On the morning of October 24, 2021, the opening ceremony for the 1st training session of “Beijing science communication star action” sponsored by Beijing Association for Science and Technology was held at Peking University. Xu Zhihogn, president of Peking University Association for Science and Technology, former president of Peking University and CAS academician, and secretary of Leading Party Members’ Group of BAST Shen Jie attended the opening ceremony and presented certificates to the first group of academician tutors, curator tutors and science popularization expert tutors of the program. Dean of School of International Studies of Peking University Tang Shiqi delivered a welcome speech, while the opening ceremony was hosted by member of Leading Party Members’ Group and Vice President of BAST Chen Weicheng. Related leaders of the science popularization department of CAST, China Museum of Science and Technology, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Talent Work, Beijing Municipal Commission of Science and Technology, Z-Park Management Committee, Peking University AST, Department for Science and Technology Popularization of BAST and Beijing Science Popularization Development and Research Center attended the event. The program tutor representatives like CAS academicians Zhou Zhonghe, Wu Xiangping and Lu Lin, and the first group of trainees from science museums, universities and scientific research institutes in the capital city as well as media representatives participated in the meeting.
Talent is the first driving force behind development, and the key to promoting high-quality development of science popularization in the capital city is science popularization professionals. The central talent work conference made strategic arrangements for accelerating the construction of Beijing as an important talent center and innovation highland in the world, while Beijing set a objective of first growing into the world’s talent highland. Beijing science communication star action is a “science popularization pioneer” cultivation program elaborately created by BAST to deeply carry out the decisions and requirements of CPC Central Committee and Beijing municipal Party committee and municipal government, a fundamental undertaking designed to build up science popularization, develop the innovation culture and increase science literacy in the capital city, as well as an innovative practice aimed at building up the science communication personnel in Beijing. The program uses high-end tutor team, specialized course system and diversified elite education as its basic approaches to drive rapid growth of professionals engaged in science popularization planning, research and creation, reach out to help building up science popularization personnel in the capital city, facilitate citywide improvement in quality and level of science popularization in Beijing, provide talent support for Beijing’s pioneering effort to construct a science literacy highland and lay a solid social foundation for accelerating the construction of Beijing as a high-level talent highland and an international sci-tech innovation center.
Academician Xu Zhihong, while fully recognizing the program, emphasized that the importance of science popularization work becomes increasingly evident along with fast social development and ever-changing science and technology. It’s not enough to rely solely on mass media for science popularization work, but more scientists and technologists need to be involved in the cause of science and popularization. He hoped that the first group of trainees can broaden their horizon in learning activities, strengthen disciplinary integration, grow their composite skills and contribute to facilitating the high-quality development of science popularization effort.
In his welcome speech, Prof. Tang Shiqi talked about the history and school spirit and learning style of Peking University, expecting trainees to practice what they preach, continuously broaden their horizon and effectively enhance their ability of science communication in close conjunction with the new time and new practice, as well as thoughts and actual work.
Academician Zhou Zhonghe mentioned in his message to trainees that science popularization calls for a strong sense of responsibility and humanistic sentiments, expecting trainees to remain positive and delve into and summarize the practical path of science popularization while having a solid scientific foundation, and to produce more high-quality, original works of science popularization.
Academician Lu Lin pointed out in his message that scientific and technological innovation and science popularization are the two wings of innovation-driven development. Scientific and technological innovation mainly address neck-choking issues and scientific and technological advancement issues of the society, while science popularization is meant to spread these sci-tech innovations to the general public and raise the science literacy of general public, both being equally important. He expected trainees to cherish this hard-won opportunity of learning and exchange, jointly improve their ability of science popularization, and spread profound scientific knowledge to the general public in an easily understandable and approachable manner so as to benefit the society and people.
Academician Wu Xiangping made a keynote report titled “a preliminary analysis of today’s science education---science communication and science education in the eyes of a science and technology worker”, which was well received by the audience for its profound connotations, deep thoughts and thorough analysis.
Deputy curator of Beijing Planetarium Qi Rui, research fellow of CAS Institute of Computing Technology Wang Yuanzhuo, research fellow of CAS Academy of Opto-Electronics Xu Ying, director of experience center of the China Soong Ching Ling Science & Culture Center for Young People Tao Chun, executive deputy secretary general of CAS University Association for Science and Technology Wu Baojun, associate research fellow of China Research Institute for Science Popularization Wang Dapeng, associate professor of Beijing Jiaotong University Chen Zheng and host of Beijing Radio &TV Station Duan Yulong raised ardent hopes and requirements to trainees. Trainees are expected to regard this training as a new starting point of their science communication careers, raise their self cognition, address their shortcomings, further define their development plans and constantly improve themselves to become a true professional science communicator. Tutors said they expect trainees and tutors to learn from each other in this training for shared growth.
Trainee representatives said they were look forward to and cherished this valuable learning opportunity and would definitely learn knowledge seriously, intensify exchanges and apply acquired knowledge into practices in a diligent and effective manner.
Since its launch on August 26, 2021, the Beijing science communication star action has been drawing widespread attention, with over 30.00 million topic reads on the program and many mainstream media outlets such as Xinhua News Agency providing comprehensive coverage. From nearly 300 candidates of 165 science museums, universities and scientific research institutes in Beijing, the first group of 60 “star trainees” were selected and involved in 13-week theoretical learning (one day per week) and 1-year hands-on practice using their spare time. The Beijing science communication star action has an elite tutor panel consisting of 6 academicians, 6 science museum curators and 6 master science communicators, with 28 science communication experts delivering courses to focus on fostering professionals in fields of science communication planning, creation and research.