China Focus: Science becoming more and more popular in China

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-12 18:59:09|Editor: Li Xia
Video PlayerClose

HEFEI, June 12 (Xinhua) -- In less than a year, scientist Yuan Lanfeng's talk show on Bilibili and Douyin, two leading Chinese online video platforms, has attracted more than 150 million views.

Yuan is an associate researcher at the University of Science and Technology of China and also a popular science promoter uploading three episodes a week to provide scientific knowledge to the public.

"Topics of my shows are sometimes hotspot issues, such as the black hole picture captured recently," Yuan said.

The 41-year old scientist has been dedicated to promoting popular science since 2015 when he accidentally received lots of attention after writing an article explaining quantum information on China's micro-blogging site Weibo.

"The press wrote a lot about quantum information back then as China made an important breakthrough in that field, but they failed to explain clearly what quantum information really is," he said.

"Science promotion work is usually trapped in a dilemma where insiders don't know how to explain complex theories to the public and ordinary people lack channels to get the information," Yuan said.

The scientist recalled that "I don't quite get it, but I think it's terrific" was the most common comment under the media coverage of quantum information in 2015.

To make more people understand this research, Yuan used humorous and vivid examples in his article to teach viewers about physics concepts, which soon went viral on Weibo. The scientist now has nearly two million followers, compared with less than 8,000 in 2015.

Thanks to the efforts of promoters like Yuan, China has made notable progress in promoting science in recent years, with an increasing number of people interested in the field.

About 18,000 science promotion activities involving 300 million participants were held during the National Science Day last year, up nearly 70 percent year-on-year, according to the China Association for Science and Technology.

Last month, more than 310 million people in the country participated in over 21,000 activities during this year's National Science and Technology Week, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

"I am particularly interested in different human organs. I want to find out how they function in the body," said 7-year-old Zhou Zejin, a visitor to a science fair held in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province.

To meet the growing needs, science museums are opening across the country.

"We have built nearly 300 science and technology museums in China's communities and schools over the past three years, each benefitting an estimated audience of 20,000," said Shi Aisong, general manager of a Nanjing-based company in east China's Jiangsu Province specializing in designing and building popular science museums.

When providing scientific knowledge to the public, we should keep it as simple as possible to have more people feel the charm of science, Yuan Lanfeng said.