Program

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Conference Program - Parallel Sessions

Conference Program  •   Area 1 & 2 Sessions  •   Area 3 Sessions  •   Indigenous Knowledge Exchange

Area 4 - Public Engagement, Education and Outreach

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Engaging the public in polar science and societal issues

4.1.1  Communicating polar science

Convenor: David Herring (United States)
Co-convenors: Niki Trudeau (Canada) .

Climate change science has improved dramatically over the past two decades, such that the scientific community has become more confident in their ability to monitor, track, and explain changes in the global climate system. At the same time, this confidence is generally not shared by the public, as climate change is not widely viewed as an urgently pressing issue. Thus a significant disconnect exists between the scientific and the public understanding of climate change, including an understanding of causes, urgency, and the types of individual and collective responses that are necessary to avoid disastrous consequences and adapt to an ever-changing world. This session will explore and focus on the causes of this disconnect, including discussion surrounding the barriers to and solutions for engaging and effectively communicating climate change, polar science and polar issues with the public and decision-makers. What happens at the poles affects us all. How can the public be engaged in a way that maximizes their receptivity to polar science and issues, deepens their understanding of climate change science, and fosters a sense of connection with our Earth's Polar Regions? How have barriers to communicating polar science and current environmental issues been overcome? How can northern residents connect and engage in the science research that occurs in their region? How can we portray the poles as part of an interconnected world and of global importance, rather than an isolated region of the world that may be fascinating but of limited relevance to everyday life?

Inspiring the next generation in the importance and value of science that benefits all

4.2.1  Teaching polar science: IPY and beyond

Convenor: Sandra Vanhove (Belgium)
Co-convenors: Jennifer Provencher (Canada).

International Polar Year raised the bar on science education and outreach. As part of this session, particular emphasis will be put on multidisciplinary projects that were highly successful in formal education settings during the IPY, and how these lessons and experiences continue to improve outreach efforts in schools into the future. Sessions will include evidence from case studies from a variety of educational areas.

4.2.2  Inspiring the next generation: scientists in and out of the classroom

Convenor: Julie Brigham-Grette (United States)
Co-convenors: Marianna Voevodskaya (Russia).

One of the major objectives of the International Polar Year was to foster education and outreach on polar science with school-aged youth both in and out of the traditional classroom. The direct involvement of scientists in education efforts helped not only to increase students' awareness and knowledge of polar environments, but also generated excitement for science, discovery and learning. Looking forward, this session will look at where we go from here into the future to promote curriculum development and hands-on interactions between researchers and students -- not only to inspire students to consider careers in polar science, but also to sensitize the next generation on the importance of the polar regions and their key role in global processes.

Making an impact

4.3.1  Framing the poles - conflict or cooperation, conservation or exploitation

Convenor: Clive Tesar (Canada)

The media plays a significant role in influencing political, business and societal decision making. Topics journalists choose to cover and the frame in which the news is presented, not only tell us what to think about, but also how to think about it. A number of dominant "frames" exist for the Arctic and Antarctic. Are the poles regions of conflict or cooperation? Conservation or exploitation? With examples from media, this session will explore the influence of framing on audiences and implications for public discourse on polar issues. This session will provide insights into how framing influences how polar information is interpreted by members of the public, policy leaders and decision-makers.

4.3.2  Behind the scenes of BBC Frozen Planet - the ultimate portrait of the poles

Convenor: Linda Capper (United Kingdom)

The afternoon session features a behind the scenes look at a major international TV series described as ’the ultimate portrait of the poles’.

Engaging consumer society in the value of polar science

4.4.1  Engaging consumer society in science

Convenor: Eva Gronlund (Sweden)

These sessions focus on engaging the public from the 'consumer' perspective and will attempt to explain the relevance of IPY science (both Arctic and Antarctic) for the global food and energy supply. The sessions aim to examine whether or not food and energy suppliers use scientific evidence in their marketing to encourage consumers to buy their products/services links to the plenary theme of ’Ecosystem Services’.

4.4.2  Keeping the lights on - how (or if) energy suppliers engage consumers in reducing energy consumption

Convenor: Peter West (United States)

These sessions focus on engaging the public from the 'consumer' perspective and will attempt to explain the relevance of IPY science (both Arctic and Antarctic) for the global food and energy supply. The sessions aim to examine whether or not food and energy suppliers use scientific evidence in their marketing to encourage consumers to buy their products/services links to the plenary theme of ’Ecosystem Services’.

4.4.3  Putting sustainably managed food on the table - can science influence consumer choice?

Convenor: Linda Capper (United Kingdom)

These sessions focus on engaging the public from the 'consumer' perspective and will attempt to explain the relevance of IPY science (both Arctic and Antarctic) for the global food and energy supply. The sessions aim to examine whether or not food and energy suppliers use scientific evidence in their marketing to encourage consumers to buy their products/services links to the plenary theme of ’Ecosystem Services’.

Harnessing the power of digital media for citizen engagement in polar science

4.5.1  Polar science goes digital

Convenor: Mare Pit (Germany)
Co-convenors: Inga May (Germany) and Kristen Ulstein (Norway)

Digital media can help to overcome barriers of science literacy, language and indifference to reach multi-generations with important information about climate change and polar issues. Today, various forms of digital media from video, Internet, gaming and other forms of interactive media are playing an expanding role in engaging people from many different sectors in polar science. And with new trends, arise new questions. For example, can digital media reach various audiences more effectively than traditional media, formal or informal learning? Can it be used to explain the benefits and relevance of complex scientific concepts or results? Can citizens use apps, home computers or other digital technology to participate in mass experiments to benefit science? Join us in a session that explores these questions and showcases projects, and find out which new and future forms of digital communication you shouldn't miss out on to boost the influence of your polar research.