GLOBAL ALERT: This is the year 2099, welcome to our trip to the Jupiter. In this trip, first you will have the experience of your life – the moon walk, without gravitation.
Afterward, our lunch and dinner will be in the most beautiful places of Mars. Next, we will start our voyage to the Jupiter on the same night. However, before the entrance, please make two lines; those people from United States, Canada and European Union, please follow the green line and enter directly after showing your IDs.
The other please follow the red line, and answer the questions of the NASA representatives truthfully’ … ‘The space research of NASA is rolling every day which could make traveling to outer-space more conceivable in this century. If we want to have equal rights in the future, we ought to work very hard for catching up scientific and technological advancements.’
The text above intended to present the interaction of science communication, hereafter Sci-Comm, with the public by using cultural references. Even though, the main information of the text is about the space researches of NASA, the imaginary story that have written is schematized in a way to capture the perception of the public.
The communication of science and technology, science popularization, plays a central role in the socio-techno-economic, cultural, and environmental development of any country.
In socio-techno-economic terms, the SciCom makes it possible to develop a scientific culture in the society, develop scientific literacy and motivate talent for scientific research, technological development, and intellectual endeavors.
It also fosters creativity and innovation contributing in the production of better trained human resources, expands social opportunities and strengthens the educational system.
Culturally and environmentally, the science popularization enhances the critical sense of population, by increasing its involvement in informal decision-making and contributing to sustainable development and democratic stability.
With that in mind, the China Centre for International Science and Technology Exchange (CISTE), Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology, Zhejiang provincial S&T department and Hangzhou Association for Science and Technology organized the seminar on China-Pakistan Science Communication in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province on May 21-24, 2019 under the guidance of the Department of International Affairs of China Association for Science and Technology.
The seminar was attended by all stakeholders, science and technology organizations, government agencies, science museums, media and enterprises, multidisciplinary group of researchers, and experts from several leading academic and research institutions in China to discuss the significance of China-Pakistan cooperation on science popularization to the building of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The aim of seminar was to share experience on SciCom, enhance the mutual cooperation, improve research reporting and communication, and advance the scientific literacy of people of both countries.
The exchange of insights and dialogues held during the seminar provided a platform for the stakeholders to share their vision and experience, and to develop the mechanism for future cooperation for SciCom innovation, science popularization planning, and the integration of science, technology, innovation and culture.
Correspondingly, speaking at the Hangzhou Low Carbon Science and Technology Museum, Sayyed Paras Ali (President SciTech Media) proposed the concept of China-Pakistan Network on Science Popularization (CPNSP) with the aim of learning and deploying SciCom and science popularization between China and Pakistan as a flagship project of Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).
Contemporarily, the importance of science and technology to modern societies and the role of a scientifically literate population in promoting socio-techno-economic development has long been recognized.
In this regard, the following strategies and recommendations are suggested for better linkages and activities for further development of SciCom and science popularization in the both countries:
- Science network must be developed for fast exchange of ideas and experience between China and Pakistan. Such as, proposed China-Pakistan Network on Science Popularization (CPNSP).
- Governments of both countries (especially Government of Pakistan) should establish or support private sector organizations to train science communicators and science writers/scientists being basic resource for any activity of science popularization.
- Science communication wing may be formed, and exchange programs may be devised for students, science communicators, scientists and journalists to visit and spend some time in both countries.
- Joint training workshops on various aspects of science popularization, science writing, and science journalism may be organized on regular intervals. Support from governments and science organizations may be harnessed for this purpose.
- An annual event, like China-Pakistan Science Festival or Congress may be planned to be organized by rotation in both countries. And, SciCom awards may be instituted to encourage talented science communicators in both countries.
Author: Mirza Abdul Aleem – a CAS-TWAS President’s Fellow at University of Science and Technology of China