Report written by Zhenghong Chen, China Representative for ICHM
The Fourth National Conference on the History of Meteorological Science and Technology was held in Beijing on 8-9 November 2019. The event was hosted by the Committee on the History of Meteorological Science and Technology of the Chinese Society for the History of Science and Technology and Department of Science and Technology, and by the Climate Change Section of China Meteorological Administration. The conference was organized by the China Meteorological Administration Training Center (CMATC), and co-hosted by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at Nanjing University, by the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences of Peking University, and by the Institute of Science and Technology History of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology. The main theme of the conference was “the enlightenment and history of meteorological developments for the 70th anniversary of the people’s Republic of China”.
The opening ceremony was attended by the following scientists, who also delivered speeches:
- Xiaofeng Xu, former deputy director of the China Meteorological Administration, now executive deputy director of the Strategic Advisory Committee of the China Meteorological Administration;
- Wenjian Zhang, Assistant Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO);
- Philippe Pypaert, Commissioner of the UNESCO Beijing office;
- Wei Qian, vice president of the Chinese Society for the History of Science and Technology;
- Jianlin Wang, deputy director of the Science and Technology Department of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA);
- Huaigang Wang, President of CMATC.
In addition, Xiuji Zhou and Jifan Chou, who are members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Jianmin Xu, who is a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, were invited to participate in the conference. Almost 150 experts and scholars from nearly 70 universities, research institutes and meteorological bureaus of various provinces (regions and cities), including Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Hong Kong University, the University of Glasgow (UK) and Dunhuang Research Institute, attended the conference.
The conference had 34 presentations over two days. Every speech was great and full of brilliant content. There were so many papers which reviewed the development, changes and impact of China’s meteorological undertakings from the perspective of science and technology. The subjects discussed and analyzed were wide and varied and included: exploring the journey of modern meteorological undertakings; scientific investigation in the northwest including observation services where meteorological work is indispensable; discussing the protection of the ozone layer, the impact on historical relics and the associated tests and challenges; analyzing the application of numerical forecasts and the trends in meteorological science and technology in the 70 years since the founding of the people’s Republic of China; effectiveness of flood control and drought relief, which have important reference and enlightenment value for meteorological work today; international perspectives including the record research of ancient meteorological stations in Japan and observations on the highest peak in the UK.
Huaigang Wang, President of CMATC, hoped that through communication and exchange at this conference, international and domestic colleagues in the history of science and technology could pay more attention to the research work on the history of China’s meteorological science and technology. CMATC will continue to strengthen cooperation, and support the research work on the history of meteorological science and technology.
At the opening ceremony, associate professor Zhenghong Chen, who was the main coordinator of the conference, announced the list of winners of the first outstanding young scholar papers on the history of meteorological science and technology. Six early career scholars were awarded and supported by ICHM and CMATC.
At the conference, Dr. Zhenghong Chen, as the China Representative of ICHM, read a congratulatory letter from Dr. Alexander Hall, President of the ICHM. In his letter, Dr. Alexander Hall wrote:
The International Commission for the History of Meteorology is honoured to be sponsoring this conference, and supporting the attendance of young scholars working on the history of meteorology in China and beyond […]. The Officers of the Commission look forward greatly to supporting the work of our colleagues in China, and helping to develop future work on the history of meteorology in the region.
CMATC held the First Academic Symposium on the history of meteorological science and technology in 2013, which achieved good results. The conferences on the history of meteorological science and technology have been held every two years since 2013. The 2019 conference was the fourth and it was attended by more experts and scholars than ever before. The number of papers and their quality reached a new high-point, proving good development and momentum in research on the history of meteorological science and technology in China.
The purpose of this series of conferences on the history of meteorological science and technology, is to build a platform for exchanging and discussing the development and history of atmospheric science and technology, promoting the improvement of the education and training level of meteorological cadres, and putting forward valuable suggestions and ideas for the development of meteorological science and technology.
At the closing ceremony of the conference, on the evening of November 9, Baichun Zhang, Director of the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and member of the National Committee of the Chinese people’s Political Consultative Conference, congratulated the 4th National Conference on the History of Meteorological Science and Technology on its successful hosting and put forward suggestions for its long-term development in the future.
Professor Zhiqiang Wang, first vice president of CMATC summed up the three characteristics of the conference. He said that he appreciated the experts from all over the country who attended the conference, and declared the conference closed successfully.