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[BEIJING] The Chinese Academy of Sciences has set up a committee to encourage its top scientists to get more involved in science communication and to coordinate their activities in the field.

The 17-member committee was launched yesterday (8 June) at the academy's 13th General Assembly in Beijing.

The committee will also organise international exchanges and promote scientific literacy, says its chair Zhu Zuoyan, the deputy director of the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

At the close of the meeting Lu Yongxiang, president of the academy, said: "The committee is the first of its kind for [academy] members. We believe that with the devotion of top scientists it could play a big role in promoting science and spreading innovative culture among the public."

The committee consists of prominent members of the academy whose study areas range from life sciences to physics.

Li Daguang, professor of science communication at the academy graduate school welcomed the move, but said that getting more top scientists involved in the process would not necessarily improve science communication overall.

Li told SciDev.Net that effective science communication depends on various social forces, and includes the role played by social scientists who emphasise "both the positive and negative roles of science".

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