Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Sudip Parikh held a virtual meeting with Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Secretary of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) Zhang Yuzhuo on Feb. 28 to discuss the ongoing cooperation between the two organizations and to renew a Memorandum of Understanding between CAST and AAAS.
The two were joined by Executive Secretary of CAST Shu Wei, Director-General of the Department of International Affairs of CAST Luo Hui, Director-General of the General Office Zhou Wenbiao and Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Affairs He Wei. AAAS Chief of Staff and Chief External Affairs Officer Andrew Black, AAAS Chief Government Affairs Officer Joanne Carney, AAAS Chief Program Officer Julia MacKenzie and AAAS International Affairs and Science Diplomacy Director Kim Montgomery were also in attendance.
CAST is the largest national non-governmental organization of scientific and technological professionals in China, and unites both the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government through the country's science and technology community. Similar to AAAS, CAST devotes itself to boosting the development of science and technology in China and enhancing the nation’s science literacy.
AAAS signed an MOU with CAST in 2007, which was renewed in 2016, but the relationship between the two organizations dates back to 1978 when the AAAS Board of Directors, Executive and Editor of Science met with CAST’s predecessor organization on a visit to China. Parikh remarked on this history during the virtual meeting, touching on the many times both groups have sent delegations to the AAAS and CAST Annual Meetings. Zhang noted that the cooperation and achievements accomplished by AAAS and CAST represent the trust and friendship between Chinese and American scientific communities.
During their conversation, Parikh and Zhang emphasized the importance of research integrity and the necessity for science literacy. They also discussed the promotion of women in science, a subject that aligns with many of the current efforts by AAAS to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the sciences. Parikh and Zhang also discussed possible initiatives to help both organizations work towards these goals, looking to a future of tackling global issues together.