The aim of MiMeMo is to deliver balanced and objective insights and stories emerging from our science which, first and foremost, are relevant and useful to the people that live in the Arctic and its surrounding countries. However, interest in Arctic ecosystems and their responses to climate change is not confined to Arctic communities – there is global interest in the issues and indeed, these also extend to the Antarctic. We aim to reach these audiences through collaboration with the Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council, and by contributing to NERC‘s participation in the Arctic Circle Assembly.
The UK and Germany have ‘Observer Country’ status in the CAFF Working Group. Our plan is to contribute to CAFF activities, through our national delegates, by producing a series of short, plain-language video and audio products explain our science and findings to extend and complement the webinar series and YouTube Channel already hosted on their website. Our preferred outcome is that CAFF are able to host our audio and video products since their website is already designed to reach the target audience. Alternatively, we can host them ourselves probably via the website of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS), which already carries an active webinar programme. We envisage that engagement with CAFF becomes a two-way process with members and the communities they represent able to engage with the project and feed their insights, knowledge and data into our project to improve it and make it more relevant.
In addition to engagement with CAFF, we will communicate the project’s research results to non-academic stakeholders and interested parties through the NERC Arctic Office Twitter feed (@Arctic_Office) as well as our own institutional press offices.
Climate change science has been particularly susceptible to challenge in recent times by purveyors of so called “alternative facts”, poorly substantiated opinions, and even “fake news”, as witnessed by attacks on the highly successful NERC Ocean Acidification Programme described by Phil Williamson (2016, Nature 540, 171). Encouraging public engagement with science through the sort of dialogues that we aim to achieve with CAFF is an important part of countering and forestalling such attempts to erode the credibility of scientific research.