The COVID-19 is a major public health emergency encountered by China that spreads fastest, affects most widely and is most difficult to contain since the founding of new China. In order to adapt the regular epidemic prevention and control situation, fuel the national significant task of epidemic prevention and control through science communication, further enhance the confidence in overcoming the pandemic by relying upon scientific development and technological innovation, and implement the spirit of instructions of Secretary of Leading Party Members’ Group of China Association for Science and Technology Huai Jinpeng, BAST planned and conducted a national tour of a thematic exhibition “game between mankind and infectious diseases—capital sci-tech innovations exhibition” under the arrangements made by China Science and Technology Museum.
On March 18, jointly sponsored by BAST and Gansu Association for Science and Technology, and organized by Beijing Science Center, Beijing Development Center of Popular Science, Beijing Association of Science Education Museums and Gansu Science and Technology Museum, the launch ceremony for the“Game between mankind and infectious diseases—Capital Sci-tech Innovations Exhibition & Gansu Anti-pandemic Exemplary Deeds Exhibition” tour took place at Gansu Science and Technology Museum in Lanzhou. Deputy head of science and technology communication department of CAST Liao Hong, Secretary of Leading Party Members’ Group of BAST Ma Lin and Secretary of Leading Party Members’ Group and first vice president of Gansu Association for Science and Technology Chen Bingdong attended the launch ceremony and delivered speeches, and class-2 inspector of BAST Chen Weicheng attended the launch ceremony. The launch ceremony was hosted by Vice President of GAST Zhang Ping. More than 100 individuals attended the launch ceremony, including related officers from Gansu Provincial Department of Science and Technology, Gansu Provincial Hospital of TCM, Affiliated Hospital of Gansu University of Chinese Medicine, Gansu Provincial Center for Disease Control, Lanzhou University First Hospital, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Beijing Science Center, Beijing Development Center of Popular Science, Beijing Association of Science Education Museums and Gansu Science and Technology Museum, and student representatives.
After conclusion of the launch ceremony, participants entered the exhibition hall for personal experience of the itinerant exhibition, which took the form of combination of offline and online exhibition halls. Based on the thematic exhibition “Capital Sci-tech Innovations Exhibition-game between mankind and infectious diseases”, with further enriched contents and innovative forms, the exhibition aims at identifying and displaying exemplary deeds and innovations in Gansu’s fright against the pandemic with expanded exhibition spaces. The first session has an exhibition area of 1150 square meters, consisting of five exhibition sections titled “prologue”, “discovering and finding invisible worlds”, “innovation guards life health”, “development enables coexistence and harmony” and “exemplary deeds of Gansu’s fight against COVID-19” and 1 research study activity area, displaying a total of 53 physical exhibits, supported by 25 interactive exhibits of science communication. Compared with the original exhibition, the intact ideological context, design style and scale of exhibits have been preserved, with 7 digital interactive exhibits added. Distinctive characteristics and contributions of Gansu in the fight against COVID-19 such as “Gansu recipe”, “quarantine observation of the first group of returnees from Iran” and “nationally recognized advanced figures and groups in Gansu’s fight against COVID-19” are publicized and promoted at the exhibition in order to further boost Gansu people’s confidence in fight against the pandemic and serve the needs for regular epidemic prevention and control in the province.
The online version of the exhibition produced the virtual scenes and 3D models of exhibits of “Game between mankind and infectious diseases——Capital Sci-tech Innovations Exhibition” staged at Beijing Science Center and “Game between mankind and infectious diseases—Capital Sci-tech Innovations Exhibition & Gansu Anti-pandemic Exemplary Deeds Exhibition” staged at Gansu Science and Technology Museum by making full use of VR and 3D modeling technologies, displaying 63 pieces (sets) of 3D model exhibits and 28 science figures, thus realizing panoramic and manual roaming of the online exhibition hall, navigation and guiding of exhibition hall and showrooms and interaction between exhibits, as well as expanding the communication pathways of the itinerary exhibition activities.
In addition to the exhibition, guests like Deputy Director of Beijing Development Center of Popular Science Fu Mengmeng and President of Affiliated Hospital of Gansu University of Chinese Medicine Zhang Zhiming were invited to organize expert lectures surrounding the theme of the exhibition, narrating stories about “the people’s scientist Gu Fangzhou” and “retrospect of and outlook on Gansu’s approach to COVID-19 prevention and control using combination of Chinese and western medicine”, carrying forward the spirit of scientist with real events and feelings about real persons and spreading scientific thoughts and methods behind innovations.
Moreover, in order to meet science communication needs of different age groups, special-subject research study courses such as “great wisdom from small mask”, “little epidemiological surveyors” and “360-degree offensive and defensive drills” were designed to involve primary and middle school students in research learning practices during the itinerant exhibition.
The itinerant exhibition activities fully leveraged the scale effect and brand influence of the thematic exhibition, and inspired the original creativity and R&D power of emergency science communication in a targeted manner, meant to make another new breakthrough in creating strong atmosphere for science popularization and solidifying the public confidence in fight against the pandemic. All good principles should adapt to changing times to remain relevant. The idea behind the exhibition is to continuously fledge the science communication wings of innovative development, ride the ever-growing science enthusiasm of the whole society to set sail once again, regardless of the geographic distance.