Most people believe that the Chinese script, based as it is on characters rather than an alphabet, is a drawback for scientific development. It is true that the many Chinese characters make it cumbersome and hard to learn how to write. But this difficulty should not hide the distinct advantages over a phonetic script.
To begin with, there are many different dialects in China, and a man from Hong Kong is unlikely to understand a woman from Beijing or from Xi'an. But characters stand for content and meaning and are not tied to pronunciation. Every Chinese who knows how to read and write can communicate with all other Chinese through writing.
This conveyance of meaning reaches also across borders. The Japanese script uses the same characters. (It also uses additional symbols, which do not concern us here.) I once attended an oceanographic conference where a Chinese speaker struggled with his English and could not find a way to get his information across. When a Japanese scientist in the audience asked him a question (in English), the speaker went to the blackboard and wrote down some Chinese characters. His Japanese colleague understood immediately, came to the blackboard as well, and the rest of the presentation was a discussion in writing on the blackboard that left the European scientists baffled.
The second point that is traditionally made is that the large number of characters make printing difficult. While this may be true it did not stop the Chinese from inventing printing with movable type some 400 years before Europe. In today's age of computer typesetting the difficulty has disappeared and the situation is in fact quite the opposite: Typing Chinese characters on a computer keyboard is faster than typing the equivalent text in any phonetic alphabet.
There have been and probably will be more simplifications of the way how Chinese characters are written. But as a communication tool Chinese characters will remain important, in science as in daily life.