People need new ways to receive and process information about climate change. How about combining art with science in order to reach a wider audience and come up with some totally new ideas? To solve the grand challenges of climate change and air pollution, different actors of society need to have a fruitful way to communicate and collaborate, says Helsinki Challenge semifinalist team leader, forest ecologist Eija Juurola.
Juurola’s team is building a comprehensive and visual platform meant to help the public and policy makers to understand the scientific principles of climate change and air pollution. It’s based on databases of real time observations, climate and ecosystem modelling, data on customer choices, carbon footprint calculations, public health data and models on environment friendly actions. The platform also builds on research on sustainable consumption and environmental education.
Art collaboration and game environments
But it’s not going to be just another website: the team plans on using physical locations and face-to-face communication, too. They’ll also utilize game environments and work in close collaboration with the arts. Visual artists have already been in residence at a SMEAR II carbon measurement station, getting inspired by science.
“Art provokes new ideas that challenge conventional attitudes towards climate issues and other areas of scientific research”, Juurola says.
All information and communication will be two-way, promises Juurola. Researchers can gain important information on the platform’s users’ knowledge, awareness and preferences. The long term aim is to facilitate dialogue between science, arts and society by developing various new tools for communication and knowledge sharing.
TEAM: Team leader Eija Juurola (Dr, UH, Department of Physics, Division of Atmospheric Sciences), Jaana Bäck (Professor, UH, Department of Forest Sciences), Hannele Cantell, (Dr, UH, Department of Teachers Education), Ding Aijun, (Professor, University of Nanjing), Terike Haapoja, artist, Janne Korhonen, (MSc, UH, Department of Forest Sciences), Markku Kulmala, (Professor, Department of Physics, Division of Atmospheric Sciences), Ari Nissinen, (Dr, SYKE, Center for Environmental Efficiency), Juha Pekkanen (Professor, UH, Hjelt Institute), Jussi Rasinmäki (Dr., CEO, Simosol Oy), Ulla Taipale, curator, Timo Vesala (Professor, UH, Department of Physics, Division of Atmospheric Sciences).