SCIENTISTS BECOME CHILDREN’S ‘NEW IDOLS’
In August 2018, the TV programme Mengxiang youduoyuan ( How Far Dreams Can Go) was aired. It was jointly developed by the Beijing Association for Science and Technology and China Education Television. The programme has become a highlight of students’ summer vacations. People have commented that it provides “interesting information about scientists,” and the show has received positive feedback.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, stated at the 2018 Conference of Academicians, that, “To be a scientist is the dream of numerous Chinese children. We should make science and technology attractive and work in these areas should be careers that children aspire to. We will give science wings to children. China’s science and technology fields will be full of talent in the future and there will be shining stars in the vast science galaxy.” How Far Dreams Can Go focuses on exploring important moments in the lives and research of scientists and depicts their paths in life. The programme has aroused students’ interest in science and technology and their aspiration to pursue these endeavours.
Sun Baoguo, vice president of the Beijing Association for Science and Technology and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, participated in the production of the programme, and 20 scientists from the life sciences and artificial intelligence fields served as guests. Sun said, “We should present science and technology in a positive light and present work in these areas as ideal careers for them.”
After the programme aired, people left Weibo (a Chinese microblogging platform similar to Twitter) messages following the “I speak for scientists” theme. Many of the people who posted emphasised their childhood dreams and their current occupation. One message stated: “The mission of scientists is not only to change the world, but they should also help young people navigate their dreams.”