A new campaign was initiated in Beijing's Shijingshan district on Friday to promote popular science and science fiction creation among Chinese youth.
Leaders and guests attend the launch
The campaign will be open nationwide to students from elementary, middle and high schools, as well as universities, inviting them to produce literary or artistic creations in the fields of popular science and science fiction. Lectures will be organized within schools, with renowned sci-fi writers participating. The goal is to cultivate and enhance the creative abilities of sci-fi enthusiasts, enabling them to better express their imagination and insights about the future. The judging panel will comprehensively evaluate the entries based on innovation, scientific accuracy, artistic value and educational quality.
Award-winning works will be announced during the 2024 China Science Fiction Convention (CSFC) and winners will receive the opportunity to meet and learn from established sci-fi authors such as Liu Cixin and Wang Jinkang, further inspiring their creativity and improving their writing skills. The winning works will be promoted in popular science and sci-fi magazines, as well as online, and receive the chance for publication, thereby increasing their exposure and influence.
During the launch ceremony, Shi Lei, director of the Shijingshan District Science and Technology Commission, emphasized the potential of sci-fi education to foster curiosity, imagination and innovation among young people. By utilizing mediums such as painting, sci-fi stories and science fairy tales, the campaign serves as a platform to encourage young people to engage in the creation of such works, igniting their deep desire for scientific content while fostering their creative enthusiasm and innovative spirit, inspiring them to produce exceptional works of popular science and science fiction.
"Next, we will continue to innovate and diversify the forms of popular science and sci-fi education, and design a series of lecture courses," Shi said. "We will also identify and cultivate outstanding sci-fi talents from the student pool to contribute to the advancement of sci-fi creation and popular science."
Wang Weiying, director-general of the Beijing Yuanyu Science Fiction and Future Technology Research Institute, pointed out that popular science and sci-fi creation have always been an important part of China's cultural development and they contribute to improving public awareness of science, cultivating scientific literacy, and promoting the integration of technology and humanities.
"This campaign marks our commitment to further promote the development of popular science and sci-fi creation, providing creators with a broader stage," she said. "Each sci-fi story and popular science work is a creation filled with imagination, carrying the author's views on the future, expectations for technology, and reflections on the future of humanity.
"In recent years, the rapid development of technology has brought about rapid changes in our lives, and humanity is facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Popular science and sci-fi creation, in their unique way, can explore the unknown world and stimulate our thinking and exploration of the future. They not only inspire our spirit of innovation but also deepen our understanding and interest in science, technology and the future."
Chen Liuqi, vice president of the Beijing Yuanyu Science Fiction and Future Technology Research Institute and host of the event, introduces details of the campaign at Shijingshan Science Museum in Beijing, Nov. 24, 2023. [Photo courtesy of Beijing Yuanyu Science Fiction and Future Technology Research Institute]
Later, during an interactive session, writers Ling Chen, Zheng Jun, Chao Xia, Jia Yu and Li Haichuan shared their experiences and personal stories on sci-fi literature creation, and answered questions from students.
China is building a sci-fi-based science and technology industrial park in a reclaimed steel plant in the western part of Beijing's Shijingshan district to promote the development of the country's sci-fi industry.