Two of the early career researchers, Megan O'Sadnick (Research Scientist at Norut Narvik) and Mar Fernández-Méndez (Postdoctoral researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute) had the opportunity during the Arctic Frontiers 2017 Science for Politics event, organized by the Science Centre of Northern Norway (Nordnorsk Vitensenter Tromsø) in cooperation with Arctic Frontiers and APECS to speak with students from Tromsø who are interested in becoming politicians about the interaction between science and politics.
We discussed topics such as the possibility of oil spills in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean and the importance of an appropriate interaction between politicians and scientists. A much-needed discussion in our current world political situation. The young politicians learned that even things that are apparently not related to climate change, such as piracy in the waters of Somalia, are actually triggered by depletion of fish stock populations in those seas. They also took good note on the advices to double check facts posted on social networks before sharing them further, and to surround themselves by people who base their statements on peer-reviewed knowledge. We hope that when these students make it into politics, whether it be with the Norwegian government or elsewhere, they will draw upon some of the things they learned from this event. After all, they are the ones who might transform the future into a better place.
Mar Fernández-Méndez and the APECS-Arctic Frontiers team
Photo: Young politicians with early career scientists Megan and Mar at the end of their presentations (Photo by Hanne Sofie Roaldsen).