Art for the [Ant]Arctic's Sake: A Call for Greater Artist Involvement in APECS
19 - 23 Jun 2018
The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) prides itself on being at the forefront of developing innovative science communication techniques, and to continue doing so means we need to advocate for greater involvement of artists in our work. By including professionals from these creative fields, STEM education becomes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Mathematics), an acronym more reflective of the interdisciplinary nature of modern polar research. APECS recognizes that including art in educational outreach increases public engagement and makes academic research more accessible to those without extensive STEM backgrounds. With nearly 3,000 members in over 67 countries, APECS' network represents a diverse group of professionals interested in Earth's polar regions and wider cryosphere. We aim to utilize uniting features of art to bridge barriers to, for example, language or geographic proximity to increase engagement from traditionally underrepresented places and cooperation amongst future polar experts. As well, we hope to improve understanding and inclusion of Indigenous peoples through artist partnerships. We will discuss how APECS has included art in past outreach efforts—such as biannual Polar Week celebrations— and call for greater artist involvement in the future. We believe that both our members and artists can benefit from collaborations, and that we can more effectively influence positive attitudes towards polar research by working together.