China to speed up science popularization to become a sci-tech power - CGTN

China speeds up science popularization to become a sci-tech power: Ministry
Li Meng, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, speaks at a press briefing in Beijing, China, September 5, 2022. /CFP

Li Meng, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, speaks at a press briefing in Beijing, China, September 5, 2022. /CFP

China will further facilitate the popularization of science to encourage innovation throughout the society, said a Chinese official on Monday.

Li Meng, vice minister of Science and Technology, told reporters at a press briefing that China has issued a guideline setting specific targets for the country's popularization of science and technology, signalling China's latest move towards building a strong nation of science and technology.

Released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, the guideline described the propagation of scientific knowledge as a fundamental task for promoting innovation-driven development, underscoring importance of giving equal importance to popularization of science and sci-tech innovation, said Li. 

The guideline also gave full play to the importance of science popularization in cultivating scientific spirit, training talents for sci-tech innovation, and creating social atmosphere for innovations, Li added.

China aims to have over 15 percent of its population become scientifically literate by 2025. /CFP

China aims to have over 15 percent of its population become scientifically literate by 2025. /CFP

According to Li, the guideline also aims to improve scientific literacy rate among Chinese citizens, pushing for high-level sci-tech self-reliance and a powerful nation driven by innovations and science popularization.

Scientific literacy refers to the spirit of scientific aspiration, the knowledge of basic science and scientific methods, and the ability to apply them to analysis and problem-solving.

By 2025, public services for science popularization will be significantly expanded, more researchers will play an active role in spreading scientific knowledge, the proportion of citizens with scientific literacy will exceed 15 percent, and a social climate that values science and innovation will be created, said the guideline.

By 2035, the proportion of citizens with scientific literacy will hit 25 percent, and the popularization of science will play an important role in boosting high-quality development, it added.

China's research and development (R&D) spending intensity, or the expenditure on R&D as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP), built up to 2.44 percent in 2021. /CFP

China's research and development (R&D) spending intensity, or the expenditure on R&D as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP), built up to 2.44 percent in 2021. /CFP

The guideline also emphasized strengthening the responsibility of the whole society for increasing the public's scientific knowledge, as the vice minister pointed out that the science popularization project is people-centered and there is a huge demand for it in China.

On the whole, China's research and development (R&D) spending intensity, or the expenditure on R&D as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP), built up to 2.44 percent in 2021, according to a yearly statistical bulletin. And the country is expected to spend more than 3 trillion yuan on R&D in 2022.