A humanoid robot called Walker X, developed by Shenzhen-based startup UBTech Robotics, plays Chinese chess during the World Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Shanghai in June 2021. CHINA DAILY

Chinese science communicators have been encouraged to come up with more original, creative and higher-quality ways to popularize science, using everything from books to video games, drawing inspiration from Chinese culture or the recent scientific and technological achievements of Chinese scientists, experts said Thursday. .

Tuesday marked the release of a new national science and technology popularization plan, which aims to make 15% of the population literate by 2025.

More science teaching resources and venues will be created, the scope and scale of popular science will be expanded, the creation of original and quality popular science books will be facilitated, talents nurtured, and exchanges and cooperation promoted internationals.

The plan was formulated by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the China Association for Science and Technology.

Li Yuqi, Party chief of CAST’s Shaanxi Province branch, said the Party and the country regard science popularization as important, with President Xi Jinping calling it as important as scientific and technological innovation.

“Science popularization is the basis of science communication. It helps raise scientific aspirations and promotes public scientific literacy, and plays a key role in China’s innovation culture,” Li said at the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the China Association of science writers on Thursday.

Wang Ting, director of the China Research Institute for Science Popularization, said science popularization demonstrates a country’s creativity and culture.

“We urgently need to create high-quality and original science popularization initiatives that embody Chinese culture and showcase the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” he said.

Meanwhile, research institutions and the media should support passionate scientists in communicating their work. Science writers and communicators should also convey the beauty of nature, science and innovation to inspire people, he added.

Zhang Shuangnan, an astrophysicist and researcher with the Institute of High-Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said science and technology are key elements of modern culture and the basis of national confidence.

“When I was teaching in the United States, I realized that astronomy textbooks made no mention of the contributions in the field of Chinese scientists working in China. It was a huge shock to me,” he said. he stated, referring to China’s lack of powerful instruments. to make breakthroughs in astronomy.

Today, China has the world’s largest satellite dish telescope, a space station and a variety of world-class science satellites, and has made discoveries that have greatly enriched human knowledge, Zhang said. “These achievements make us proud.”

Han Xiqiu, a marine researcher with the second institute of oceanography under the Ministry of Natural Resources, said science communication is an important way for the public to understand, appreciate and support scientific exploration that may not yield results. short-term practical applications.

An example is deep sea exploration, which is notoriously difficult due to intense water pressure, the highly corrosive property of seawater, and the need for advanced engineering. Some 570 people have been to space, but only about a dozen have made it to Challenger Deep, the deepest known point on the seafloor.

“Our scientific expeditions have revealed that the oceans around China contain a wealth of valuable natural resources, including gas, oil and precious minerals,” she said.

“We need to step up scientific and technological research if we want to extract these resources. Having a society interested and supportive of such an endeavor is crucial.”