Under the theme of "Striding towards sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels, taking actions to achieve Two Centenary Goals", the 2021 National Science Popularization Day Program was launched nationwide on September 11-17, 2021.
With the aim to serve social development and benefit the people, the program incorporated abundant grassroots-oriented activities, attracting a wide range of participants at multi-levels.
The "everlasting" serial activities have once again set off an upsurge of science popularization in the whole society.
This year’s program was jointly organized by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the China Atomic Energy Authority, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Emergency Management, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE).
The program presented a variety of colorful activities both at its main venue capital city Beijing and ministerial and provincial venues.
It incorporated joint actions and online activities as well, demonstrating the development of science popularization and sci-tech innovation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, carrying forward the Spirit of the Chinese Scientists, showcasing the achievements of China's sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening, and promoting new development concept of "carbon peak and carbon neutrality".
The Party guides the direction of Science Popularization in China
The Central Committee of the Party attaches great importance to science popularization and has always placed it at the same important position as sci- tech innovation.
During the National Science Popularization Day in 2008, China’s leading official Xi Jinping visited the exhibit hall and expressed his hope that Chinese scientists and technologists get more engaged with science popularization activities to improve the nation’s scientific literacy and invigorate the motherland with science education efforts.
During the National Science Popularization Day in 2009, comrade Xi Jinping pointed out that sci-tech innovation and science popularization are two wings to realize the soaring of science and technology. The National Science Popularization Day is a brand program of CAST and an important carrier of national science popularization work.
During the National Science Popularization Day in 2010, comrade Xi Jinping called on the staff members of associations for science and technology at all levels to fully implement the Law of the People's Republic of China on Popularization of Science and Technology and the Outline of the National Scheme for Scientific Literacy.
Xi also urged local Party committees and governments to provide strong support and effective guarantee for the associations for science and technology and the Chinese scientists and technologists as well to carry out science popularization activities in a solid and thorough way.
During the National Science Popularization Day in 2011, comrade Xi Jinping called on to strengthen science popularization work in communities to fully implement the Outline of the National Scheme for Scientific Literacy.
On September 15, 2012, when participating in the National Science Popularization Day activities, then China’s Vice President Xi Jinping urged the associations for science and technology at all levels to play greater roles in promoting scientific knowledge among grassroots units such as communities, villages and factories.
President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of doing well in science popularization on many other occasions.
In 2016 at a meeting conflating the general assemblies of the members of the CAS, the CAE and the 9th national congress of CAST, President Xi Jinping stressed that sci-tech innovation and science popularization are the two wings to achieve innovation and development. He urged to put science popularization at the same important position as sci-tech innovation and create a sound social atmosphere of advocating science to raise scientific literacy of the whole society and release the creativity of 1.3 billion Chinese.
On October 18, 2017, the report of the 19th National Congress of the CPC urged to promote the spirit of science and make scientific knowledge widely attainable, work to see the back of outdated social mores and promote good and up-to-date practices and trends, and resist the corrosive influence of backward and decadent culture. The report also called on to improve continuing education, step up efforts to build a learning society, and promote the well-rounded development of all the people.
In September 17, 2018, in a congratulatory letter to the 2018 World Conference on Science Literacy (WCSL 2018), President Xi Jinping pointed out that China attaches great importance to science popularization and makes continuous efforts to improve scientific and cultural literacy of the Chinese citizens. China will actively conduct exchanges and share achievements with world peers to make contributions to building a world with common prosperity.
With the concern of the Party and state leaders, the National Science Popularization Day program has been successfully held for 17 consecutive years since it was initiated in 2004.
Joined with various departments, CAST has been organizing or coordinating around 240000 science popularization activities for the general public across China during 17 years.
The program has witnessed the efforts CAST and its grassroots organizations have made to promote China’s science popularization cause and enhance Chinese citizens’ scientific literacy under the leadership of the Party.
Following the Party’s guidance to reap the fruits of Science Popularization
2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Party. Looking backward, the Central Committee of the Party made significant strategic deployments at every key point in the development of China’s science popularization cause and has paved a way of science popularization with Chinese characteristics. China’s science popularization cause has achieved leapfrog progress.
On the one hand, Chinese citizens' scientific literacy has been significantly enhanced. The results of the 11th sampling survey on scientific literacy of Chinese citizens show that the proportion of Chinese citizens with scientific literacy reached 10.56% in 2020, an increase of 4.36 percentage points over 6.20% in 2015, thus fulfilling the 13th Five-year Plan target of more than 10% of Chinese citizens with scientific literacy in 2020.
On the other hand, the system of modern science and technology museum with Chinese characteristics has been improved. By the end of 2020, 345 "up to standard" science and technology museums have been built in China, with a total construction area of 3.9921 million square meters.
During the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), the total number of visitors to science and technology museums across China exceeded 300 million.
By June 2021, 1727 popular science caravans have been distributed all over the country, with 294000 activities carried out, the mileage of 46.596 million kilometers, and 290 million people served.
In addition, sci-tech voluntary services have been widely carried out in China. By the end of July 2021, the total number of people providing sci-tech voluntary services reached about 10.817 million, including registered volunteers, popular science disseminators and agricultural technology extension professionals.
The construction of science popularization resources has seen development. CAST brand program "China Science Communication" has taken the lead to digitalize China’s science popularization resources since 2014.
As of August 2021, the digitized science popularization resources at "China Science Communication" platform reached 49.119tb. The total number of dissemination of on the platform has reached 39.2916 billion person times. And the total number of popular science informants has reached 6.4739 million.
These figures demonstrated remarkable achievements China has made in promoting scientific literacy, strengthening infrastructure construction, cultivating science popularization talents and digitizing science popularization resources under the leadership of the Party.
Forging ahead to write a new chapter on China’s science popularization
At a meeting conflating the general assemblies of the members of the CAS, the CAE and the 10th national congress of the CAST on May 28, 2021,President Xi Jinping urged Chinese scientists and engineers to assume the responsibilities of the times and strive for sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels.
In June this year, the State Council issued the Outline of the National Scheme for Scientific Literacy (2021-2035).
The above two events indicate that science popularization in China is stepping to a higher stage under the leadership of the Party in the New Era.
The New Era gives birth to a new mission, and the new mission opens a new journey. President Xi Jinping pointed out: "A wider context of the once-in-a-century changes taking place in the world", "A new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is gathering pace", and "The paradigm of scientific research is undergoing profound changes", all of which put forward higher requirements for science popularization in China.
As an organization of Chinese sci-tech professionals under the leadership of the Party, CAST will continue to lead the scientific and technological workers to keep pace with the times and play a key role in improving scientific literacy of the Chinese nation and achieving high-level sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening.
Stay true to the original aspiration and you will fulfill your founding mission.After 17 years of development, the National Science Popularization Day has become a brand program of CAST and relevant state organs to provide science popularization services to general public in an all-round, multi-level and multi-dimensional manner.
By participating in activities of National Science Popularization Day, countless teenagers’ interests in science have been aroused and some of them choose science as future career later on.
Nowadays, we are speeding up efforts to build China into a nation with strength in science and technology, and the horn of achieving sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels has sounded, the National Science Popularization Day Program will keep pace with the times and deliver a strong performance in the New Era.
Tag: Department of Science Popularization, Information Center of CAST, Science Communication, 2021 National Science Popularization Day