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Pop science needs a wider audience – Opinion

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Visitors experience science experiments at a science and technology museum in Kunming, Yunnan province, Aug 17, 2022. [Photo/VCG]

It is not very difficult to find the pop-science library in a library. Just look for the most colorful bookshelf, because national pop-science books are mostly written for kids and teens.

This is also confirmed by the publication of sector data. According to China Science Popping Report 2021, the first pop science book report released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2020 alone, China published 98.53 million pop science books plus 258 kinds of pop science journals. However, most of them were aimed at school children; the market and the offer for adults are rather small.

This is a major problem for the burgeoning pop-science industry. For too long, pop science has been seen as a tool to better teach science to schoolchildren and teenagers, but not to adults. On at least three major national book-selling websites, if one searches for “pop-science”, one is automatically prompted with postfix phrases such as “for teens”, “for 0-6 year olds” , “for kids” .

It is absolutely necessary to teach pop science to children, who are the future of the nation and whose sense of science affects the scientific development of the nation. However, this should not be all and the adult need for the study of science should not be overlooked.

There are so many scientific developments adults will need to keep up to date with, especially during a pandemic. How do masks protect against the virus? What other steps should you take to stay healthy? Such questions are not juvenile when one reads about anti-mask movements in the United States. Additionally, there are groups that still insist that the Earth is flat.

To avoid such madness in China, it is necessary to arouse interest in pop science among all age groups, from grassroots to grassroots level. And this is also mutually beneficial, because the more adults develop or sharpen their scientific temperament, the more they can also pay attention to the knowledge of their children.

Contact the writer at @chinadaily.com.cn