International “Big Science” Projects
“Big science” is a new concept proposed by international scientific and technological circles in recent years, and refers to research projects featuring heavy investment, plentiful researchers, advanced and sophisticated equipment and grand research goals.
Recently, China’s State Council issued a set of guidelines to encourage the launch of more international “big science” projects.
The guidelines stress that an international “big science” project aims to achieve original breakthroughs for major scientific problems and represents an all-round expansion of basic research on the frontiers of science. Such projects play a supportive role in promoting global scientific and technological innovation and progress while tackling common challenges plaguing human society.
The guidelines also unveiled the “three-step” development goals for China to organize and launch a series of international “big science” plans and projects by 2020, 2035 and the middle of the 21st century, respectively.
Short-term goals: By 2020, China will foster three to five projects to organize and launch one or two international “big science” projects, and generally form a mechanism for organizing “big science” plans to accumulate useful experience for follow-up work.
Mid-term goals: By 2035, China will cultivate another six to ten large projects, and the mature projects will start to form an early layout of the “big science” project plan to increase China’s global influence in science and technology.
Long-term goals: China will develop more “big science” projects to improve its abilities in scientific and technological innovation and play an important role in the international science and technology governance system by the middle of this century.
The China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS) in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, is a national “big science” facility that began to be built during the 12th Five-year Plan period (2011-2015). It is expected to be completed in 2018 and open to both domestic and foreign users. VCG