China to celebrate 20th National Science Popularization Day, highlighting cutting-edge technology breakthroughs and boosting national innovation
Published: Sep 08, 2023 04:35 AM
Humanoid robots are pictured during the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) at Shougang Park in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 5, 2023. Themed

Humanoid robots are pictured during the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) at Shougang Park in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 5, 2023. Themed "Opening-up leads development, cooperation delivers the future," the 2023 CIFTIS is held in Beijing from Sept. 2 to 6.(Photo: Xinhua)

China will soon mark its 20th National Science Popularization Day with a wide range of activities to be held from September 16 to 24. The center stage for the national celebration will be the Shougang Park in Beijing, the Global Times learned from the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) on Thursday.

This year's theme is "Enhancing the Scientific Literacy of the Whole Nation and Promoting Self-reliance and Self-strengthening in Science and Technology," Pang Xiaodong, Vice Minister of the Science Popularization Department of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology, announced at a press conference held on Thursday in Beijing.

Pang told the Global Times that, to stimulate national confidence for innovation, organizers of this year's National Science Popularization Day have set up a special section to display and highlight key technology breakthroughs that China has achieved in recent years.

China's innovation achievements in cutting-edge technology fields, such as big data, artificial intelligence, metaverse, and quantum technology, will be showcased at the event, Pang said in response to inquiries from Global Times reporters.

Additionally, the Chinese public will have the chance for close-up interactions with China's major achievements in manned spaceflight, lunar and planetary exploration, deep-sea and deep-earth exploration, and supercomputing, the senior official noted.

According to Chen Weicheng, Vice President of the Beijing Association of Science and Technology (BAST), physical models of the Mars landing platform, the return capsule of the Chang'e-5 lunar probe, and the lunar samples retrieved from the mission will be displayed in the main venue in Beijing. This display aims to showcase the remarkable achievements China has made in the domains of manned space projects, the construction of the China Space Station, and China's lunar exploration, thereby instilling a sense of pride and confidence in the Chinese public.

The 2023 Beijing International Science Communication Exchange Week will run from September 16th to 24th, coinciding with the National Science Popularization Day celebration. In addition to domestic representatives, a delegation of 27 guests from 24 international organizations and institutions from 22 countries and regions will attend the conference. They represent the scientific and technological community, science communication field, and science education field.

Together, they will explore ways to improve public scientific literacy and plan for mutually beneficial development paths, Chen added.

The Beijing International Science Communication Week's enduring theme is "Collaboration for Common Development". This year's theme, "Digital Literacy and the Future of Education," places greater emphasis on the integration of science with culture and on communication and collaborative cooperation, according to the BAST vice president.

The event will feature various activities, including an opening ceremony, keynote speeches, parallel forums, the inaugural Beijing International Science and Technology Teachers Conference, and an exhibition showcasing innovative international science popularization works. Concurrently, parallel forums like the Beijing International Science Museum Directors Dialogue, the annual meeting of the Beijing International Urban Science Festival Alliance, and the Youth Science Education Development Forum will be held.
Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

Since its establishment in 2004, China has successfully commemorated 19 National Science Popularization Days, making them some of the most significant science popularization activities in the country.

According to Meng Lingyun, host of the Thursday conference and director of theoretical publicity office of the CAST , approximately 320 million people participated in about 74,000 online and offline National Science Popularization Day activities across the country in 2022, despite the pandemic's impact. The number of events and attendees for this year are expected to increase significantly.

From September 19 to 20, CAST, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Beijing municipal government will hold the fifth edition of the World Conference on Science Literacy at Shougang Park. This will be the first time the conference is held post-COVID-19.

According to Gu Yanfeng, another Vice Minister of the Science Popularization Department of CAST, this year's conference will host approximately 700 participants, including nearly 100 foreign guests from over 30 countries, 8 international organizations, and 5 regional organizations.

Compared to previous sessions, this year's conference boasts notable improvements in terms of internationalization, specialization, and collaboration. Representatives from UNICEF, UN Women, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will attend for the first time. The conference will also see in-depth cooperation with UNESCO on topics related to international organization development and scientific literacy, she stated on Thursday.