Even since the end of last century, scientism has become part of state ideology in China. As a strong and dogmatic ideology prevailing in all the walks of life, scientism takes science to be the only privileged knowledge about the world, and views the scientific method as the exclusive way to make progress in all kinds of human enterprises. As a result, traditional Chinese TV science programs neglected the interaction and interlocution between viewers and scientists. Greatly indebted to the new idea deeply influenced by anti-scientism that the public should be not only be the information receiver but also the participants of scientific issues, Chinese TV science programs have changed the form of talk-show from scientists on stage with a host as a partner, to a new one as interactive activities with scientists and the public both on the stage from the beginning of 1990s. This new form of TV science program can attract the viewers’ attention and stimulate the viewers’ interest so as to keep the rate of TV program viewing above the “dangerous” position. Nevertheless, the attempted reform has provoked a hot debate between scientism-oriented and anti-scientism-oriented Chinese scientists and intellectuals in China. This paper shows how the change in the form of Chinese TV science programs happened with the help of its ideological transformation from “science is always right and people should understand” to “science should be communicated as it is and people have rights to join the discussion.”

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Tv science programs in transitional period in China a case study
“scientific chinese” of CCTV at the crossroads

Jiao Li   Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Daguang Li   Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Even since the end of last century, scientism has become part of state ideology in China. As a strong and dogmatic ideology prevailing in all the walks of life, scientism takes science to be the only privileged knowledge about the world, and views the scientific method as the exclusive way to make progress in all kinds of human enterprises. As a result, traditional Chinese TV science programs neglected the interaction and interlocution between viewers and scientists. Greatly indebted to the new idea deeply influenced by anti-scientism that the public should be not only be the information receiver but also the participants of scientific issues, Chinese TV science programs have changed the form of talk-show from scientists on stage with a host as a partner, to a new one as interactive activities with scientists and the public both on the stage from the beginning of 1990s. This new form of TV science program can attract the viewers’ attention and stimulate the viewers’ interest so as to keep the rate of TV program viewing above the “dangerous” position. Nevertheless, the attempted reform has provoked a hot debate between scientism-oriented and anti-scientism-oriented Chinese scientists and intellectuals in China. This paper shows how the change in the form of Chinese TV science programs happened with the help of its ideological transformation from “science is always right and people should understand” to “science should be communicated as it is and people have rights to join the discussion.”

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