On Sunday, the global community converged at Beijing’s Shougang Park for the commencement of the Beijing International Week for Science Literacy. Prominent figures, including His Royal Highness Prince Fahd bin Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and Khan Muhammad Wazir, the Science and Technology Counselor of the Pakistani Embassy in China, were in attendance.
Organized by the Beijing Association for Science and Technology (BAST), the event boasts participation from 24 international organizations and institutions across 22 nations and regions. 27 representatives from the tech industry and science education sector have come together to discuss and strategize on elevating public scientific literacy and carving out a mutual development trajectory.
Among the esteemed attendees were Vishal Kumar Agarwalla, Vice Chairman of the Young Indians—a part of the Confederation of Indian Industry—and Nur Karnina Karim, Chief of Seria Energy Lab of Brunei.
Shen Jie, the Executive Vice President of BAST, mentioned in a conversation with the Global Times that the Beijing International Week for Science Literacy serves as a flagship event, bolstering BAST’s international reputation. The event enhances BAST’s active role in Beijing’s evolution as an international hub for science, technology innovation, and global interaction.
Speaking to the Global Times, Wazir lauded BAST’s leadership for hosting the event. He emphasized the significance of the event in amalgamating world leaders to celebrate and disseminate their achievements in advocating science literacy. “The event is a platform for the world to learn from China’s vast experience in this domain,” he remarked.
Wazir further pointed out the budding collaboration between China and Pakistan, especially in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) sector. Recent agreements, like the MoU between the China Association for Science and Technology and the Pakistan Science Foundation, highlight this partnership. This MoU paves the way for STEM teacher training, student exchanges, and the sharing of knowledge and resources.
Running until September 24, this year’s theme for the Beijing week is “Working Together for Common Development – Digital Literacy and Future Education.” The theme resonates with China’s ethos of collaboration, mutual learning, and sharing its journey of integrating science into its cultural fabric with the world. Wazir underscored China’s success in leveraging science and technology for socio-economic progress and transitioning into a digital era. The theme captures the essence of the intertwining relationship between education and digital technology.
Shen also informed that during the week, Beijing will be hosting the inaugural international science and technology teachers conference. Additionally, an exhibition will feature international scientific works curated by innovation teams. BAST’s vision is to facilitate international dialogue, sharing scientific communication experiences, fostering quality, and promoting academic and experiential interchange. The goal is to advance the propagation and promotion of top-tier science resources.
Another highlight was shared by Cheng Donghong, Chairperson of the Chinese Society of Natural Science Museums. She reminisced about the remarkable Tiangong Classroom sessions broadcasted from the Tiangong space station by Shenzhou crew members in late 2021 and early 2022. These sessions reached over 200 science and technology museums, 700+ mobile museum stands, 500+ science popularization vans, and 800 rural middle school science venues nationwide. These institutions, under the museum’s guidance, engaged local youth to witness live broadcasts and conduct space-Earth comparative experiments. Cheng extolled this initiative as a landmark moment in China’s science popularization endeavors, marked by unparalleled public participation.
In a move to fortify international communication and cooperation, BAST inked a strategic cooperation agreement with the Global Times during the Sunday ceremony. The pact was witnessed by Shen and the Global Times General Manager, Wu Tianhong.
In summary, the Beijing International Week for Science Literacy stands as a testament to global collaboration and the shared commitment to advancing scientific literacy. The convergence of representatives from various countries underscores the global community’s unified goal to promote and integrate science more deeply into society.