“HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING. DO YOU KNOW, THAT IN A UNIVERSE SO FULL OF WONDERS, THEY HAVE MANAGED TO INVENT BOREDOM.” – Death (Terry Pratchett, The Hogfather)
Well lets face it, science is awesome. And the ocean – incredible! Why would I not want to share some of this wonder with everyone? Aside from science and our ocean being amazingly interesting, empowering non-scientists with knowledge can help people make informed choices about their own lifestyles as well as become more actively involved in policy and other governance issues. This need is perhaps most eloquently summarised by the Royal Society ‘The Public Understanding of Science’ report (1985):
“[Science communication] deals with an issue that is important not only, or even mainly, for the scientific community but also for the nation as a whole and for each individual within it. More than ever, people need some understanding of science, whether they are involved in decision-making at a national or local level, in managing industrial companies, in skilled or semi-skilled employment, in voting as private citizens or in making a wide range of personal decisions. In publishing this report the Council hopes that it will highlight this need for an overall awareness of the nature of science and, more particularly, of the way that science and technology pervade modern life, and that it will generate both debate and decisions on how best they can be fostered”.
In addition, engagement is a two-way streak, and one in which the public can help inform science through, for example, local knowledge and citizen science projects. This engagement can also help researchers understand how scientifically-based suggestions may work ‘on the ground’.
Because I love science communication so much, I also post open-access articles regularly on the web. I don’t agree with all of the articles I link to, but I’ll leave it up to you to form your own opinions on the pieces. I’m always happy to explain and debate issues too so don’t be shy about commenting, or sending me a private message if you prefer.
I write on a wide variety of topics including:
- Marine protected areas
- Fisheries, aquaculture, and sustainable seafood
- Ocean management
- Climate change, ocean acidification, and the oceans
- Ocean life and ecosystems
- Human-centered stories
- Pollution and litter
- Management and sustainable use
- Ocean literacy
- Technology for ocean science
Have you got a marine science or conservation story you want to get out to the public? Have you published a peer-reviewed paper you would like more people to hear about? Running a marine science/conservation event that you want covered? Feel free to contact me.