N, 'Complexity, human agents, and architectural design: A computational framework', Design Principles & Practices: An International Journal, 3 115-125 (2009) [C1]

Co-authors: NING GU

2008Gao Y, Herfel WE, Rodrigues D, 'Towards a new research paradigm: Traditional Chinese medicine from a nonlinear dynamical perspective', Medicine and Philosophy, 29 70-71 (2008) [C1]
2008Rodrigues D, Gao Y, Herfel WE, 'Applying self-organizing dissipative system theory to analyze a traditional Chinese medicine case study', Medicine and Philosophy, 29 56-57 (2008) [C1]
2007Herfel WE, Rodrigues D, Gao Y, 'Chinese Medicine and the Dynamic Conceptions of Health and Disease', Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 34 57-79 (2007) [C1]
Show 2 more

Conference (2 outputs)

2009Gao Y, 'Narrative pain in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)', The 2nd ArtsHealth Conference Proceedings, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E3]
2007Gao Y, Herfel W, 'Post-classical ecology: On the emerging dynamic perspective from self-organizing complex adaptive systems', Biannual Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology 2007. Abstracts, Exeter, UK (2007) [E3]

Grants and Funding


Number of grants4
Total funding$18,126

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2010 (1 grants)

Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities, Hawaii, 13-16 January 2010$1,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Project Team
Doctor Yin Gao
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2008 (1 grants)

Innovative Research Methodology for Traditional Chinese Medicine$9,926
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Yin Gao
Early Career Researcher GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2007 (2 grants)

The epistemological and ethical significance of understanding traditional Chinese medicine in biomedical context$5,500
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Yin Gao
New Staff GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

ISHPSSB Conference 2007, The ZSRC Center for Genomics in Society, 25/7/2007 - 29/7/2007$1,700
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Yin Gao
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions1
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL0.7

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20142018PhD (Philosophy)Co-SupervisorA Comparative Phenomenological Approach to the Philosophical Foundations of Chinese Science

Dr Yin Gao

Work Phone(02) 49215191
Fax(02) 49216933
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaPhilosophy
McMullin Building,
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308