Earth management based on scientific understanding can only be carried out effectively if the research community succeeds in improving our understanding of the global environmental changes induced by natural causes and human interference. In communicating the results of environmental and climate research, the interdisciplinary and international aspects must also be conveyed, since they are necessary for an understanding of the subject as a whole.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research launched a Science Dialogue Campaign in 1999. As part of this campaign, special fields of science are spotlighted each year. 2002 is the Year of Geoscience. A number of important events and a wealth of regional activities were sponsored by research organisations, universities, museums, associations and other institutions. They dealt with the entire spectrum of modern geoscientific research.

'Ice and the ocean’ was one of the contributions of the Alfred Wegener Institute to the Year of Geosciences 2002. In terms of stimulating interest the most successful themes and exhibitions were those which addressed the adventurous aspects of polar and marine research, those which involved hands on experiments through which discoveries could be understood, and those which conveyed fascination through images and sounds. A mixture of different types of event proved successful. Many scientists acknowledged the necessity of dialog with the general public. Comprehensible representation and didactic preparation of research themes was found to be a useful process.

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Hot at the South Pole?

Margarete Pauls   Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine research

Earth management based on scientific understanding can only be carried out effectively if the research community succeeds in improving our understanding of the global environmental changes induced by natural causes and human interference. In communicating the results of environmental and climate research, the interdisciplinary and international aspects must also be conveyed, since they are necessary for an understanding of the subject as a whole.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research launched a Science Dialogue Campaign in 1999. As part of this campaign, special fields of science are spotlighted each year. 2002 is the Year of Geoscience. A number of important events and a wealth of regional activities were sponsored by research organisations, universities, museums, associations and other institutions. They dealt with the entire spectrum of modern geoscientific research.

'Ice and the ocean’ was one of the contributions of the Alfred Wegener Institute to the Year of Geosciences 2002. In terms of stimulating interest the most successful themes and exhibitions were those which addressed the adventurous aspects of polar and marine research, those which involved hands on experiments through which discoveries could be understood, and those which conveyed fascination through images and sounds. A mixture of different types of event proved successful. Many scientists acknowledged the necessity of dialog with the general public. Comprehensible representation and didactic preparation of research themes was found to be a useful process.

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