Designed to implement the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Popularization of Science and Technology, as well as the Outline of the National Action Scheme of Scientific Literacy for All Chinese Citizens (2006-2016-2020), the National Science Popularization Day is celebrated nationwide targeting the general public. Being a non-profit and large-scale popular science activity with mass participation, the activity is organized by China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) in alliance with pertaining Chinese ministries and commissions and through the engagement of the Chinese community of science and technology, as well as all sectors of the society in the country.
On June 29th 2002 the first law in China, and also in the world, on the popularization of science and technology—the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Popularization of Science and Technology (hereinafter referred to as the Popular Science Law)—was officially promulgated for implementation, thus providing a strong legal guarantee for the popularization of science and technology in the country. With a view to promoting and implementing the Popular Science Law, CAST conducted large-scale popular science activities nationwide on June 29th 2003 in commemoration of the law’s first anniversary. Starting from 2004, the association designated the third weekend of every September as the National Science Popularization Day, for which week-long popular science activities and events would be organized simultaneously throughout the country.
Every year, the National Science Popularization Day designates one specific theme, and under which diverse activities and events would unfold with their content closely centering on energy and resources, the ecological environment, safety and health, innovation and creativity etc. Usually these activities and events would focus on hot social topics and issues that are of direct concern to the general public, are closed associated with its practical needs and into which it would be kept actively engaged. All too often, the National Science Popularization Day would choose villages, communities, enterprises and campuses etc. as key venues in which such popular science activities as themed exhibitions and lectures, on-site science and technology consulting, popular science shows featuring interactivities are held. Mass media and the Internet are usually employed to help disseminate science and technology in an interactive way.
The central leadership attaches great importance to the National Science Popularization Day. Every year, members of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee would participate in the home events in Beijing marking the National Science Popularization Day and interact with participants from sectors of the society, which gives a forceful impetus to the in-depth development of popular science activities across the country.
Up to 2014, over 40,000 popular science activities have been organized under the banner of the National Science Popularization Day, involving more than 800 million direct participants. The continuous organization of the National Science Popularization Day activities has helped create a benign environment for implementing the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Popularization of Science and Technology, as well as the Outline of the National Action Scheme of Scientific Literacy for All Chinese Citizens; it has also facilitated the capacity-building of China’s public services of science popularization and the development of programs in terms of science education, communication and popularization. Above all, it has enormously enhanced the Chinese people’s scientific literacy.
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