PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Science, art and culture merge to disseminate the Chilean hottest heritage

Sofía Otero  

Chile has more than 3,000 volcanoes and about 300 hot springs. However, Chileans are highly surprised after volcanic eruptions, and our experience at the outreach unit of the Andean Geothermal Centre of Excellence (CEGA), after participating in several science fairs, is that high school students and their parents are usually not able to mention more than five Chilean volcanoes and/or hot springs. Many Chileans do not know our volcanic and geothermal natural heritage. Motivated by this knowledge gap from this specific audience, CEGA published the book "The Land of Fire: people and nature marked by deep heat". The objective was to present our geothermal heritage through different perspectives in a book that didn't look much as a science book at a first glance, using art as a hook to make the book a desirable object. The book was aimed for young adult readers, with short stories (500 words each) about 15 interesting geothermal areas of Chile. Each chapter covers the geological features of each site as well as the local stories, myths and legends associated with the place. The book brought together experts in the area of earth sciences, social sciences and national renowned photographers and illustrators. One thousand copies were printed and distributed freely through public libraries and via a nomad library that sets up book shelves in public spaces once a month. A digital version of the book was also released. The book launch included a communication strategy with an animated video on line, promotional material (posters, bookmarks) and a press kit. "The Land of Fire" was developed by CEGA, with the support of the national Explora funding for outreach products and was launched in December 2014. A digital verison of the book is available at http://issuu.com/cega_uchile/docs/latierradefuego

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.