In­ter­na­tional “Big Science” Projects

China Pictorial (English) - - Buzzwords - Edited by Li Zhuoxi

“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

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