Ocean Science commnication in Japan


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My talk at 2011 Fall meeting of Amreican Geophysical Union (AGU)

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Ocean Science commnication in Japan

  1. 1. AGU 2011 Fall Meeting, PA33C-047 December 2011, San Francisco Ocean Science Communication in Japan Hiroshi ICHIKAWA Research Institute for Global Change (RIGC), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) Chair, the Ocean Literacy and Education Panel (OLEP), Oceanographic Society of Japan (JOS) E-mail: ichikawah@jamstec.go.jp
  2. 2. Contents1. Activities of Ocean Literacy and Education Panel (OLEP/JOS)2. My experience of science communication with non-professionals3. ConclusionSession title: Earth Science Communication in a Changing Media Landscape
  3. 3. 1. Activities of Ocean Literacy and Education Panel (OLEP) of Oceanographic Society of Japan (JOS)JOS is established in January1941 for advancement andspreading of Oceanographic research in Japan (about1900 members as of April 2011), and one of academicsociety members of Japan Geosciences Union (JpGU)since 2005, the year of its establishment.OLEP is established in April 2003 for sharing the oceanliteracy with the public and promoting the ocean scienceeducation in schools and colleges (39 volunteermembers as of April 2011).JOS Website: http://www.kaiyo-gakkai.jp/main/OLEP Website: http://coast14.ees.hokudai.ac.jp/osj/
  4. 4. Reasons why OLEP is established.While ocean science is holistic, itseducation in Japan is not.In primary school, education specified onthe ocean science has not been authorizedin nationwide official education system.A part of ocean science education isconducted only by a few very active schoolteachers with many efforts.
  5. 5. Science education in junior-high and highschools in Japan is divided into four courseson Physics, Chemistry, Biology andGeosciences.Ocean science education is done as a partof Geosciences education, with closeconnection only with atmospheric scienceand physics educations, but not withchemistry and biology educations.
  6. 6. For correcting this wrong situation, not onlyOLEP/JOS, but also some other ocean-related organizations such as Ocean PolicyResearch Foundation, and Japan Society ofNaval Architects and Ocean Engineers, areworking.Another problem is that Geoscienceseducation is losing its position in high-school science education, i.e., number ofstudents learning Geosciences aredecreasing.
  7. 7. Examples in actions of OLEP/JOS• Publishing reference hard books• Publishing materials on website for primary school teachers and students• Supporting seminars on board of research vessel for high-school teachers and students.• Supporting Oceanographers talks at sea side for primary school students• Operating Ocean Science Cafe for the public,
  8. 8. “Trivia of Oceans” Vol.1 (June 2005) “Trivia of Oceans” Vol.2 (Sept. 2006) for primary school teachers, and parents.“Learn on the Ocean” (April 2003) for high schoolstudents, primary and junior-high school teachers, andparents.
  9. 9. “Ocean is going around, Sciences on the Ocean supporting thesociety and livings” (in press) for freshmen in universities andcolleges.
  10. 10. Learning Material on the Web: “Let’s learn on the Ocean”URL: http://coast14.ees.hokudai.ac.jp/osj/umi_o_manabou/
  11. 11. “Let’ learn on the Ocean on board of a research vessel”Participants: 60 students + 20 teaches in nation-wide high schools5 or 7 days in August of five years, 2006—2010. Ocean Observations  Analysis in laboratory  presentations on the sea on land
  12. 12. Leaning at the sea sidePlace and date: Manazuru Town at Izu, on 2 days in July of 2009, 2010, and 2011Participants: 40 primary school students (2 classes, 9 years old) with teachers in each yearWorks: Sampling planktons at a wharf, and watching planktons by microscope. Plankton sampling  Microscope watching
  13. 13. Ocean Science Cafétwice a year since 2008 March 2008, Tokyo September 2009, Kyoto March 2010, Tokyo
  14. 14. 2. My Experience of science communication withnon-professionals1) One-way science communication using old media (books, articles, lecture, etc.)2) Mutual Science Communication using new media a. Blog b. Social Networking Service3) New style Face-to-face Science Communication a. Science Café b. panel discussionThe science communication by scientists should not beone-way but really two-way with strong wish tounderstand well what people wish to know and havedifficulties to understand, and where they stop learning.I believe that the new media can help it.
  15. 15. 2) Mutual Science Communication using new mediaa. Blog in Japanese from January 2007 about 180 articles in 5 years (3 articles per month), about 200 PV a day by Google Analytic,Main topics of articles:• basic knowledge on the ocean,• additional explanations to scientific topics in mass media,• opinions on the science literacy, STEM education, science and technology policy, science and society etc.By Blog, if comments, replies, and track backs work well,scientists can make well mutual communication withnon-professionals.
  16. 16. 2) Mutual Science Communication using new mediab. Social Networking Service Facebook from April 2009 (not active for a long time), Twitter from December 2009 (about 400 followers, and about one tweet a day).Main Topics of my tweets:• announcements of meetings• new scientific findings in Journals, and MediaTwitter may work well in limited information exchangewith other people, but not enough in complicateddiscussions with non-professionals.
  17. 17. 3) New style Face-to-face communicationa. ‘Ocean Science Café’ twice a year since 2008. Sponsored by OLEP/JOS. Gathering less than 25 persons (age:16-70) in a small coffee shop. The first 20 minutes: A talk by a young speaker using only printed material (without screen and microphone) Next 80 minutes: Discussion in small groups with 3- 5 people and 1-2 JOS members. Last 20 minutes: Discussion with all other participants.Ocean Science Café changes young speakers and othersupporting JOS members.
  18. 18. 3) New Style Face-to-face communicationb. A panel discussion on “Spreading and influence of the ocean contamination after the Great East Japan Earthquake” during the Science Agora 2011 (Japanese Science Festival held in Tokyo in this November), sponsored by “JOS Working Group for responding to Great East Japan Earthquake”. New approach: two of six panelists were non- professionals (female science communicators) It was very successful in making the discussion understandable for the public, especially mothers, because of the new approach.
  19. 19. ConclusionOne-way communication is just one-way,i.e., there is no way for the public to tell tothe scientists what they want to know on thescientists and the science.Among various kinds of mutualcommunication, face-to-face communicationmay be the best and new media such asBlog, Twitter, Facebook, and others is itssupplementary.
  20. 20. ConclusionThe science communication by scientists shouldnot be one-way but really two-way with strongwish to understand well what people wish to knowand have difficulties to understand, and wherethey stop learning.I believe that the new media can help it with someimprovements.It is necessary to develop learning materials notfor remembering the body of knowledge, but forhelping “Inquiry-based Ocean science education”