During recent years much progress has been made in the field of marine technology. Sophisticated remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles have been deployed on seagoing expeditions. By equipping these instruments with high-definition video systems, new and fascinating insights concerning the functioning of deep ocean ecosystems like cold-water coral reef communities, hot and cold seeps on the ocean floor such as mud volcanoes could be gained. It is justified to say that these new technologies represent a future-oriented approach in marine research.

In principle, the deployment of sophisticated marine technology on seagoing expeditions and their results offer unique opportunities for communicating and educating marine sciences to different targets groups such as politicians/decision makers, teachers/students, journalists, and the general public. Experience shows that an interest in marine research and technology can easily be stirred in laypersons if the operation of underwater vehicles during seagoing expeditions is communicated by using catchwords like "discovery", "adventure", "new frontier", "groundbreaking mission", etc.

On the other hand, however, a number of restrictions and challenges have to be kept in mind. Communicating and educating marine science in general, and the achievements of marine technology in particular, can only be successful with the application of a well- defined target-audience concept. Communicating with pupils (kindergarten, elementary, primary, secondary schools, handicapped kids) obviously requires different approaches than addressing decision makers in the political or economic sector.

The presentation will present and discuss amongst others the above mentioned opportunities and challenges. Significant examples from recent experiences will be given. These are based mainly on experiences at the MARUM_Research Center Ocean Margins at Bremen University and the "MARUM_Unischullabor", a school lab which since a couple of years offers courses for kids from kindergarten up to secondary school age. The school lab also worked with handicapped young children. For comparison and generalization these examples will be augmented with recent experiences made in marine science communication and education on a European level.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The Significance of marine technology in science communication and education
Challenges, opportunities, best practise examples

Albert Gerdes   MARUM_Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, Bremen University

During recent years much progress has been made in the field of marine technology. Sophisticated remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles have been deployed on seagoing expeditions. By equipping these instruments with high-definition video systems, new and fascinating insights concerning the functioning of deep ocean ecosystems like cold-water coral reef communities, hot and cold seeps on the ocean floor such as mud volcanoes could be gained. It is justified to say that these new technologies represent a future-oriented approach in marine research.

In principle, the deployment of sophisticated marine technology on seagoing expeditions and their results offer unique opportunities for communicating and educating marine sciences to different targets groups such as politicians/decision makers, teachers/students, journalists, and the general public. Experience shows that an interest in marine research and technology can easily be stirred in laypersons if the operation of underwater vehicles during seagoing expeditions is communicated by using catchwords like "discovery", "adventure", "new frontier", "groundbreaking mission", etc.

On the other hand, however, a number of restrictions and challenges have to be kept in mind. Communicating and educating marine science in general, and the achievements of marine technology in particular, can only be successful with the application of a well- defined target-audience concept. Communicating with pupils (kindergarten, elementary, primary, secondary schools, handicapped kids) obviously requires different approaches than addressing decision makers in the political or economic sector.

The presentation will present and discuss amongst others the above mentioned opportunities and challenges. Significant examples from recent experiences will be given. These are based mainly on experiences at the MARUM_Research Center Ocean Margins at Bremen University and the "MARUM_Unischullabor", a school lab which since a couple of years offers courses for kids from kindergarten up to secondary school age. The school lab also worked with handicapped young children. For comparison and generalization these examples will be augmented with recent experiences made in marine science communication and education on a European level.

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

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