Contributing the power of science and technology to full-scale construction of a modern socialist country
Huai Jinpeng, Secretary of Leading Party Members’ Group, Executive Vice President and the First Secretary of Secretariat of China Association for Science and Technology
As today’s world is experiencing a big change not seen for a hundred years, domestic and international environments facing China’s development are undergoing profound and complex changes, while the development during the “14th five-year plan” period and a longer period has raised more pressing requirements for accelerating science and technology innovation. The 5th plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee pointed out the need to insist on innovation as the core in the modernization drive of China and regard technological self-sufficiency as a strategic pillar of the national development, which fully reflects the high attention given by the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as the core to science and technology innovation. The science and technology circles need to remain confident in innovation, accurately grasp the new phase of development, stick o the new ideas of development as guidance, proactively serve the construction of a new development pattern, actively advance the construction of community of science and technology and contribute the power of science and technology to full-scale construction of China as a modern socialist country.
Bravely shouldering the mission of the times
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has accelerated the evolution of game change of the world not seen for a hundred years and also produced profound impacts on the patterns of scientific and technological development. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasizes that “we need to constantly move towards science and technology deeper and wider oriented towards the global forefront of science and technology, the main battlefields of economy, significant needs of the country and lives and health of people.” The important expositions of General Secretary Xi Jinping have endowed scientific and technological development with new connotations and pointed out the direction for scientific and technological innovation. Responding to the global challenges facing mankind such as energy and food crises, global climate change and major communicable diseases, insisting on using innovation as the primary driving force for development and coordinated development and security all urgently require advancing science and technology innovation. This not only requires scientists to bring their wisdom into play but more requires science and technology community to shoulder the mission bravely.
Solidifying the cornerstone of scientific and technological development. The mission of science and technology lies in unremitting exploration and innovation. During the “13th five-year plan” period, Chinese scientists made a group of iconic and pioneering significant original achievements in frontier fields of basic sciences such as quantum information, iron-based superconductivity, neutrino, stem cell and brain science, making important contributions to enriching the knowledge treasure of mankind. Proactively adapting to the new phase of development, implementing new ideas of development and serving the construction of new development patterns require the science and technology circles to constantly strengthen basic research, pay more attention to original innovation, focus on the frontiers, open new roads, dare to be the first, challenge new heights bravely, constantly charter new territories of knowledge and solidify the cornerstone of scientific and technological development with self-reliance and self-independence.
Accumulating momentums of economic development. Completing the domestic great cycle and shaping China’s proactive position in the international great cycle urgently require science and technology to play a critical role in accumulating momentums and storing energy. Chinese scientists have made significant breakthroughs in a wide range of fields such as 5G mobile communication, super computing and ultra high voltage power transmission and transformation, effectively promoting the transformation and upgrading of related industries and development of emerging industries. The science and technology circles are expected to be good at singling out and resolving scientific problems from industrial practices, promote commercialization of scientific and technological achievements, drive the deep integration of digital economy and real economy and complete the channel from scientific and technological might to industrial might, economic might and national might.
Strengthening the orientation towards serving the big picture. Deeping the supply-side structural reforms and effectively boosting the domestic demand urgently requires science and technology to support supply creation and lead demands. Chinese scientists have made important contributions in scientific explorations such as “Tianwen-1“，”Chang’e-5” and “Struggler”, effectively assuring the organization and implementation of related national major projects. We need to embody the national strategic will, improve the new-type whole nation system under socialist market economy conditions, enhance national innovation ability and assure natural security with science and technology. Sci-tech workers are required to act in the best interests of the nation, bravely dissolve the risks of “neck choking” and constantly innovate and create in serving the overall interests of national development.
Safeguarding the lives and health of people. Satisfying the higher requirements and more expectations of people for life safety and physical health is an important duty of the science and technology community. In the global fight against COVID-19, China’s science and technology circles have played an important role. Meanwhile, from publicity of information about whole genome sequence of the virus and cooperation on drug and vaccine research and development to construction of platforms for exchange of achievements, scientists in all countries tightened the ties of solidarity and trust, established bridges across national borders, built platforms for experience sharing and mutual learning and witnessed the power of joint construction of the community of human health. The pandemic has inspired us to stick to the idea of people first and life foremost and pay more attention to advancing scientific and technological innovation surrounding life safety and physical health of people.
Innovation is the first driving force for development, and science and technology is a powerful weapon with which to overcome difficulties. The current changing situations at home and abroad and China’s economic and social development have raised even more urgent requirements for high-quality supply of science and technology, such that all sci-tech workers are required to bravely shoulder the mission, be it solidifying the cornerstone of scientific and technological development, accumulating the momentums of economic development, strengthening the orientation towards national needs or safeguarding lives and health of people. To actively advance the construction of science and technology community at a new phase of development requires us to base ourselves on the new historical position, identify the direction of development, serve the overall interests of national development, truly leverage the role of science and technology community as a platform and motivator and allow the powerful momentums of scientific and technological innovation to burst out competitively in exchanges and collisions.
Gathering the value consensus of openness, trust and solidarity
General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasizes that “we need to more proactively get involved into the global innovation network to improve our scientific and technological innovation ability in open cooperation. The more we face blockage and suppression, the less we should pursue self-enclosure and self-isolation, but instead we need implement more open, inclusive, reciprocal and shared international science and technology cooperation strategy.” We need to make full use of the open, hub and platform-like organizational advantages of science and technology community, insist on openness instead of closeness, trust instead of jealousy, solidarity instead of division, and gather the value consensus of openness, trust and solidarity.
Upholding the ideas of openness. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that “the world is now undergoing a big game change not seen for a hundred years, and a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation are developing rapidly. The common challenges facing mankind require all countries to work together in response. No single country can become an independent innovation center or exclusively enjoy innovations. Innovations should benefit the whole world instead of being treasures buried deep in mountain caves.” Science develops in openness, and openness is the gene of science and also the fountainhead of scientific advancement. Responding to global challenges requires all mankind’s collective wisdom, and the open scientific spirit should become a distinctive mark of the times. Open science and shared technology are manifestations of human wisdom and the embodiments of the value of civilizations learning from each other. Every opening-up in the history of science and technology would drive advancement of human civilization. Scientific exchanges should be free of borders, obstacles and discriminations.
Solidifying the cornerstone of trust. Trust is the foundation of cooperation. Mutual trust is required among scientists and trust-based interaction and exchange mechanisms need to be established and improved within the science and technology community to stick to scientific research integrity and constantly promote the healthy development of the cause of science and technology. Meanwhile, the social trust in science is also an important foundation of scientific development. Scientific research is an endless process of exploration, and challenging the cognitive limits of mankind time and time again allows the public to appreciate the tremendous might of science. The development of previous scientific and technological revolutions and industrial revolutions allows science and technology to constantly benefit mankind, enhancing the public trust in science. We need to strengthen interaction between science and general public and promote the whole society to revere and carry forward the scientific spirit.
Enhancing solidarity and cooperation. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that “the international cooperation on science and technology is a prevailing trend. We need to more proactively get involved into the global innovation network to improve our scientific and technological innovation ability in open cooperation”. Looking back at the scientific and technological development process of mankind, the science and technology community has always been sticking to solidarity and cooperation and coping with challenges together. Nowadays, when mankind is in an era of continuously emerging challenges and growing risks, the global science and technology circles should enhance solidarity and cooperation in jointly responding to challenges, establish the authority of rationality and science with solidarity and cooperation and demonstrate the value of science and technology community with solidarity and cooperation.
CAST has always been sticking to openness, trust and solidarity, constantly expanding channels of open exchanges and cooperation. 210 national societies hold over 30000 academic events each year to promote domestic public understanding of science and technology, and interact with 367 international science and technology organizations. Each year, CAST holds more than 30 international branded conferences to expand the dialogue platforms and spaces, such as World Science & Technology and Development Forum, World Conference on Science Literacy and World Young Scientist Summit. Gather the wisdom of the science and technology community, constantly organize the selection of innovative, forward-looking cutting-edge scientific and engineering technical problems and discuss and publish them through international conferences. Accelerate the construction of world’s top-class science and technology journals, as 23 national societies will create English journals oriented towards the world to expand new platforms for open exchanges. Create the service brand “Innovation China”, rely upon the new mechanism of public service from science and technology community to advance deep integration of industry, academia and research and establish open and interconnected technology trading markets. The science and technology community needs to focus on common concerns and constantly gather value consensus of openness, trust and solidarity in cooperative practice with open exchanges as the enabler.
Working together to advance the construction of science and technology community
General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasizes that “accelerating scientific and technological innovation is necessary to successfully start a new journey of full-scale construction of a modern socialist country.” Facing the future, the science and technology circles need to advance the construction of science and technology community at a higher starting point and a higher level, always oriented towards the global forefront of science and technology, the main battlefields of economy, significant needs of the country and lives and health of people.
Insisting on putting people at the center. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that “people are the creators of history and the fundamental forces determining the futures and fates of the Party and the country.” A glimpse of the history of human civilizations suggest that various scientific and technological achievements and civilization achievements are fundamentally created by peoples, demonstrating all-round improvement of human beings in ideological and moral qualities, scientific and cultural qualities and physical and mental health qualities; meanwhile, various scientific and technological achievements and civilization achievements are meant for peoples and promoted the all-round development of human beings. The science and technology community needs to regard seeking truth and benefiting mankind as the common pursuit of value, always put peoples at the center, endeavor to advance scientific and technological innovation, actively construct cooperation networks, greatly intensify scientific and technological exchanges and contribute wisdom to promoting the all-round development of mankind and the advancement of human civilizations.
Carrying forward the spirit of scientists. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that “scientific achievements would be impossible without spiritual support. The spirit of scientists is valuable spiritual wealth accumulated by sci-tech workers in long-term scientific practice.” The scientist populations with noble spiritual demeanor are pacesetters and can navigate the healthy development of science and technology. The science and technology community needs to greatly carry forward the spirit of scientists, stick to scientific research integrity, discuss and construct rules of scientific and technological governance together, advance the coordination of rules of scientific and technological governance at the multilateral, bilateral and regional levels, and strengthen the construction of scientific and technological ethics.
Strengthening cooperation and exchanges. Science and technology constantly demonstrate the power of human rationality while promoting the liberation of social productivity and changing the ways mankind produce, live and think. The science and technology community needs to inherit and carry forward the scientific tradition based on rationality and empirical evidence, fully discuss, contend on an equal footing, and spark “brainstorming” to provide broad spaces for scientific research, create rewarding climates for seeking truth and improve the scientific research performance and quality of talent cultivation with cooperation and exchanges. Create more platforms for cooperation and exchanges, drive the open-source technology development, fill the knowledge, digital and development gaps and build bridges of exchanges and mutual learning of civilizations using science and technology.
Today’s world is experiencing a big game change not seen for a hundred years, in which scientific and technological innovation is a critical variable. We need to stick to self-reliance, deepen international cooperation, gather value consensuses, tighten the ties of trust, create opportunities in opening-up, respond to challenges in solidarity, solve difficult problems in cooperation and create a better future for mankind together.