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Making a Big Bang
Text by Lin Yuan Photos courtesy of Guokr.com

 

 Ji Shisan’s favorite personal portrait. by GreenyNovember 2013: Staff and guests at Guokr.com’s 3rd anniversary party.

“Look, that guy is straight out of The Big Bang Theory.”

In 2009, when Chinese nerds and nerd-lovers alike were discovering and falling in love with the American TV show The Big Bang Theory, a CBS sitcom about socially-awkward physicists, Ji Shisan, a neurobiology Ph.D. at Shanghai’s Fudan University with passion for scientific writing, began hearing the comparison frequently. After writing about science regularly for over five years and contributing articles to more than 10 different media outlets’ scientific columns, in 2008 Ji founded an association for scientific writers which attracted more than 100 members scattered all over the world. Since then, Ji and his team, “Songshuhui - Association of Science Communicators,” have been devoted to scientific research and communication in the Chinese language.  

In Chinese, “songshu” means squirrel, a small animal skilled at shelling nuts. In Ji Shisan’s opinion, his team is frequently cracking nuts for science - very nutritious but hard to get. Ji and his team hope to make science more accessible to ordinary people.

 

Science Is Fun

Upon receiving two offers for “million-dollar-investment” from Trust Bridge Partners, a Shanghai-based private equity firm, Ji launched Guokr.com in November 2010, a website aiming to inspire passion and interest among young people from all walks of life and motivate them to learn, discuss and share information about science. In the meantime, Ji, now CEO of Guoke Media, the parent company of Guokr.com, gave up his role managing Songshuhui, which has morphed into a non-profit scientific communication project.

After three years of development, Guokr.com has grown into a popular scientific communication platform which attracts about 3 million daily page views and 12 million unique monthly visitors aged between 19 and 30.  

 

 

 

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