The Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Chinese Academy of Sciences was established on November 1, 1949, in Beijing, where it is headquartered. It was formed from several existing scientific institutes and soon welcomed over 200 returning scientists who contributed to CAS the high-level expertise they had acquired abroad.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences is the linchpin of China’s drive to explore and harness high technology and the natural sciences for the benefit of China and the world. Comprising a comprehensive research and development network, a merit-based learned society and a system of higher education, CAS brings together scientists and engineers from China and around the world to address both theoretical and applied problems using world-class scientific and management approaches.
Since its founding, CAS has fulfilled multiple roles — as a national team and a locomotive driving national technological innovation, a pioneer in supporting nationwide S&T development, a think tank delivering S&T advice and a community for training young S&T talent.
CAS scientists conduct research in most areas of basic science and technology as well as strategic advanced technologies and areas related to the public welfare and the development of emerging industries. CAS comprises 104 research institutes, 12 branch academies, three universities and 11 supporting organizations in 23 provincial-level areas throughout the country. These institutions are home to more than 100 national key labs and engineering centres as well as nearly 200 CAS key labs and engineering centres. Altogether, CAS comprises 1,000 sites and stations across the country.
CAS is home to over 80 percent of China’s large-scale science facilities. Eleven of them are currently in operation, including the Beijing Electron Positron Collider (BEPCII), the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokomak (EAST), the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF), and the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), among others. CAS is also developing the China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS) and the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), as well as other facilities. The academy also hosts the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN), which has about 50 core field stations and 100 other stations across the country. CERN conducts monitoring and research involving ecological systems and the environment. CAS is also home to 13 botanical gardens and 26 herbaria, as well as a 150-TB scientific data storage facility. Environmental research is one of CAS’s traditional strengths. In addition, CAS publishes 267 academic journals.
CAS has a staff of 67,900, including about 56,000 professional researchers. Of these, approximately 22,800 are research professors or associate professors. By 2020, CAS hopes to have a few thousand leading scientists working for the organization. It has long been a CAS strategy to emphasize the combination of research and education and interdisciplinary and cross-sector cooperation in innovation.