In order to promote the scientific and cultural communication between all the nations along the “Belt and Road” as well as to strengthen the cooperation between national science museums in countries along the “Belt and Road,” the First International Symposium on the Development of Natural Science Museums under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRISMIS) is held in Beijing and Shanghai from November 27th to 30th, 2017. It is hosted by Chinese Association of Natural Science Museums and jointly organized by China Science and Technology Museum and Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. ltogether there are 28 science popularization venues\organizations from 22 countries along the routes of the Belt and Road who have confirmed that they will attend the symposium.
Through our contact with those who are about to participate in the symposium, we have learned that some delegates proposed that this symposium should become a good beginning for further cooperation between science and technology museums in countries along the Belt and Road. What is more important is that a long-term effective cooperation mechanism should be established so that all science and technology museums can share information in many fields such as cultural exchange, educational cooperation and scientific development; construct a unified platform with combined efforts; and share achievements so as to promote social progress and the integrated development of all humanity.
Some delegates even suggested to the chairman of the symposium that before its opening ceremony, all delegates should come together to discuss how to consolidate and enrich the possible results of the coming symposium, proposing to have a declaration so as to enhance the impact of this first symposium, setting the tone for sustainable development in the future. And this proposal has been fully affirmed and warmly supported by the chairman.
Thereby, altogether 12 members from 12 different science popularization institutions in countries along the routes of the Belt and Road have jointly made up a core team drafting theBeijing Declaration. The institutions span different fields such as nature, science and astronomy. After several rounds of group discussion and revision, a common prospect about further cooperation and development in the future is settled, hence, theBeijing Declaration.
The current world is a mixture of opportunities and challenges, in which every nation seeks peace, development and cooperation. The Leaders’ Roundtable Summit at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was wrapped up in China on May 15th, 2017, giving strong impetus to building a community of shared future.
We, the delegates to the First International Symposium on the Development of Natural Science Museums under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRISMIS), gathered in Beijing of China from November 27th to 28th. Committed to the principle enshrined in the Belt and Road Forum, we hold it to be self-evident that our aim is to discuss cooperation, establish a platform and share results. Having made in-depth analysis and detailed discussions based on the theme of “Collaborative Sharing and Reciprocation: Towards the Co-construction of a Silk Road for Science Communication”, as well as in consideration of the unique role of science-related museums in supporting the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, we hereby issue a declaration named Beijing Declaration, as follows:
1. We believe it is imperative for science-related museums in countries along the routes of the “Belt and Road” (The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road) to cooperate and exchange insights in this era of information explosion and interdisciplinary integration. Frequent and effective exchanges between science-related museums along the routes of the “Belt and Road” are vital to realize cross-border policy coordination, facilities connectivity, cultural interaction and people-to-people bonds; to enhance mutual understanding of the involved museums’ education, exhibition, collection and research in different cultural contexts; to further promote technological development and innovation, which ultimately spurs sustainable social-economic growth and human progress.
2. We believe building trust among science-related museums in countries along the routes of “Belt and Road” is crucial for us to play our role as a reliable link and an invaluable transmitter, as well as to encourage tolerance and critical thinking. It is also the basis for sharing the advances of science, which is also an important part of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. The concept of “science improves our lives” will develop into a “new Silk Road” for science popularization through the cooperation between science-related museums in countries involved in the “Belt and Road Initiative,” which helps remove the barrier to spreading scientific knowledge and together build a community of shared future that communicates science, culture and spirit.
3. We believe building the “Belt and Road” requires scientific attitude and spirit in addition to scientific knowledge and culture, and that science-related museums play an indispensable role in science popularization. The science-related museums along the routes of the “Belt and Road” should seek various cooperative and communicative methods and take into account to combine traditional object-oriented exhibitions with cutting-edge technologies to promote public engagement of science.
In view of what is said above:
4. We are willing to establish an alliance for more widespread science communication in countries along the “Belt and Road”; to work to develop and tour travelling exhibitions, tap into museum education resources, make regular visits to museum partners, conduct in-service training for museum staff, cooperate in museum research and collection, jointly hold science festivals and youth competition of scientific knowledge. All the contributions as mentioned above will be made to promote innovation and growth, make resources more enriching, develop a win-win relationship between museums and improve our ability of communicating science.
5. We must make use of the major resources of these science-related museums, build a platform for active and effective communication, and develop a cooperative framework and a network of collaboration, as a means of achieving more extensive and in-depth cultural and technological exchange and making contributions to the community of shared future.
6. We suggest setting up the “New Silk Road Academy of Science-related Museums,” a non-profit academic organization, in an attempt to have better knowledge of each other, to promote innovation and to pursue common progress.
7. We suggest setting up a foundation especially for the cooperation and development of science-related museums in countries along the “Belt and Road”, and release a newsletter including updated information of science-related museums on a regular basis, etc. to support and promote sustained mutual exchanges among museums. As this year’s forum has been successfully wrapped up and led to numerous academic outcomes, we suggest we remain committed to being “equal, voluntary and reciprocal” and hold the forum every two years on the basis of cooperation, consultation, sharing and being win-win, as a way to build a close partnership among countries along the “Belt and Road.”
8. In the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, we welcome the involvement of relevant organizations in other countries who are prepared to support the goals of this Beijing Declaration.
The official language of Beijing declaration is English. Benefit from the effort from some BRISMIS participants who voluntarily help us translate it into several versions, such as Spanish,ect. Hereby, We appreciate their contributions！