Sunday, 28 December 2014

Main-streaming Interest in Earth Science Topics

Call for Contribution - Annual Assembly European Geosciences Union

12-17 April 2015  Vienna


Session EOS 9: Main-streaming Interest in Earth Science Topics

Convener: Martin Bohle with Marion Burgio, Giuseppe Di Capua, David  Grinspoon, Jesús Martinéz-Frias, Cornelia Nauen 
Participants at this session will explore experiences how to mainstream curiosity for earth science topics or how to appraise them as a matter of public interest.

Participants are invited to tease out lessons how to achieve main-streaming curiosity for earth science topics, addressing both successful outreach activities and obstacles. Experiences from diverse approaches are welcome; i.e. using traditional or modern media or engaging with arts or story-telling. Deliberately, the perspective on valuing earth science topics is cast widely: inviting perspectives on the beauty or particularity of ordinary or special phenomena, evaluating hazards for or from mundane environments, or connecting the scholarly investigation with concerns of citizens at large.

The following reflections illustrate how experiences from a wide range of earth science topics might be woven into common threads of the session: 

"Weather" is the earth science topic that gains regular attention in "prime-time", and consequently, meteorology is among daily interests of citizens. Why have other earth science topics not received the same sort of interest? Was it essential that since the early 1950-ties the public discussion of weather benefited from broadcasting of weather forecasts? What other examples exist and might inspire opportunities for connecting earth science topics more firmly with citizens' interests?
    Earth sciences are relevant for knowledge societies: in addition to provide insights into the functioning of Earth's systems, they permit looking into the evolution of live-bearing planets and the impact of humankind's activities on biogeochemical systems on Earth. When discussing how to main-stream earth science topics into the daily interests of citizens, participants may consider both, the bearing of earth sciences topics on economy, living conditions and individual well-being, and citizens' experiential connections to earth science topics.

    Most traditional earth-centric story-telling of rural societies has disappeared in the global urbanisation process. However, the relevance of understanding functioning of the Earth has increased, be it for economy or values adapted to the Anthropocene. In the last decade a public discussion of anthropogenic global change and geoengineering took off building on the discussions about weather and hazard mitigation, but also weaving demographics, linguistics and cultural histories into a richer narrative of change. What teach such interdisciplinary explorations for main-streaming interest in earth science topics?


    1. Hello Martin, two quick comments, more if inspiration comes...
      1. Just did a review of Tolkien's Legendarium (Lord of the Rings + The Hobbit) with family and the Middle-Earth is as much a character in the Arde (the world of Tolkien's Legendarium). Generation of my parents discovered the topics, but my kids were full into it and link to earth of Dwarfs, to water of Elves and Nature's laws come to them as natural as human's law.
      2. I loved your piece of last year (I think) showing how human activities are influencing classical era boundaries (in alpine lakes, I think). It is a compelling argument for the onset of the Anthropocene.

      1. Hello Giorgio - the impact of 'Tolkien's Legendarium' - of which I read (only) The Hobbit many years ago - shows the reseourcefullness of story telling; a resource we have to tap-in; look out for: Martin Bohle. Simple geoethics: an essay on daily Earth science . In: Peppoloni, S. & Di Capua, G. (eds) Geoethics: the Role and Responsibility of Geoscientists. Geological Society,London, Special Publications, 419. First published online [month] [date], [2015],

    2. Just realised dates of your event coincide with my teaching in Trento. So I will not be far away, but not able to come :-(