Life started in the oceans. Oceans cover the majority of Earth’s surface and are the single largest ecosystem on the planet. Billions of humans live in coastal areas and depend on the physical, chemical and biological functioning of this environmental system to live.
Unfortunately, human activities are seriously endangering the health of the oceans across the planet. Profound adaptations in our life-styles and behaviours are required. Therefore, the challenge is to get citizens on board and achieve meaningful engagement to support policies and act so that these changes may happen. Awareness and understanding about ocean related issues is a prerequisite for the development of ocean citizenship.
It is therefore critical to raise awareness of the richness and importance of the marine ecosystems, the challenges these ecosystems face and what we, as citizens of the world, can do to improve and preserve them through our personal choices.
With the MCSA Researchers’ Nigh proposal Ocean Night we aim to contribute tackling this challenge by promoting marine research and highlighting its importance in order to achieve a sustainable interaction between the human society and the marine ecosystem.
OceanNight is a multi-centre proposal aiming to promote the importance of the marine ecosystem. Main goal is to raise interest, awareness and understanding on marine science. The overall methodology is based on a combination of different elements (key messages, themes, formats, etc.) that ensures a wide range of balanced science communication interventions, able to reach all of relevant target audience with the adequate themes, means and mechanisms. The main tenet is that the marine ecosystem is fundamental for human society and the planet at large, and it is currently facing critical challenges that can only be tackled at a societal level.
Marine environments and ecosystems are critical to the wellbeing of human society and the whole planet.
Science helps us understand their functioning and their main threats.
Through our actions we can all improve their health and guarantee they are preserved for the future.
The personal choices that we make every day are informed by our view of the world. In order to shape it, we believe it is important to promote science and engineering not only from a utilitarian perspective, but also in order to increase the general understanding of nature across society and promote a logical mindset to approach the world around us.
Within this perspective, with OceanNight we also aim to convey the following messages:
OceanNight comprises all of the main Research Centres of CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) with a strong focus on research related to the marine and coastal environments.
With a total of >150 permanent scientists and several hundred ESRs, the research done within this consortium encompasses the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the marine ecosystems, across scales that go from the microscopic (e.g. marine viruses, microalgae, etc.) all the way to the global planetary scale (e.g. interactions between oceans and climate). This includes also research focussed on the sustainable use of marine natural resources. Scientists across the Institutes come from a wide range of backgrounds including environmental microbiology, microbial biophysics, marine biology, biogeochemistry, algology, marine ecology, ichthyology, physical and ecosystem oceanography, and population dynamics. Overall, as a consortium we have available an outstanding substrate of technical expertise at the cutting edge of scientific knowledge in all of the main themes of OceanNight.