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Internet-based Science Communication Platform

Date:2016-11-25 Author:

Based on the rich digital scientific resources and established partnership with research institutions, CNIC initiated Virtual Science Museums of China (VSMC) in 1999 and has since then spared no effort to promote public understanding and appreciation of science by translating scientific information into digital content that can easily be shared and used by people who are not professionals. After nearly two decades of generous support from CAS and continuous contribution of research institutions, VSMC has grown into the CAS portal for Network-based Science Communication with abundant multimedia contents and interactive exhibits on a broad range of scientific topics. Relevant endeavors have received a considerable number of domestic and international prizes such as the World Summit Award (in the category of e-science) during the Tunis Phase of the World Summit on Information Society, the National Excellent Website for Culture Promotion, and the National Excellent Website for Science Outreach and the Technology Excellence Award selected by the Internet Society of China.  

partial screenshot of the CAS portal for Network-based Science Communication  


Certificate and badge of the World Summit Award

The contents on the CAS portal for Network-based Science Communication are divided into several big categories such as Reading, Video, Activity and Space. The Reading category incorporates online columns such as Feature Stories on Science and Technology, Articles from Scientists, Recommended Articles from Research Institutions and Vitual Science Musuems. The Video category incorporates online columns such as Seeing Science (incorporating video resources including science documentaries, films, short science videos, lectures, etc.) and Science and China (incorporating lectures of the academy's Academician and Expert Lecture Tours). The Activity category incorporates online columns including the SELF Lecture Channel (SELF stands for Science, Education, Life and Future), Science Activities (supporting the online annoucement and management of science activities), Science Quizzes, Interactive Exhibits, Science Camps, etc. The Space category invites research institutions and teams to open their own online spaces and share science outreach resources.

Contents of the portal have been increased rapidly and regularly. In 2015 alone, newly-added contents included 827 articles from scientists, 30 original science videos and 12 feature stories on frontier and popular science topics. More than 1000 science articles for the general public were recommended via the daily-updated column for selecting and recommending well-qualified articles from research institutions. Based on the contents of the academy's 2015 Scientific and Technological Innovation Exhibition, an online multimedia exhibition was developed to interpret relevant research ideas, approaches and achievements, promoting the public understanding and appreciation of 9 important scientific breakthroughs of the CAS in 2015 with new media technologies. In 2015, the annual page views of the portal reached more than 70 million and the total annual page views via third-party platforms exceeded 480 million. In addition, CNIC continued to provide technical support for science outreach endeavors at research institutions in 2015. By the end of 2015, 110 teams (users) have created and released 59 mobile reading resources. Nearly 20,000 digital greeting cards have been sent out by 842 users from 105 CAS research institutions. The center continued to provide information integration and visit statistics services for science outreach columns of 104 institutional websites and 19 professional science outreach websites such as Understanding Time, The Story of Fossils and Astronomy for Everyone. Apart from supporting the self-creation and self-management activities of research institutions and teams, the cloud-based platform and tools also provided techinical support to CAS headquarter. For instance, the platform supported the construction and improvement of the Science Communication Capacity Construction and Evaluation System hosted by the CAS Bureau of Science Communication.

cloud-based platform and tools for resource creation