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Studies on scientists' public outreach and engagement activities in China: Policies, status and characteristics

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2 Author(s)
Liang Qi ; China Res. Inst. for Sci. Popularization (CRISP), Beijing, China ; Ren Fujun

Scientists have incomparable professional advantages in science communication and have the obligation to inform public about what they are doing and what affect their research has to the society. This article in the first place introduced the main forms that scientists communicate with public in China and the extent of their participation. The policy background was also discussed in the first part. The status and forms of how academicians participate in science communication are also stated in this article. They were more willing to communicate with public comparing with other scientists. The main characteristics of how scientists participate in science communication were discussed in the final part of the article. Big differences appeared among scientists with different genders, ages and education background when they participate in science communication. Various countries around the world have consistent understanding of the role that scientists play in science communication. The famous report published by British Public Understanding of Science Committee, “The Public Understanding of Science”, [1] mentioned that “it's the professional responsibility of each scientist to promote public understanding of science”, and hoped that scientists “truly understand that it is their obligatory work also”. The chairman of AAAS Green Wood called on all the American scientists “to do part time job in schools at all levels to participate in science education and promote public understanding of science” in the AAAS Annual Meeting. On the Academician Congress in 2006, President Hu Jintao pointed out that “All the scientists, researchers and engineers, especially the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, should take the responsibility of communicating scientific knowledge, scientific methods, scientific ideology and scientific ethics to the whole society and to fo- m a strong atmosphere and good social graciousness of communicating science, passion for science, learning science and utilizing science.”[2] At the 50the anniversary conference of CAST in December 2008, President Hu Jintao emphasized that “the science and technology work consists of two parts which are innovating science and technology and popularizing science and technology, and these two are complementary to each other. All the scientists should take the obligatory responsibility of communicating science and promoting public understanding of scientific and technical knowledge... All the scientists should become the communicators of scientific knowledge, the practitioners of scientific methods, initiators of scientific ideology and the propagators of scientific ethos.” Primary Wen Jiabao also expressed his wish at the conference that “scientists should not only make contribution in their own professional area, but also participate in science communication passionately.”[3] Scientists are at the high state in science communication. They are the discoverers, producers and creators of scientific knowledge, scientific methods and scientific spirit. They are also the important social force of science popularization resources development. Most of them have got professional training and are aware of the latest trends of science and technology development. [4] So scientists have incomparable professional advantages in science communication with others and have the most professional conditions to popularize science and technology. Because scientists get funds from public, they have the obligation to inform the public what they are doing and what influence their research has for the society and whole country.

Published in:

Technology Management for Emerging Technologies (PICMET), 2012 Proceedings of PICMET '12:

Date of Conference:

July 29 2012-Aug. 2 2012