Popular science has a brdisney magic cardight futureSome Reception Favors Ideas
The popularity of science-popping or popular science groups suggests Chinese people are becoming more science-literate, writes Zhang Zhouxiang and Wang Xiaoying
Evolution does not necessarily lead to stronger or smarter species. Some species survive the competition for life because they have a unique advantage: Low consumption of energy.
A kind of green alga perfectly fits this logic. Its organic structure is so simple that it has to rely on another kind of bacterium for circulation. The latter takes care of its consumption of energy, disposal of waste, as well as supports its basic life.
Does that relationship sound familiar?
If a father takes care of everything, his offspring will remain simple - and foolish.
The above remarks are part of the Father"s Day special report of Jubuqihou, or Local Climate, a domestic popular science (or science-popping) group that designs long pictures containing information on science and publishes them via WeChat public account and micro blog. The number of its followers on WeChat alone is over 700,000.
Local Climate is one of the hundreds of groups of its kind. According to gasdata.cn, a website specializing in new media data collection and analysis, the number of popular science WeChat public accounts reached 783 in 2017, with more on micro blog and other new media platforms such as smartphone applications. However, the majority of the accounts are inactive and lack influence. "Only about 9 percent update their contents regularly, of which only 3 percent articles register more than 10,000 hits," said the Gasdata report.
And the majority of the influential teams are quite big organizations such as guokr.com or China Science Communication. Starting as a four-member team in August 2016, Local Climate is a rare one among them. Having freshly earned their bachelors" degrees from Tsinghua University, Zhu Jian, Mao Tianhua and Sun Qiming decided in August 2016 to do something "more meaningful and more interesting" than ordinary designing and painting jobs.
"We searched the then existing media outlets and found knowledge-sharing might be an emerging market", said Zhu Jian. "Some of the social media outlets provide materials for reading every day but when you read them, you hardly get anything that truly enriches your knowledge. So we thought, maybe we could share knowledge with our readers?"
The first field the three friends selected was biology, because one of the co-founders, Zhao Zhe, was a doctoral candidate in life science. "People are always interested in the things related to life," Zhu said. "What are the animals like in the deep sea? How many hairs does an average person have?"
The first picture they posted on their Local Climate account was titled "10,000 Meters Deep into the Sea". It introduced what kinds of animals and plants exist at different levels of the sea. "We followed a strict scale in drawing the picture", said Sun. The picture "was exactly 1 meter in length". They spent two weeks doing the text and the design to make sure it contains ample, accurate information for readers.
They have already published about 110 original "products" via their WeChat public account. On micro blog, they have got more than 170,000 followers. And the number of their team members has now grown to 22.
In comparison, guokr.com is much bigger in size. Founded in November 2010 as a website, the popular science group derived its name from Stephen Hawking"s famous book The Universe in a Nutshell, with "guokr" meaning "nutshell" in Chinese.
"Our founders, including me, are mainly natural science graduates who hope to do something more than our own majors", said Xie Mochao, guokr.com chief content officer, with a smile, "that"s why we at first jokingly called ourselves "deviationists from natural science". There were two basic requirements to join our founding team: Professional natural science knowledge, and the passion to share knowledge with others."
Actually, quite a number of senior editors at guokr.com have very influential personal accounts on micro blog and WeChat, too, said Sun Huimi, new media director of guokr.com. One of them, with the ID "Ent" on micro blog, has more than 3.3 million followers and he often discusses with the main micro blog account of guokr.com about science of ancient life, in which he is a doctoral candidate in California University, Berkeley.
Guokr.com grew more quickly than anticipated. In July 2011, guokr.com got its first round of investment. Then the popular science group grew into a full business group. It started the first domestic Massive Open Online Course program in 2013, and held the first domestic Spring Festival gala on science in 2016 and one science-popping activity after another in colleges nationwide.
Local Climate also received commercial advertisements as its influences grew. Yet it insisted on an 80-20 principle - keeping 80 percent of the whole story for popular science and the rest for advertisements. "We would like to make our profession sustainable, but money should not be made at the cost of quality," said Zhu, adding that sometimes they have rejected advertisement orders because they cannot find any creative "products" that the advertisements can match.
With the passage of time, natural science has been joined by other subjects on the science-popping platforms. An increasing number of groups have joined the sector by sharing knowledge about history, literature, linguistics, even philosophy. As Xie said, "Now, it is more proper to call the sector knowledge-sharing sector because it covers more than popular science."
Zhihu.com is one of the most famous among them. Founded in March 2011, it provides a platform for users to share their experiences with others. Yet, because of the lack of identity check, the website quickly became a platform for people to share their fabricated stories, not true experiences.
Then came Daxianggonghui, or Elephantia, a group that shares knowledge mainly about history and literature. It is famous for being very good at combining its articles with the topical issues of public interest.
Its founder, Huang Zhangjin, used to be a journalist. "We have clear standards for our own products: They must contain ample knowledge for the reader, who can either choose to broaden his own insights or enrich his spiritual life", he said. "And the products must have good quality because the most creative persons with the richest imagination are competing for people"s attention."
For example, on Sept 10, Teachers" Day in China, Elephantia published an article "Did teachers get enough respect in ancient China?" via their WeChat public account, which got over 80,000 clicks and more than 900"likes" within hours.
Both Xie and Sun are quite confident about the future of knowledge sharing in China, especially about popular science groups. "Knowledge is always a precious resource," Xie said. "The more we share, the more we get."cheapest silicone wristbands onlinepersonalized memory braceletcustom sister braceletsrubber message braceletscustom wristbands los angeles