As well as a stimulating scientific programme, the upcoming EGU General Assembly will also feature several sessions and events that connect science, art and the public, as well as address how the geoscience community can help address major societal challenges. Read on for a sample of what to expect at this year’s EGU meeting, and of course, stay tuned to our social media channels and follow the official hashtag (#EGU19) for more information in the run-up to the conference.
Science and Society
The EGU is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the geosciences for the benefit of humanity worldwide, and the Union’s dialogue with society is one of its priority missions. At the 2019 General Assembly, the EGU is launching an innovative symposium format, Science and Society (SCS), to host scientific forums specifically dedicated to connecting with high-level institutions and engaging the public and policymakers. Here is some information on the two Science and Society sessions taking place this year:
Communication between scientists, institutions, policymakers and the general public is widely recognised as an essential step towards a fair and sustainable society. The Science and Society session Science, Politics and European (dis)integration: A conversation of Geoscientists with Ilaria Capua and Mario Monti will focus on science and politics with a global perspective, and the impact of populism on European integrity and therefore scientific research.
In this session, Former Italian Prime Minister and European Commissioner Mario Monti and Former Italian Parliamentarian Ilaria Capua will outline optimal strategies that researchers can use to deliver clear scientific messages to key institutions. Their presentations will be followed by a question and answer session with General Assembly participants.
Plastic pollution is recognised as one of the most serious and urgent problems facing our planet. There is a pressing need for global action, backed by sound scientific understanding, to tackle this problem. This additional Science and Society session, Plastics in the Hydrosphere: An urgent problem requiring global action, will address the problems posed to our planet by plastic pollution, and examine options for dealing with the threat.
From Education and Outreach Sessions to short courses, there will be many other events at the EGU meeting dedicated to engaging the public and policymakers. The EGU office has selected a few, which you can find on the EGU website.
Science and Art
At the 2019 EGU meeting, there will also be several opportunities to observe, discuss, and take part in activities focused on integrating art and science.
As a repeat from last year’s General Assembly, the EGU will once again be hosting two artists in residence at the annual meeting. This year’s resident artists are Morgane Merlin, an environmental science PhD student and visual artist based in Alberta, Canada, and Giorgo Skretis, a visual artist and musician based in Chania, Greece. At the meeting, Merlin will focus on creating illustrations based on the main research results of selected presentations. Meanwhile Skretis will create a small collection of sculptures using natural materials such as clay and plaster. The form and manner of creation of these sculptures will reflect the various processes and forces of nature, with a focus on themes presented at the meeting.
EGU General Assembly participants will be able to follow the art work produced by Merlin and Skretis via social media (using the hashtag #EGUart), through screens at the meeting, on the EGU blog GeoLog and live at the conference centre (in Foyer D in the Brown Level -2/basement).
If you are interested in learning more about connecting science and art or even trying your hand at science communication through an artistic medium, the conference programme is packed with sessions and short courses that explore these topics. Here are just a few examples of what’s on offer:
Rhyme Your Research (SC2.5)
Get creative! Sketching and drawing (your) science (with Artist in Residence Morgane Merlin) (SC2.13)
Sculpt your Research (with Artist in Residence Giorgo Skretis) (SC2.14)
Also be sure to save some time in the evenings for some of the Science-Art-Public Events scheduled throughout the week!
The Geoscience Games Night session offers a space to gather, socialize, and play some games based on Geoscience! Bring along your own games or try one of the others in the session and meet the people who created them.
You can also join the OpenStreetMap Mapathon to help put some of the world’s most vulnerable places on the map and learn more about crowdsourcing, open data and humanitarian response. No experience is necessary – just bring your laptop and the session conveners will provide the training.
Finally, the conference will be hosting a screening of the award-winning documentary A Plastic Ocean. Join the event to understand the impacts of plastic pollution around the world, what action we can take to stop plastics entering our natural world and pose your questions to the film’s producer, Jo Ruxton, at the end of film.
The EGU General Assembly will take place from 07 to 12 April 2019 in Vienna, Austria. For the full session programme and more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2019 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.