Introductory Seminar on China Pakistan network on Science Popularization

Name of the event:                   Introductory Seminar on China Pakistan network on Science Popularization

Date of Event:                            July 8, 2019

Venue:                                        Auditorium Pakistan Academy of Sciences Islamabad, Pakistan

Number of Attendees:             100 +

Collaborating Organization: Technology Times & Pakistan Academy of Science 

Sponsorship:                             Pakistan Academy of Sciences


Executive Summary

On July 8, 2019, Technology Times in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) organized an introductory seminar on China Pakistan Network on Science Popularization (CPNSP). The day-long seminar was attended by experts from different scientific organization, academia, R&D organizations and media houses in which they emphasized on the need of Science popularization in the society. The speakers and participants all are agreed upon that improving the public understanding of science and technology is an investment in the future, not a luxury to be indulged in when resources allow.

This Seminar was the continuation of China-Pakistan Science Communication Events held on May 21 – 24, 2019 at Hangzhou, China.

The experts at both the seminars developed a consensus that the better public understanding of science can be a major element in promoting national prosperity, in raising the quality of public and private decision-making and in enriching the life of the individual. These are nationally important long-term aims and require sustained commitment if they are to be realized.

The Chief Guest of the event Mr. Jia Wee, First Secretary and Science Attaché at Embassy of Peoples Republic of China in Pakistan appreciated the efforts of Technology Times and Pakistan Academy of Sciences for enhancing China Pakistan relations for science popularization.

Proceeding of the Seminar

Prof Dr. Qasim Jan President PAS delivered the welcome address. He said that this seminar will address the question of what science popularization can do to boost the social as well as economic development of the society and ultimately country. He anticipated to address this question by following the successful model of China and hoped that this Network will pave way to enhance science popularization collaboration between two brotherly countries.

The Key note presentation was delivered by Sayyed Paras Ali, CEO SciTech Media in which he briefed that proposed CPNSP: China Pakistan Network on Science Popularization will be a flagship network to enhance science popularization under Belt & Road Initiative.

He further elaborated that the strategic objective of this Network is to maintain and strengthen support by the public for popularization of science, technology, and innovation in a knowledge-based society. He further said that this initiative of CPNSP is for utilizing, directing and encouraging associated systems to promote science, technology communication popularization in building human resources and institutional capacity.

Prof Dr I.E. Qureshi, former Executive Director COMSATS shed light on the importance of science diplomacy while mentioning that Science Diplomacy is most needed in sectors of global commons and shared threats. It is also required to realize the aspirations of peace and prosperity by all nations. Much of what goes under the rubric of Science Diplomacy is not new, but what is new is a clear understanding about the need to focus on scientific inputs in all level of decision making at national and international level.

He further said that the countries like Pakistan don’t realize the importance of using a well-tested formula for development. It is because of lack of interactivity between scientific community and decision makers. The remedy lies in Science Diplomacy.

Ms. Rehana Batool, Principle Scientific Officer of Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) while giving the presentation on “Need of Science Popularization” said that the need of time is to analyze the relationship between science, technology, economic and social development and its impact on public.

She added that keeping in view the importance of informal education in promotion of science and technology, PSF has taken many steps including establishment of science centers in different cities, a state-of-the-art Pakistan Museum of Natural History in Islamabad, mobile science caravans, and science exhibitions in different regions of the country.

Dr. Wang Guangnian, Director of Science Popularization, Department, Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology (ZAST), China delivered a video lecture on the topic of “Science Popularization the key for the national Development-Case study China”.

He said, “I look forward to further exchange and cooperation with Pakistan to improve the scientific quality and to create science popularization network system to bring public closer to science and the science closer to public. I hope that science popularization network of China and Pakistan will have a bright future”.

Mr. Shafiq Minhas, News Editor at Dosti Radio FM98, in his talk said that the media can exert a powerful influence on public understanding of science. The scientific community traditionally regards the mass media with some suspicion and is, overall, ignorant of the way they work and the nature of their constraints. The more ‘popular’ sections of the media, on the other hand, too often make relatively little effort to discuss science in anything other than a superficial and mostly sensational way, and do not generally understand the nature of the scientific enterprise.

He emphasized that these attitudes need to be changed. To do so it will require a considerable but challenging and worthwhile process of mutual education.

Mr. Aleem Ahmed, Editor Global Science Magazine gave a lecture on “Role of National and Regional Languages to Popularize Science: Past, Present and Future”. He said that keeping in mind CPNSP importance and significance and the changing patterns of economic development, the today’s challenge for Pakistan is to get ready the capability of science and technology for the progress and development of the Country, which can only be achieved through enhanced science, technology communication popularization.

Dr Anwar-ul-Hassan Gillani, Vice Chancellor, The University of Haripur said in his presentation that science communication should be the part of the scientists’ everyday life. For becoming a successful scientist they should be an effective communicator. Scientists must give talks, write papers and proposals, communicate with a variety of audiences, and educate others. Thus to be successful, regardless of field or career path, scientists must learn how to communicate.

The Seminar was chaired by Mr. Jia Wee, the First Secretary and Science Attaché at Embassy of Peoples Republic of China in Pakistan. He extended his gratitude to Technology Times for proposing China Pakistan network on Science Popularization. He also appreciated the role of PAS for their wonderful support for organizing the event.

He said that, “science is a major component and it is very important for socio economic development. He mentioned that this seminar is the continuation of the proposed network of CPNSP. This network was proposed at a seminar held at Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China in the month of May 2019; and now it is formally moved to Pakistan. He said that CPNSP is the joint effort of Chinese and Pakistani experts on science popularization. He said that this seminar will provide platform for the success of this Network. Through this venture science popularization will go further and better between both countries”.

At the end of the event Ms. Hina Baloch, In-charge Editorial Section, Technology Times while giving the concluding remarks thanked all speakers, participants and organizers for their presence and continuing interest for science popularization in Pakistan.

She further added that it is heartening that Technology Times since 2010 has grown significantly over the years into a strong science advocacy movement and is now recognized as the premier scientific media of Pakistan. The journey of Technology Times from its first issue published on January 4, 2010 to date has been quite remarkable and exciting as it helped in achieving significant breakthroughs in different fields of science communication popularization to create a scientific culture in Pakistan.

The participants of the Seminar are of the view that popular scientific and technical magazines such as Technology Times and popular science media are important sources of scientific information and education for the scientifically attentive public. They believe that scientist without help of Media cannot build a scientific culture in the country which is extremely needed task.