How to mobilise the sciences and arts for engaging citizens for sustainable seas?

This lunch debate took place at the kind invitation of SEDIF, an NGO at the Free University of Brussels (ULB with its French acronym), to mark the foundation of the Mundus maris Association and make it better known to the university public. 

The event put the challenge of the sciences and arts engaging with society at the centre of the debate, a challenge the ULB is also addressing in many fields of teaching and research.

Discussions started already before the presentations, here showing Dr. Paul Jacobs and Prof. Stella Williams in animated conversation.

The lunch debate was opened by Dr. Paul Jacobs of the Interfaculty School of Bio-Engineers, ULB.

An opening talk by Dr. Cornelia E. Nauen of the Mundus maris Association outlined the rationale, objectives, early experience and challenges of the Initiative to set the scene for the exchange.













A researcher of the University explained an on-going FP7 research project which tried to practice some of the principles of critically engaged science in the context of coastal zone research and management.

The search for a new language building bridges between the arts and the sciences was introduced by Carla Zickfeld.

Three graphics students showed proposals of how a graphical language for the corporate identity of the Initiative could convey this to members and an interested public alike.

The summary of their presentation can be seen here. It was the conclusion of a project started in 2009.

The interspersed debate was concluded with a 'tour' through an exhibition showing highlights of earlier works of the Initiative and art work of Ansgar S. Beer, who had curated the exhibition and provided explanations together with his students from the Sciences and Arts for Sustainability Working Group of the Helmholtz-Gymnasium in Hilden, Germany.

The picture shows Ansgar Beer explaining the selection of images from the works of Senegalese students complemented by Aliou Sall, who had been involved first hand in setting up the collaboration with a school in Kayar on the Senegalese coast.

Among the founding members of Mundus maris present were Ansgar S. Beer, Carla Zickfeld, Aliou Sall, Stella Williams, Cristina Dellepiane and Cornelia E. Nauen.






The group photo taken by Ansgar Beer in front of some of the exhibition panels shows five of the girls of Helmholtz-Gymnasium Hilden, Germany, who had contributed to this and earlier events organised by Mundus maris, and founding members Aliou Sall, Carla Zickfeld and Cornelia E. Nauen (f.l.t.r.).

The programme/invitation can be downloaded here.

Particularly the regional press in Germany reported on the event.