Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Explores New Mode of Popular Science-Metaverse


On June 8, 2022, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and Shanghai News Radio - Science Club jointly introduced "Science Space Afternoon Tea" and held an interdisciplinary discussion on "Guide for Life in the Universe" on the metaverse platform. In total 5 guests from different fields were invited to go to the "moon" in the form of digital human. They focused on the successful launch and orbiting of Shenzhou-14 Manned Spacecraft and talked about the possibility that human beings would enter and reside in the outer space in the future.

This activity was the first try made by Shanghai Science and Technology Museum to explore the new mode of online science popularization in the post-epidemic era. This activity employed new technical means to break the limitation of time and space and realize immersive experience with strong scenarios and strong interaction. The powerful and unconstrained fictional venue itself also became an important carrier for science popularization. The main venue was set on the surface of the vivid "virtual moon", provided with a simulated auditorium. Each guest had a virtual image of their own. They may sit on the auditorium to watch the "large screen projection", raise their hands to make a statement, or walk to the center of the venue, where they could feel that they were immersed in the scenario and had an entirely new experience of science popularization.

Five guests talked about life in the universe from the aspects of astronomy, botany, psychology, architecture, and literature respectively. Shi Wei, Director of the Department of Network Science Popularization, Shanghai Astronomy Museum, led them to review the daily routines of astronauts in the space station of Shenzhou-13 through a short film. Besides, he introduced a necessary guide to life in the space, such as exchange of spacesuits inside and outside the capsule and cardiorespiratory fitness tests; Jiang Bo, a science fiction writer and the winner of Galaxy Awards, focused on the theme of "how many steps for human beings to reach celestial civilization" and proposed assumptions about establishing a space city and immigrating to the Mars.

The "metaverse" theme activity received warm welcome from guests. Net friends sent bullet screen in the live broadcasting room and interacted with guests. Experts answered questions raised by guests one by one, such as" how to overcome phobia about weight in the space". The activity was broadcast via WeChat Channel of Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, ChatBox WeChat Channel and Xinhua News Network, and the cumulative number of views was over 450,000. The activity audio was broadcast via Shanghai News Radio from June 9 to June 11.

This was not the first time for Shanghai Science and Technology Museum to try science popularization program in the "metaverse". May 18 was the International Museum Day. The Exhibition and Education Center of Shanghai Science and Technology Museum made a try at the metaverse, moved the original offline exhibition "the world of whales" into the virtual space, and made a live broadcasting on "cloud exhibition" in the metaverse, which aroused wide attention, and experts and guests had a very warm communication. Such novel communication mode also provided new ideas for online science popularization.

Shanghai Science and Technology Museum is now actively exploring more possibilities of "metaverse" activities and building online "metaverse" activity bases. It expects to, through more practices, gradually establish a set of standard operation procedures for the planning, organization, live broadcasting and recording of "metaverse" activities. In the new era where "metaverse" is increasingly becoming a benchmark for the next generation Internet applications, it aims to explore a way for the science popularization team to realize more diversified online and offline integrated education model.