1 Department of Bioscience - Arctic Research Centre, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Department of Bioscience - Arctic Research Centre, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
There are many good reasons for not confining our scientific exploits to the formal and rather cosy world of academic endeavour. This talk (& discussion it hopefully evokes) will look at the concept of this “breaking out” despite the obvious general conflicts of interests & time that face us all: - All scientists are busy and have increasing demands put upon them in terms of proposal writing, reporting on top of doing the practical science that they are expert in. These are most acute for those in the earlier stages of their careers. - Much of modern day science can seem rather abstract to the non-specialist, and so it takes effort to “translate” our work into readily accessible material. On the positive most scientists are passionate about their work, and this passion is a quality that can be infectious. Additionally funding agencies, policy makers and the tax payers who ultimately fund most of the science actually want to understand the impact their money is having. Such “outreach” can take a multitude of paths, from the most obvious such as articles for the press, books, websites, exhibitions, popular talks & blogs. There are some international knowledge-exchange initiatives that make visits to polar regions possible, but naturally these are limited in how many people can be involved. Universities are offering dedicated courses, programmes and summer schools which all combine to raise the profile of polar science to future generations, but if our present endeavours are to continue in the long-term, it is the links between scientists and schools that are central for inspiring future generations. As polar scientists we are working in one of the most evocative and beguiling environments on the planet that seldom fails to capture the imagination of people who have never had the privileged opportunity of experiencing these regions first hand.