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ASPAC conference promotes science development

About 150 local and overseas science educators and museums professionals as well as members of other international organisations joined the 5th Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres (ASPAC) Conference at the Hong Kong Science Museum today (December 2).

The three-day international conference, hosted by the Science Museum, provides an opportunity for science centres and museum professionals of member institutions of ASPAC to meet and discuss ways to stimulate public interest in science through a series of talks, skill sharing workshops and thought-provoking discussions.

Speaking at the conference's opening ceremony, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, said Hong Kong was a vibrant metropolis with rich cultural heritage and a beautiful landscape. There were more than a dozen museums on various themes in Hong Kong to enrich the cultural life of the community, she said, and the Hong Kong Science Museum was one of the most popular.

"Last year, more than 700,000 people visited the exhibitions and extension activities organised by the Science Museum. In addition to being an interactive museum for the young at heart, the Science Museum takes part in the curriculum development of the schools in enhancing general science education.

"We also create science exhibits travelling to Singapore, Australia and France.

"'Nurturing Creativity' is the motto of this conference. Creativity, if not innate, can be nurtured given a suitable environment is available. Creativity allows us to produce new ideas, to look at things from a fresh perspective or even to create desirable commodities that people have least thought of.

"In a society where the requirement of value-added products or services are the norm rather than the exception, we must prepare ourselves to overcome barriers and develop our ability to think creatively. This initiative promises to be challenging and rewarding for all of us," Ms Wong said.

Participants of the ASPAC Conference were also invited to visit some of the public museums in Hong Kong and they agreed that those museums were memorable places to visit.

Ends/Thursday, December 2, 2004
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