Raising awareness of the need to conserve coasts and oceans: the role of museums and aquaria

D. Johnson, Jonathan Potts

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    Abstract

    A review of the level of public awareness and concern for ocean problems is presented. This draws on and summarises the results of a national US survey ‘Communicating about Oceans’. It is commonly agreed that the public possesses only a very basic understanding of the oceans, their functions and connections to human survival. Interpretative theory suggests that raising awareness involves marrying factual information with people’s personal experience, values and everyday lives. This paper then further considers the role that museums and aquaria should play in promoting awareness of environmental issues. Sentiments expressed at the Global Conference on Oceans held in Paris in 2003 are reviewed and good practice identified. A critique of The Deep, the latest UK marine ‘edu-tainment’ attraction, advocates the need for additional links to environmental issues. In particular attention needs to be given to the translation of core terminology (i.e., scientific terms) into appropriate and accessible language; increasing the potential for interactive and IT-based interpretation; and the balance of ‘intrinsic’ and ‘ersatz’ exhibits and objects. Maritime attraction-based learning materials are also evaluated in the context of widening participation. Conclusions relating to interpretative media will feed into a major new project at the UK National Maritime Museum (NMM). The ‘Eco Room’ is to be a unique and innovative gallery exploring the subject of marine stewardship and public citizenship. The spatial concept for this gallery, its thematic framework and structure are explained, with the intention of reflecting best practice in raising awareness of the need for sustainable coastal and ocean management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLittoral 2004: 7th International Symposium: Delivering Sustainable Coasts: Connecting Science and Policy
    EditorsD. Green
    Place of PublicationCambridge
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Pages310-315
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)0954008104
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    EventLittoral 2004: 7th International Symposium: Delivering Sustainable Coasts: Connecting Science and Policy - Aberdeen, Scotland
    Duration: 20 Sep 200422 Sep 2004

    Conference

    ConferenceLittoral 2004: 7th International Symposium: Delivering Sustainable Coasts: Connecting Science and Policy
    Period20/09/0422/09/04

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Raising awareness of the need to conserve coasts and oceans: the role of museums and aquaria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this