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China-China Association of Science and Technology

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At the lower end of the administrative hierarchy, communication and cooperation were intended to be promoted by professional organizations, whose membership cut across administrative boundaries. The primary organization was the China Association of Science and Technology, a nongovernment mass organization. Because it was funded by the government and, like all organizations in China, directed by party cadres, its autonomy had strict limits. The China Association of Science and Technology was an umbrella organization: as of 1986 it comprised 139 national scientific societies organized by discipline and 1.9 million individual members. It succeeded earlier scientific associations that had been founded in 1910-20. The China Association of Science and Technology served three major purposes. First, like professional associations in most countries, it brought individual scientists and administrators together with their professional peers from other work units at conferences, lectures, and joint projects, and it promoted communication across administrative boundaries. Second, the China Association of Science and Technology had a major role in the popularization of science and dissemination of scientific knowledge to the general public. This latter function was accomplished through the publication of popular-science journals and books aimed at an audience with a high-school education and through lecture series, refresher training for technicians and engineers, and consultation for farmers and rural and small-scale industries. Throughout the 1980s, the China Association of Science and Technology and its constituent associations served increasingly as consultants to government officials. Third, the China Association of Science and Technology played a major role in China's international scientific exchanges and hosted delegations of foreign scientists, sponsored international scientific conferences in China, participated in many joint research projects with foreign associations and scientific bodies, and represented China in many international science societies.

Data as of July 1987

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