Netherlands Embassy and Consulates, China

First public screening of astronomy documentary Science of Heaven

Last week, the Netherlands Embassy hosted the first public screening of the documentary Science of Heaven on Chinese astronomy.

The Chinese documentary explores the history and the most recent developments in astronomy and astrophysics in China. The first official release took place earlier in November last year in the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University.

After the welcome speech by Education Counsellor David Pho from the Netherlands Embassy, the introduction of the documentary was given by Dutch astrophysics professor Richard de Grijs from KIAA of Peking University and Dutch film director/producer René Seegers. Both Dutchmen conceived and produced the NFSC-funded documentary with help of Chinese collaborators, such as Dr. Zhang Ziping from the Beijing Planetarium.

After the screening, many questions were raised by the audience mainly consisting of European science counsellors and other embassy staff interested in science and technology. The lively discussions about the big bang, China’s global position in science and filmmaking in China continued during the reception held afterwards.

The official trailer can be viewed on YouTube. More information about this unique documentary can be found in a blogpost by professor De Grijs who is also willing to answer questions by e-mail: