"Doing popular science is a real love." "It's harder to write a popular science article than a scientific paper!" "The value of popular science can never be overestimated! A shift toward proactive prevention can be better than seeking treatment in outpatient departments or receiving a surgery." On August 1, 2019, the first plenary session of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH) Medical Science Popularization Committee (MSPC) was held in the PUMCH Academic Hall. A total of 25 top popular science experts from PUMCH attended the meeting as the committee members. The meeting ratified the constitution of the MSPC as well as the access policies and evaluation criteria, with particular focuses on its development priorities and road map of popular science in PUMCH.
The meeting was chaired by Chen Mingyan, secretary of the committee. Jiang Yuxin, chairman of MSPC, introduced that the establishment of the PUMCH MSPC echoes the call for “Healthy China” initiative and has been supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the relevant departments of the National Health Committee. The committee aims at guiding, standardizing, and encouraging the medical science popularization behaviors of medical staff, establish and improve the popular science evaluation system, and identify and train popular science talents. It is expected that these incentives will further increase the enthusiasm and capabilities of doctors and nurses in popular science and thus exert the leading and demonstration roles of PUMCH in the medical popularization in China.
Vice chairmen Duan Wenli and Yu Kang recalled the preparatory work of MSPC. At the end of August 2018, PUMCH was listed in the first batch of “Science China Co-construction Base”, which was formally approved by China Association for Science and Technology, and obtained financial support and technical guidance. Under the strong support and guidance of the leaders of the hospital, the preparatory team held multiple communication meetings. Based on the practices of popular science at home and abroad, three key documents including the Constitution of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital Medical Science Popularization Committee, the Peking Union Medical College Hospital Medical Science Popularization Access Policies and the Peking Union Medical College Hospital Medical Science Popularization Evaluation Criteria were finalized after many rounds of revisions and arguments. The National Health Commission has encouraged the establishment of performance appraisal mechanisms for health education and health promotion among medical institutions and medical staff. The establishment of MSPC is an active response of PUMCH to the Healthy China initiative and will urge the whole society to attach importance to popular science, quantify its achievements, and improve its performance.
Group photo of the first session of Peking Union Medical College Hospital Medical Science Popularization Committee (photo courtesy of Wang Pengfei)
During the discussion session, the committee members took the floor one after another. They emphasized the high value of popular science because "Popular science is wings for doctors, so they can fly higher and help more patients." "Popular science is an essential skill of a doctor. It helps to increase the patients’ compliance. Many medical disputes are caused by poor awareness and misunderstanding.”In the new era, it is important to brand “PUMCH Popular Science” through joint efforts.“One doctor has limited time and impact; if we can work as a team by sharing resources and forming resultant force, we will do it better!" "In the era of ‘Everyone is Media’, working alone is not feasible. The popular science also requires operation and marketing, so that the voice of popular science from PUMCH can be heard nationwide and even worldwide." Commented the members. Also, the attendants urged the committee to fight against gossip stories, fake news, and rumors in addition to distributing true knowledge. "On some popular platforms, PUMCH should also loudly speak out to refute rumors and pseudo-science." “PUMCH should establish its own popular science platform, reserve intellectual property rights and initiative, and avoid excessive or one-sided propaganda. "
At the end of the meeting, Chairman Jiang Yuxin concluded that the Healthy China strategy was proposed in the Communist Party’s 19th National Congress, and recently the State Council issued specific implementation measures. Popular science can best reflect the professionalism and dedication of a medical expert, and the establishment of the MSPC underlines PUMHC’s determination and ability in serving patient via the popular science.