Together with our partner Science Year 2016*17, we initiated the “sub:marine” track at re:publica 2017 which had a focus on exciting questions regarding ocean habitats and the sustainable use of our natural resources. We looked at fascinating technologies being implemented in our planet's seas and discuss topics of Open Sea Data and the Internet of Things of the Ocean. We also focused on how we can make science even more exciting and aesthetically accessible.
The world's oceans contain unexplored secrets and potentials. What has long been the stuff of pop-culture stories is already being implemented in the fields of biology, medicine, and mobility and being tested for the demands of the future. While we still can't call the sea our home we can be witnesses to the first steps on our way to transforming more of it into a place for life and creation. These experiments range from food production, harvesting raw materials needed for medication, to aquiring materials for fuel production. The fashion industry has also shown an interest in what our oceans have to offer. But how can we ensure that our planet's waters can be used sustainably and without endangering them?
Increasing human intervention into ocean habitats is causing growing pollution and exploitation, severely disrupting the balance of their ecosystems. Rising sea temperatures, coral bleaching, and the enormous fields of plastics in the oceans are worrying side-effects of our intensive use of the seas. How do scientists and researchers tackle these problems? We have to face these challenges head on and use the Science Year 2016*17 to facilitate exciting dialogue on controversial topics from the field of sea and ocean research.
About the topic of Science Year 2016*17
Sea and ocean research is the core topic of Science Year 2016*17. Seas and oceans cover nearly 70 percent of our planet. They act as climate regulators, food sources, economic spaces – and are habitats for many plant and animal life. Scientists have been studying the oceans for decades; yet they remain mysterious and largely unexplored. Science Year 2016*17 focuses on the exploration of the seas and oceans, their preservation, and their sustainable use. The Science Years are an initiative by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) together with Wissenschaft im Dialog (Science in Dialogue, WiD). Together they are a key instrument of scientific communication in bringing current research to the wider population and support dialogue between research and society. Science Year 2016*17 is supported by their consultant partners German Marine Research Consortium (KDM).
Image credit: re:publica (CC BY 2.0)