On January 9, 2017, the Eleventh China-US Young Scientist Forum theming on Public Participation in Environmental Health was jointly organized by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (“MOST”) and the US Department of State (“US DOS”) in Washington, the US. More than 40 young researchers, government officials and NGO representatives from China and the United States exchanged in-depth views on how scientists and the public work together to address environmental health issues. Participants from the two sides shared experience and discussed ways such as data collection and analysis, environmental health risk communication and environmental policy formulation for the public to get deeply involved in research on environmental health and push forward the understanding of atmospheric, water and soil pollution and environmental governance. Science and Technology Counselor Li Xin of the Chinese Embassy in the United States and Director Lisa Brodey of the Office for the Science and Technology Cooperation at US DOS attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the Forum.
China-US Young Scientist Forum is an important achievement under the mechanism of China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. Before the latest one was held, ten forums of this nature had been held in Beijing and Washington in rotation. China-US Young Scientist Forum provides an important platform for young scientists in the two countries to conduct exchanges, promote cooperation and boost friendship, laying a solid foundation for deepening and expanding bilateral practical cooperation.
Chinese delegates attending the Forum came from universities, research institutes and administrative departments for environmental protection and science and technology, including Tsinghua University, the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Institute of Applied Ecology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
During the Forum, the young Chinese researchers were also invited to visit a number of US federal government departments, universities, research institutes and community organizations relating to science and technology, environmental protection and health, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. The visitors and the hosts respectively held lively discussions on cognitive differences over public participation in environmental health research, level, necessity & feasibility of public participation in environmental health research, impact of environmental pollution on group health and other issues. In addition, young scholars from China were also invited to the Washington DC Sewage Treatment Center, in which they learned about the model of sewage treatment which combines industry, academia and research institutes in the United States. Through discussions and exchanges, the young Chinese researchers gained a fairly deep understanding of the US environmental health policy and public participation. They also briefed their US peers on the relevant situation and practice in China and shared their experience. Through the visits, the two sides deepened their mutual understanding, which laid the foundation for undertaking practical collaborative research in the future.