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Over one hundred science and technology museums have been built across China


Over one hundred science and technology museums have been built across China, that is what journalists learned from a recent gathering marking the 20th anniversary of the opening of China Science and Technology Museum.

Twenty years ago on September 22, when China Science and Technology Museum, the first of its kind in China, was inaugurated in Beijing, people had little idea about what such new type of museums were all about. Today, not only have science and technology museums become the most important venues whereby the country communicates science and technology to its citizens, but they also are playing an increasingly pivotal role in promoting the scientific literacy of the general public .

Talking about the development of science and technology museums, we cannot but have to talk about the foresight of Deng Xiaoping, the chief architect of China's reform and opening up policies. Shortly after the convening of the March 1978 National Science Congress which ushered in the spring of science and technology in China, some 83 eminent Chinese scientists jointly proposed to the Chinese leadership in a signed petition the construction of China Science and Technology Museum, which immediately secured the support of Deng Xiaoping. In 1984, the museum kicked off its construction and was completed for official opening in the autumn of 1988.

At present, the construction of a whole new complex of China Science and Technology Museum is in full swing inside the Olympic Green. The new complex, which is designed to be even more modern than the existing one and with a construction scale of 102,000 sq m and state-of-the-art facilities, is projected to be ready to formally receive visitors by the end of 2009.

A science and technology museum is an undertaking tantamount to an investment in the future; and it serves as a hall of science popularization as well. As Chinese President Hu Jintao rightly put it during his inspection tour of China Science and Technology Museum on May 31st 2004, "In spite of our financial crunch, it is extremely worthwhile and necessary to set aside some money as input into this significant undertaking."

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