This spring, researchers from leading marine science institutes in Plymouth and Oban will be taking their science out of the labs and onto the streets to share with the general public. This initiative is part of Blueprint, a 12 month project combining scientific and creative industries to engage people in a vibrant, nation-wide conversation about the future of our seas.
As an island nation, our human health and well-being are directly influenced by the marine environment; issues such as pollution, overfishing, climate change, rising sea levels and ocean acidification all affect the future sustainability of global populations. In an effort to make the seas and oceans more relevant to us all, Blueprint plans to bring people together to share expertise, training, innovation and audiences to enable a step-change in the way we consider and collaborate with our environment.
We are inviting key community groups to explore collaboration opportunities with local marine scientists and to create and deliver a suite of activities that engage the local community with marine science. These activities will then be piloted at a high profile local public event, and may include (but are not limited to) music, art, dance, craft, sport etc. Through creating and developing new partnerships with local scientists and community groups, we hope to support the development of new and exciting ways to communicate marine science to a wide audience.
Each event in Plymouth and Oban will be open to local scientists and community groups, encouraging a rich and diverse programme of activities across the project.
The Plymouth event
The pop-up public engagement event will take place at the Plymouth Pirate Weekend (12th-13th May), an event which attracts more than 5000 visitors over two days. During this event we will have an inflatable dome situated in the heart of the action on the Barbican where we will deliver all of our activities. As one of the biggest public events in the Plymouth calendar, this weekend benefits from significant media coverage, both in the lead up and during the event, offering excellent publicity opportunities.
How to get involved
You are invited to join us from 6pm on Tuesday 27th March at the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth, to meet the researchers involved and to learn more about their science, with a view to discussing possible collaboration ideas. Can you let us know by the 20th of March if you can attend so we can manage numbers. Refreshments will be provided during this meet and greet event. Following this meeting, new collaborations will be offered support and guidance to help facilitate the development of a public engagement activity in readiness for the large public event in mid-May.
Interested? Get in touch!
If you would like to attend the meet and greet on 27th March, please email Jennifer Skinner (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name and any dietary requirements you may have. If you are interested but not able to attend the meeting, please also send us an email.
Supported by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), Blueprint brings together nine major UK-leading marine research, engagement, advocacy and environmental arts organisations (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 media communicators, we aim to equip researchers with capacity and skills to engage people in a nation-wide conversation on the future of our seas.
If I attend the meeting do I have to sign up to the engagement event?
No, the meeting is intended as a networking event for local scientists and community groups, to discuss ideas and past projects. It will simply provide a starting point for any discussions or collaborations that may want to take things further.
Will this cost anything?
No, the meeting is free to attend and there is no cost to being involved in this project.
I know a community group that may be interested in this project, can I share this with them?
Yes! We’d love to involve as many people in the local area as possible. Simply share this invitation with them and if they’d like to come along, they just need to RSVP using the details above.