China strengthens online science popularization amid epidemic

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 18, 2020
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Science and technology popularization institutes across China jointly launched an online science popularization campaign Monday to help fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

The campaign includes quizzes on COVID-19 related knowledge in the aspects such as virology, clinical medicine, epidemiology, preventive medicine and policies and regulations on epidemic control. Quizzes on other infectious diseases such as SARS and Ebola and the conservation of biodiversity are also included.

The campaign is led by organizations including China Science and Technology Museum, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, and the Beijing Museum of Natural History, and jointly hosted by 150 science and technology organizations.

Netizens can log on to the website of the campaign, answer the quizzes from Feb. 17 to 28, and win prizes, including entrance tickets to museums, tickets for science popularization movies and souvenirs from these venues.

"Some of my relatives and friends felt worried and confused about the novel coronavirus. The online campaign provides an interesting way to help us understand the basic knowledge about the epidemic and how to contain it," said Zhou Qi, a 30-year-old netizen.

"To me, the precise information about the epidemic and advice to protect us from it would be the best prize," she said.

A few museums in the Yangtze Delta River area launched the first round of online science popularization quizzes campaign since early February, attracting over 30,000 netizens participating within two weeks, said Gu Qingsheng, deputy director-general of Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

According to Gu, the development of epidemic control and precise knowledge to contain the epidemic are people's top concerns now.

As the domain quiz-designer, the Shanghai Natural History Museum, a branch of Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, published the analysis on easy-to-get-wrong quizzes on its WeChat public account.

"Judging from the results of the first round of the quiz, we found that the majority of respondents have basic knowledge about the epidemic, but they still need more information on wildlife animal protection and the latest policies to contain the epidemic," said Gu Jieyan, deputy director of the Shanghai Natural History Museum Management Committee.

Museums and science venues across China have strengthened online science popularization by maintaining online exhibitions and increasing science popularization programs on the internet since the epidemic outbreak.

"Though museums and venues are temporarily shut down, we will never stop science popularization, that's why the online quiz campaign has broadened across China," Gu Qingsheng said. "We're planning to launch online live programs to make sure audiences can enjoy the museum at home."

"With the latest technologies, science and technology venues can broadcast their latest research outcomes and knowledge to the public in a timely manner, which is a new trend in recent years," according to Gu Qingsheng.

"I believe online science popularization will have greater development in the future," he said. 

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