Notes & Letters

The 6th Conference on the History of Chinese Meteorological Science and Technology

Nanjing City, China, 20-23 October 2023

By Zhenghong Chen, ICHM Vice-President and China Regional Representative

The 6th Conference on the History of Chinese Meteorological Science and Technology was successfully held in Nanjing City, China in October 2023. This conference was organized by Professor Zhenghong Chen, Vice-President of ICHM and Regional Representative of China, and co-hosted by the China Meteorological Administration Training Centre (CMATC), the Committee for the History of China Meteorological Science and Technology, and Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST). Under the background of addressing global climate change, the theme of the conference was “Research on Meteorological History and Communication of Meteorological Culture.” The conference promoted the dissemination of the history of meteorological technology and culture in Chinese universities and across diverse disciplines.

Group photo of conference participants

Professor Li Beiqun, President of NUIST, Professor Sun Xiaochun, President of the Chinese Society for the History of Science and Technology, Professor Xu Xiaofeng, Former Deputy Administrator of China Meteorological Administration, and President of the China Meteorological Service Association, Professor Yu Yubin, President of the CMATC, and Professor Zhenghong Chen, as Vice-President and China Regional Representative of ICHM, opened the conference.

In their opening talks, they pointed out the importance of studying the history of meteorological science and technology from the strategic perspective of the development and innovation of China’s meteorological industry and atmospheric disciplines. They emphasized the role of meteorological science and technology in different fields, including its value in weather science education for the public. In the future, they highlighted, nationwide cooperation should be further strengthened to promote the history of meteorological science and technologies.

Professor Xu Xiaofeng

Professor Zhenghong Chen also delivered a speech on behalf of ICHM and the Co-Presidents, Fiona Williamson and Martin Mahony, to introduce ICHM to the audience and to invite more Chinese scholars to join ICHM. It is important, he noted, for ICHM to continue to support meteorological history in countries around the world, including China, in conducting meteorological history and related research.

Professor Zhenghong Chen

The conference participants held lively discussions on ten topics, including “Meteorological Technology and Social Civilization Evolution”; the “History of Climate Change and Meteorological Disasters”; “Phenology and Life History”; “Protection of Meteorological Cultural Heritage”, and the “History of Various Branches of Atmospheric Science”. More than 130 experts and scholars from 28 universities and meteorological bureaus across China participated in this conference. Participants expressed that the conference had opened up new ideas for meteorological research and provided a rare learning and exchange platform on how to organically integrate local history and humanities with meteorological and technological history. Overall, the conference enabled the successful presentation of the latest achievements in the historiography of Chinese meteorology and related research fields in recent years, revealing the relationship between meteorology and climate change and various aspects of human production, life, culture, environment, and national governance, demonstrating that meteorological history has become a new growth area in the field of scientific and technological history research. The conference also received airtime in Chinese national mainstream media including People’s Daily, China Daily, and China Meteorological News.

In the first Symposium/conference on the History of Meteorological Science and Technology in China was organized by Professor Zhenghong Chen in 2013. In the past decade, it has become a biennial event. This reflects the important position of meteorological, scientific and technological history in China, and demonstrates its huge popularity, with a large number of experts and scholars from universities, institutes, and meteorological bureaus joining the research to undertake and promote historical research in the field.

Members of Professor Zhenghong Chen’s Team