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High-tech switches on city's residents
( 2003-07-07 09:43) (China Daily)

Nine-year-old Yu Guangyuan has just finished school for the summer vacation.

On his "to do" list are visits to many scientific exhibitions in Shanghai, such as the new Lupu Bridge, which boasts 10 of the "world's latest technologies," a new exhibition hall featuring magnetic technology and an animation workshop.

Many Shanghainese share similar enthusiasm with little Yu, a grade three elementary school pupil. Earlier this year, the municipal science and technology commission launched a campaign dubbed "Technology makes life better," asking residents to provide useful and valuable suggestions to scientific decision-making departments.

They received dozens of suggestions, from on-line medical care solutions to plug-in e-maps.

"Shanghai residents are full of curiosity and curiosity is the basis of creativity," said He Zuoxiu, a prestigious academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The municipal government also worked out a host of preferential policies to encourage residents' enthusiasm for science.

Several science tourism packages have been launched and by the end of this year, the local government also plans to set up 100 e-galleries in public areas for the spread of scientific knowledge.

Shanghai has been leading the country in a number of respects, especially in technology, said Shen Wenqing, head of the Shanghai branch of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He said residents in the city also show a stronger receptivity for new things.

"The level of scientific knowledge indicates the scientific level of the city," said Shen, who is also president of the Shanghai Municipal Association for Science and Technology.

The Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission and the Shanghai-based Wenhui News recently launched a public appraisal of the top 10 technologies that have changed people's lives the most in the city.

More than 5,000 urbanites attended the appraisal, which placed the Internet, rail transport, computers, the harnessing of the Suzhou River, mobile telecommunications and gene technology at the top of the list.

Some residents even made their own list, nominating data exchange technology in the banking sector and multi-media technology.

Noted researcher Kuang Dingbo, who is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the appraisal was characteristic of Shanghai.

He cited the selection of the Suzhou River, a long-polluted and silted river in the city, which has recently been cleaned up.

The absence of commonly used technologies, such as TV, air conditioners and highway transport, also showed scientific levels among local residents in Shanghai, said Kuang.

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