Drawing attention to the sea

Did you know that the Science Year 2016*2017 – a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the organization Science in dialogue (Wissenschaft im Dialog) – actually runs under the motto “Seas and Oceans. Discover. Use. Protect“?

WJ2016_BMBF_ENGL_webRZEvery year, the initiative aims to raise public awareness of special research areas as well as to stimulate public discourse by focusing on one particular academic discipline. A broad variety of events, workshops and other science-communication projects contribute to the dissemination of knowledge about fields as diverse as physics, the health sciences or digitization.

The Science Year 2016*2017, organized in cooperation with the partner country Great Britain, is dedicated to the marine sciences and to maritime research. All event offers are grouped around six themes ranging from aspects such as the human relationship with the sea as a place of longing, food source and trading route to issues such as weather phenomena, climate change, alternative energies and the role of the Arctic/Antarctica for our environment.

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The huge and varied event calendar offers countless attractions all over Germany and the UK, from special exhibitions, film screenings and public lectures to youth workshops and seminars focusing on marine conservation.

Today, the Armchair Sailor would like to draw your attention to two particularly appealing online projects.

The first is the charming Oceans-and-the-seas Blog launched by a group of excitingly creative researchers from Germany and the UK. Essentially, this Art-meets-Science project combines short essays on cutting-edge marine research (about rare sea creatures, marine law or maritime history) with beautiful illustrations which make your heart leap. I can’t wait for a picture book edition!

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(c) Alina Loth, https://www.oceansandtheseas.de/

The second project, launched by the initiative “Science in Dialogue”, is called “Interview with a Painting” (Interview mit einem Gemälde). It features a series of 10 web video clips in which a number of lesser-known masterpieces of marine art literally tell their story to a journalist-cum-museum visitor. Meet some very emotional (jealous, shy, sad or funny) paintings whose conversations about their “fathers”, themselves and their place in art history may well open your eyes.

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J. van Beerstraaten’s “Ice Skaters on the IJ at the Paalhuis en the Nieuwe Brug in Amsterdam(1640-1666) does not even know who exactly its father was…
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