AGORA Project “Biodiversity means Life”

Biodiversity means Life” brings scientists studying biodiversity and global change into the public realm to have conversations with the public about the critical roles biodiversity plays in our lives. The project takes the form of a travelling tent filled with high and low-tech interactive elements through which scientists can talk about their research in ways accessible and relevant to the lives of the public. A key feature to the project is the professional training in public communication offered to the scientist volunteers. The training emphasizes that outreach is as much about sharing as it is about learning.

The main goals of the project are to deepen the awareness of the Swiss general public on the subjects of biodiversity, global change, and ecosystem services and to inspire a willingness to act on behalf of conservation of biodiversity. Equally important is our goal of bringing our tent to atypical science outreach venues such as concerts and community festivals in order to reach people who may have few personal connections to science. Our hope is that the dialog which results will lead to a greater public interest in science, greater public awareness of how scientific research works, increased levels of trust between scientists and the public, and a greater sense of scientists’ responsibility to address public interest and needs.

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