When the 10 chaotic years ended, the Central Government quickly turned the focus of work to the construction of four modernizations, and put forward that in realizing the four modernizations, the key would be the modernization of science and technology. For this, a series of policies and measures were established.
First of all, a group of scientific and technological management organs, scientific research institutes and academies were restored or established within a short period of time. The State Science & Technology Commission (SSC) and local science and technology commissions were restored, so were some major scientific research institutes in departments and provinces.
Secondly, a large group of scientific and technological personnel returned to their original posts. The idea of ``Respecting knowledge and talents'' began to prevail.
New science and technology development plans were mapped out across the country. Presided over by the SSC, more than 20,000 scientists, experts and officials were organized for discussions which led to the 1978-85 Outline of Science and Technology Development. The draft plan made full arrangements for development in the 27 fields of natural resources, agriculture, industry, national defense, transportation, oceanic studies, environmental protection, medicine and public health, culture and education, finance and trade, and the research tasks in basic science and technological science, as well as 108 key state research projects.
Within the 27 fields and 108 key projects, eight comprehensive projects that had a significant impact on the whole plan were given priority. The eight key projects were connected to agriculture, energy, materials, electronic computers, lasers, space science, high-energy physics, and genetic engineering. The plan was later channeled into 38 state science and technology research projects in 1982.
In March 1978, over 6,000 delegates participated in the National Science Conference, which put forward a series of important issues and passed the 1978-86 Outline of National Science & Technology Development.
The conference exerted a significant impact on China's scientific and technological development, and greatly enhanced the position of science and technology in the modernization construction of the socialist country. Since then rapid development has been made in various aspects of science and technology. According to statistics, in 1979, 31,270 scientific research results were made in the departments under the State Council and 29 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, more than the total in the previous 10 years.