Logo Universitat Bremen
Page path:

Once upon a time… scientific short stories

Oct 4, 2017
Team from Bremen are winners in the Year of Science 2016*2017 college competition
Winner team of the Hochschulwettbewerb in the Year of Science 2016*17
Winner team of the Hochschulwettbewerb in the Year of Science 2016*17

A team of early career scientists from Bremen has won in the college competition that is sponsored every Science Year by Science in Dialog (Wissenschaft im Dialog). Their idea: to communicate science and their own research through short stories. In the project “Once upon a time… short stories in science”, the researchers from MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen and six other scientific institutes composed short stories in different languages and shared them with the public. The stories are about the role of the seas and oceans in climate change and the contributions humans can make to protect the seas. They are now available as a book and eBook, with artists’ illustrations.

Through the college competition, Science in Dialog motivates young career scientists to initiate a direct dialog with the public. The competition contributions are intended to make science understandable and highlight its societal importance. The college competition is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans.

In September 2016, distinctions were already given to 15 teams for their communication concepts through an award of 10,000 Euros each. They received instruction in the planning of strategies and measures for science communication in a workshop held by Science in Dialog. Finally, they were given a year, with the help of the prize money, to put their ideas into practice.

In addition to the short stories, the “Running-sushi-buffet” and “Smart mirrors” were recognized

At the “Running-sushi-buffet”, organized in a restaurant by young career scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the culinary morsels were accompanied by side orders of various “science bites”. Explanations were served up on topics such as whether the fish on the plates were caught on domestic coasts or were from abroad, whether the fishing methods used were sustainable, and the role that algae could play for nutrition in the future.

Scientists as well as students at the Münster University of Applied Sciences, using reverse stories about every-day products, brought attention to the threat of microplastics in the seas, and stimulated citizens to question their own behavior as consumers. They tell their stories to smart mirrors – mirrors with built-in monitors. If you stand before it and interact with the mirror you will learn, for example, that every time you wash your favorite fleece sweater, microfibers find their way with the waste water into the sea, and ultimately come back to people through the food chain.

The international team is working at these research institutions:

Science year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans

Marine research is the theme of the Science Year 2016*17. Seas and oceans cover around 70 per cent of our planet. They are climate motors, food sources, economic areas – and they provide living space for a multitude of plants and animals. Scientists have been investigating the oceans for many years, but they are still mysterious and, to a large extent, unexplored. The Science Year 2016*17 is about discovering the seas and oceans, and understanding their protection and sustained use. The Science Years are a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) and Science in Dialog (WiD – Wissenschaft im Dialog). They are the central instrument in science communication for bringing research to the public, and they support the dialog between research and society. The Science Year 2016*17 is a partner of the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM – Konsortium Deutsche Meeresforschung).

Con­tact for fur­ther in­form­a­tion and photo ma­ter­ial:

Jana Sto­ne
MARUM pub­lic re­la­tions
Te­le­fon: 0421 218 65541
E-Mail: me­di­en@marum.de