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)

  • How can we sustainably make use of the oceans without endangering them? How can we protect the seas, coral reefs and their inhabitants? Researchers probed for answers to these questions in numerous talks within the framework of the sub:marine topic.

  • Our media partner was busy at the re:publica. Over the course of the three days, they produced 26 video interviews on-location in their #rp17 studio. Marine biologist and #rp17 speaker Antje Boetius was among the people who stopped by for a talk. 

  • We hope that you were able to gather all sorts of new insights, meet old friends and left with armfuls of inspiration! Our look back at the #rp17, including all the important facts, and forward to the next re:publicas.

  • Humans and corals are more similar than previously thought; and for humans, food is a vital but underestimated resource. Two projects, one artist.

  • Designer and filmmaker Nelly Ben Hayoun is on a mission to bring chaos and subversion into the tidy and hierarchical world of science and design. She offers a new form of hyperrealistic experience with her two doppelgangers Aglaé and Anaïs Zebrowski.

  • We’ve got our very own personal “March for Science” at the re:publica this year with sub:marine, the sub-conference organised in cooperation with the Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans.

  • French director and designer Nelly Ben Hayoun is the latest addition to our mainstage programme. She’s on a mission to bring chaos and subversion into the worlds of science and design.

  • sub:marine
    At re:publica 2017, the Willy Wonka of Design and Science, Critical explorer and fearless and passionate provocateur, Wired Innovation Fellow, designer Nelly Ben Hayoun will create a space for thoughts, debate and provocation around the sociological and critical impact of new technologies. She will define her design work and practice as a Designer of Experiences and demonstrate how the Human Condition can prevail over technology. She will pledge for Greek Tragedy and remind the audience that innovation often comes from ‘multidisciplinary conflicts’.
  • sub:marine
    Unsere Ozeane werden durch die Kraft unzähliger kleiner Wasserwirbel beeinflusst. Vergleichbar mit den Zahnrädern eines Uhrwerks greifen sie ineinander und wirken sich auf das weltweite Klima und das Leben im Meer aus.

    In dem crossmedialen Projekt „Uhrwerk Ozean“ stellen Küstenforscher des Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht (HZG) die Erforschung von kleinen Meereswirbeln vor. Neben der besonderen Wissenschaft ermöglichen sie einen immersiven und breit gefächerten Zugang zu ihrer Arbeit.
  • sub:marine
    The development of virtual ecosystems with agent-based modelling approaches allows to study their trajectories under different scenario settings. For coral reefs this facilitates analysing the impact of different management options or environmental change scenarios. Including these models into immersive virtual reality applications allows to change the system settings (e.g. environmental impacts) and to directly perceive any according changes on its functioning.
  • re:publica
    Wie transportiert man die unendliche Weite des Ozeans am besten in die Köpfe der Bewohner einer staubigen Stadt, fernab des Meeres? Wie gewährt man Passanten einen Blick hinter den Horizont, dort wo sich das Wasser in den Wolken sammelt, die den Regen bringen? Das "Schaufenster Ozean" will als Beitrag zum Wissenschaftsjahr 2016*17 „Meere und Ozeane“ genau das ermöglichen. Videoprojektionen verwandeln leerstehende Schaufenster in verschiedenen deutschen Städten in riesige Aquarien. Einen kleinen Teil des Meeres wollen wir auch auf die re:publica bringen.
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    In the past few years, WWF has been increasing its use of new digital technologies, including real-time smartphone data collection from field locations, development of online interactive maps and tools, and new data collected from airplanes and remotely operated drones for forestry, species and ecosystem monitoring, coastal and marine applications, and anti-poaching operations. This presentation will showcase some of the latest innovations.