CRISP: a torch barrier for science popularization in China

The China Research Institute for Science Popularization (CRISP), a national institution for public wellbeing, is a unique organization devoted to theoretical research on science communication and popularization.

CRISP: a torch barrier for science popularization in ChinaAffiliated with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), CRISP was chartered to take form by the State Council in 1980. The purpose of such an organization was initiated by Mr. Gao Shiqi, the notable Chinese scientist and science writer, and received special attention from the state leader Deng Xiaoping and the guidance of Fang Yi.

Being a research establishment on state level, CRISP devotes itself to fundamental science affair studies and pursues its goal in the interest of public good. Its principal objects emphasize:

Both theoretical and applicable researches in regard of science popularization as well as parallel studies of equals concerned between China and other countries. In recent years, CRISP has been undertaking more than 40 research projects each year and developing collaborating relations with diverse research organization from overseas.

CRISP consists of the Divisions of Science Popularization Theoretical Research, Scientific Literacy Research, Information Research, Mass Media Science Communication Research, Administrative Office, Personnel Office and the Post-doctoral Work Station.

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CRISP is the supportive organization of the Secretariat of China Science Writers’ Association (CSWA). Within the framework, several centers are being operated, namely the Center for Inquiry of China (CFIC), Center for Monitoring and Evaluating on Science Popularization (CMESP), Science Writing and Resources Center (SWAREC) and Science Media Center.

CRISP embraces 50 employed staff and a Post-doctoral Work Station that holds a capacity of enrolling 30 Post-docs. CRISP dedicates itself to the building of a ‘think tank’ for national science communication and popularization and provides support for all sorts of strategic activities in the fields through theoretical studies.

At present, the research domain of CRISP mainly covers the study of targeted audiences, resources, channels and mechanisms in terms of science communication and popularization; popularization effects; mass media science communication; investigation and theoretical research on youth creativity cultivation; science and technology popularization education theories; science communication around the world; science writings and writers at home and abroad, etc.

CRISP has established in-depth exchange and collaboration with important international organizations, such as the Public Communication of Science and Technology Network (PCST), Center for Inquiry (CFI), University of Michigan (UM), and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the UK, as well as with scholars from the U.S., Canada, Britain and India. At home, CRISP keeps close cooperation with dozens of universities and institutes.

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CRISP sponsors a bi-monthly journal called Studies on Science Popularization, runs a website of China Research for Science Popularization and two WeChat official accounts, namely CSMC and CFIC, and holds an annual national conference on science popularization theories. All of these help construct an exchange platform for researchers who are interested in science popularization theory and practice.

In recent years, CRISP has been undertaking more than 40 research projects each year and developing collaborating relations with diverse research organization from overseas.

During the past years, CRISP has been developing a series of facts-finding research projects, such as “science and technology communication and its contents, channels, target audience and mechanics”, “survey, monitor and analysis of public science literacy”, “investigation and theoretical study on science popularization resources”,

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“science writing and science writers both within and outside China”, “theoretical study on informal science and technology education,” “investigation on science and technology weight in mass media”, “evaluation theory. The results are fruitful and have served the relevant departments of the government beneficially in making policies regarding science popularization.

CRISP has signed formal collaboration protocol memorandum with University of Michigan, London School of Economics, University of Quebec and Chungnam National University.

On basis of those world leading level collaboration platforms, CRISP carried out a series of academic communication activities with international colleagues, including research projects collaboration, exchange of scholars, and specific training’s. Since 2010, CRISP started to participate into many international research projects.

At present, CRISP becomes a research partner or participant in several international programs, including EU horizon program New Understanding of Communication, Learning and Engagement in Universities and Scientific Institutions (NUCLEUS), EU-Indian program mapping the Cultural Authority of Science MACAS and the JST granted project “Sakura Science Program”.

Author: Muhammad Hamza

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