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CAST Annual Meeting Brings International Perspective, Voices from Science Societies

CAST Meeting China
International speakers, including AAAS chief international officer Tom Wang (third from left), of the Forum on the Development of S&T Societies with CAST chief executive secretary Jinpeng Huai (center) during the 2018 CAST Annual Meeting | Credit: CAST

The 20th annual meeting of the China Association for Science & Technology (CAST) took place from May 24-27, 2018 in Hangzhou in southeastern China. AAAS and CAST have been long-time partners since 1978, renewing their MOU in 2016, addressing key S&T issues of importance to the United States and China such as scientific literacy and research integrity. The CAST gathering aims to discuss the major issues of science and technology in China – and, more recently, through a broader international lens. AAAS was represented by Valda Vinson, deputy editor of Science, Xiaoying Chu, director of academic publishing relations for Asia based in AAAS’s Beijing office, and Tom Wang, AAAS Chief International Officer and Director of the Center for Science Diplomacy.

According to Wang, this year’s installment proved to be its most international event to date, featuring more than ten sessions on international topics that were equipped with simultaneous translation. 

CAST Meeting China_Tom Wang
AAAS Chief International Officer, Tom Wang, speaks at the 2018 CAST Annual Meeting | Credit: CAST

The emphasis on international science topics and cooperation was also clear from the event’s official program, noting: “CAST is committed to making the annual meeting an important platform for sharing and exchanging ideas and knowledge, and an international high-end brand with distinctive features and highlights.”

Science Societies as Boosters of Innovation and Development

The 2018 CAST annual meeting addressed new roles for Chinese and global scientific societies. Wang participated in the “Forum on the Development of Science and Technology Societies,” which included topics such as membership engagement, international communication, and informing policy. The Forum underscored that science and technology societies have a fundamental role in developing science and technology in their countries and across the globe. Wang emphasized to participants that the mission of AAAS is not only to  promote the development of science but to equally ensure that science benefits the broader society.

“Given how the fruits of science and technology are changing modern life, science societies have a responsibility to engender trust and build strong relationships between the scientific community and other parts of society,” Wang said.