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Chinese Academy of Sciences Delegation Visits AAAS to Learn about Science Publishing
Vaughan Turekian, Zhu Zuoyan, and Tom Wang
With China's strengthening efforts to boost science development, officials from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) visited AAAS headquarters to learn about operations at Science, the peer-reviewed journal published by AAAS.
Meeting with senior AAAS staff including AAAS Chief International Officer Vaughan Turekian and Science Executive Editor Monica Bradford, the delegation focused their 22 August visit on how Science runs its manuscript submission system, editorial review boards, news sections, and media outreach.
The goal of the delegation's visit, led by Zhu Zuoyan, vice president of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, was to learn strategies for raising the international reputation of its research journals including Science in China and Chinese Science Bulletin, and eventually to increase the amount of high-quality research published from abroad.
"There is a lot of good scientific activity with world-class research in China, but too often Chinese scientists choose to publish in journals outside China," said Zhu, who is also the chairman of the Popularization and Publication Committee of the Academic Division at CAS.
Over the next couple of years, CAS hopes to internationalize its board of reviewing editors and advisors. By increasing the number of eminent scientists from other countries that review manuscripts and advise on the journal’s editorial priorities, CAS hopes to increase the number of high-quality article submissions from abroad.
The Chinese delegation also was interested in how Science fits into the broader AAAS mission of communicating science to its members and the public, adding that although Chinese science is frequently covered in Chinese newspapers and the Xinhua new service, CAS would like to see more Chinese research covered abroad.
Ginger Pinholster, director of the AAAS Office of Public Programs, said that communicating science to the public "is a vital part of AAAS’s mission," adding that her office regularly works with reporters, research institutions, other scientific societies, and the government to communicate Science research and AAAS activities.
Pinholster also cited EurekAlert!, a free, online resource created by AAAS in 1996, as an effective tool for communicating science to the public. Through the Web site, universities, scientific journals, and research institutions can post press releases; reporters can find embargoed news stories; and the public can read about breaking science and technology stories.
EurekAlert! Project Director Patrick McGinness demonstrated EurekAlert! Chinese, a still-under-development portal that further extends EurekAlert!'s language offerings (currently also in French, German, Spanish, and Japanese) to press releases and summaries of Science articles translated into Chinese. McGinness hopes to continue developing the site in the coming months, boosting the number of translated resources and increasing its accessibility.
AAAS and Chinese officials have been working in recent years to build a constructive science and technology relationship.
In June 2005, AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner led an AAAS delegation to China and engaged in a six-day series of meetings with top Chinese science, education and engineering leaders. It was the first high-ranking AAAS delegation to visit China since the 1990s.
In February 2007, AAAS awarded six Chinese journalists the 2007 AAAS Fellowships for Science Reporters in Developing Regions, bringing the young journalists to the 2007 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco to cover the latest research and network with their fellow science writers from around the world.
Science recently gained approval to station a full-time reporter in Beijing. The plan is to open a permanent news bureau in October, when it will become Science’s third in Asia with other bureaus in Tokyo and New Delhi.
In September 2007, Leshner will lead a U.S. delegation to Beijing to attend a workshop on scientific ethics and responsibility co-sponsored by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and AAAS. In Beijing, Leshner will also sign memoranda of understanding for cooperation with CAST and CAS, as well as meet with other Chinese scientific leaders.
The delegation, which includes Turekian, AAAS Director for International Cooperation Tom Wang, and Director of the AAAS Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program Mark Frankel, also will have a brief visit to Shanghai to visit with scientific organizations and leaders, including the Shanghai Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology.
"International collaboration is a great way of getting science to the public and encouraging them to support it," said Turekian. "Without the public's support, science and innovation cannot thrive."
Founded in 1949, the Chinese Academy of Sciences serves as the leading academic institution and comprehensive research and development center in natural science, technological science, and high-tech innovation for China.
During its visit to the United States, the CAS delegation also visited the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.; the Public Library of Science in San Francisco, Calif.; Thomas Scientific in Philadelphia, Pa.; Cell Press in Cambridge, Mass.; and the American Meteorological Society in Boston, Mass.
10 September 2007