China shares experience in promoting science literacy during Beijing International Week
Published: Sep 17, 2023 10:07 PM
The Beijing International Week for Science Literacy kick off on September 17, 2023.

The Beijing International Week for Science Literacy kick off on September 17, 2023.

The Beijing International Week for Science Literacy kick off on September 17, 2023. Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

The Beijing International Week for Science Literacy kick off on September 17, 2023. Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

The Beijing International Week for Science Literacy started on Sunday. Guests from all over the world, including His Royal Highness Prince Fahd bin Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz from Saudi Arabia and Khan Muhammad Wazir, the science and technology counselor of the Pakistani Embassy in China, attended the launch ceremony on Sunday morning at the Shougang Park. 

A total of 24 international organizations and institutions from 22 countries and regions, with 27 representatives from various tech sectors and the science education industry, are attending the conference. They will jointly explore the issue of improving public scientific literacy and plan a win-win development path, according to the Beijing Association for Science and Technology (BAST), the main organizer of the event. 

Vishal Kumar Agarwalla, a vice chairman of the Young Indians, a group of young businessmen who are part of the Confederation of Indian Industry, and Nur Karnina Karim, head of Seria Energy Lab of Brunei, also participated in the Sunday event. 

Shen Jie, executive vice president of BAST, told the Global Times that the Beijing International Week for Science Literacy is a "name card" for the association to conduct international scientific and technological exchanges, which greatly benefit the association's participation in the Chinese capital's rise as an international science and technology innovation center as well as an international exchange center. 

In an exclusive interview with the Global Times on Sunday, Wazir congratulated and expressed his appreciation of the leadership of BAST, for hosting the event.    

"This event has brought together leaders from different parts of the world to share their experiences and achievements in promoting science literacy in their respective countries and to learn from the Chinese experience," he said. 

When asked in what specific areas China and Pakistan could work together to improve the general public's science literacy and how that will help enhance the iron-clad friendship between the two countries, Wazir noted that China and Pakistan are cooperating closely on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and recently a MoU between the China Association for Science and Technology and the Pakistan Science Foundation was signed. The cooperation includes training of STEM teachers, the exchange of STEM students and sharing of experiences and resources.

Set to end on September 24, this year's Beijing week is themed "Working Together for Common Development - Digital Literacy and Future Education." 

This theme reveals the Chinese openness, mutual learning for common benefits and China's willingness to share with the rest of the world its achievements in making science a culture and new normal, the Pakistani councilor said. He also noted that China has used science, technology and innovation for its socio-economic development and to transform its economy and society into digital and connected systems. The theme further explains the increasing and essential link of education with digital technology.

And according to Shen, during this week, Beijing will hold the first-ever international science and technology teachers conference, an exhibition to showcase international science popularization works created by innovation groups, through which BAST hopes to achieve international exchange of scientific communication experiences and resource sharing, enhance quality and literacy, promote academic and experiential exchanges and promote the dissemination and promotion of quality science popularization resources. 

Cheng Donghong, the chairperson of the Chinese Society of Natural Science Museums, highlighted in her remarks at the Sunday ceremony the Tiangong Classroom sessions beamed down from the Tiangong space station by Shenzhou crew members in December 2021 and March 2022. During these sessions, more than 200 science and technology museums, more than 700 mobile science and technology museum stands, and more than 500 science popularization vans, along with 800 rural middle school science and technology venues across the country, under the coordination and guidance of the museum, organized local youths to watch live broadcasts and conduct space-Earth comparative scientific experiments.  

"Featuring the largest coverage and the highest public participation for such an event in a single day, this was a successful case for China's science popularization venues and educational activities," Cheng said. 

Aiming to strengthen international communication coordination and collaboration, and enhance the effectiveness of international communication, BAST also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Global Times at the Sunday ceremony, witnessed by Shen and Global Times General Manager Wu Tianhong.