[BEIJING] Senior members of China's scientific community welcomed the launch yesterday (21 June) of SciDev.Net China, a section of the SciDev.Net website providing Chinese language news and other information about science and development.
Speaking at the launch in Beijing, Cheng Donghong, first secretary of the Secretariat of the China Association for Science and Technology, said SciDev.Net China would contribute to the country's development by improving knowledge of science.
Cheng said the Internet was playing an increasing role in science communication in China.
"SciDev.Net has done excellent work in communicating science and technology to promote the development of developing countries," said Cheng. "Its Chinese version will definitely contribute to the rising role of science and technology in the development in China."
The website's director, David Dickson, said SciDev.Net China will provide regular Chinese news and other items about science and development issues in China, as well as translations into Chinese of relevant articles from the main website.
SciDev.Net would also contribute to capacity-building activities in the field of science communication in China, said Dickson.
Most of SciDev.Net's recent news and feature articles relating to China have been translated in Chinese and can be viewed online at: /chinese/gateway.
In addition, SciDev.Net China has translations of information aimed at policymakers such as policy briefs from SciDev.Net's dossiers on biodiversity, indigenous knowledge, genetically modified crops and climate change, among others.
To coincide with the launch, SciDev.Net also published a special 'spotlight' on China and climate change.
"The information SciDev.Net offers has made it an important source of science and development news for Chinese media," says Liu Honghai, editor-in-chief of Science Times, a Chinese newspaper.
Zhang Jiang'an, secretary general of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and editor-in-chief of Science and Technology Daily, the China's main science newspaper, echoes Liu's comments.
Zhang says the launch of SciDev.Net China is good news for China's science community, as it will let them share their research findings to help speed the country's development.
An advisory committee of senior Chinese scientists and science policy specialists will guide the website's activities.
Lan Xue, a SciDev.Net trustee and director of Tsinghua University's Development Research Academy Institute for the 21st Century will chair the committee.
SciDev.Net was launched in 2001 to provide reliable and authoritative information on issues related to science and science-based technology that affect economic and social development, to help individuals and organisations in the developing world.
Jia Hepeng, a journalist based in Beijing, is SciDev.Net China's coordinator.