The Future of Our Seas (FOOS) project brought together nine major UK marine research, engagement, advocacy and environmental arts organisations (the Marine Biological Association, King’s College London, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, University of Plymouth Marine Institute, University of Edinburgh, Scottish Association of Marine Science, Incredible Oceans and Invisible Dust).
By combining scientists, facilitators, creatives and science communicators, Future of Our Seas aimed to equip marine researchers with capacity and skills to engage people in vibrant, two-way conversations about the future of our seas.
The project consisted of two “interventions” which offered marine scientists the opportunity to take part in an in-depth public engagement training, mentoring and practice programme. The first intervention took place in April and May 2018 in Plymouth, culminating in a two-day public engagement event as part of Plymouth Pirate Weekend. The second intervention happened in June and July 2018 in Oban, leading to a two-day public event during West Highland Yachting Week. Special attention given to evaluation and learning during and after the interventions allowed the team to make continuous improvements and establish a repeatable consortium-building blueprint for engaging the public with environmental science.
This blueprint has been incorporated into an application for Stage 2 of NERC Engaging Environments, which includes the FOOS team and partners from other Stage 1 consortia.