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SSFX film competition logo (left) and panel from Ozone Diaries (right) (Credit: Left: Martin Archer; Right: Tero Mielonen and Pentti Otsamo)

EGU news EGU 2017 Public Engagement Grants awarded to Martin Archer and Tero Mielonen

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European Geosciences Union

EGU 2017 Public Engagement Grants awarded to Martin Archer and Tero Mielonen

28 April 2017

The EGU Outreach Committee has named Martin Archer and Tero Mielonen as the winners of this year’s EGU Public Engagement Grants competition. The €1000 grants are awarded to EGU members interested in developing an outreach project that aims to raise awareness of geosciences outside the scientific community. Archer will use the funds to engage independent film enthusiasts with space-science research at UK festivals, while Mielonen will use the grant to work on publishing an English-language graphic novel about a scientist on a postdoc visit in the Netherlands.

Archer launched a competition, Space Sound Effects, to encourage filmmakers to produce short films incorporating sounds from ultralow frequency waves in near-Earth space that play a significant role in space weather. He will use the EGU grant to show and discuss the winning videos at independent film festivals in the UK, to engage film enthusiasts with space-science research and raise awareness of space weather. “The great thing about the film competition is there is no restriction on the subject or genre of these films, only that they must contain the space sounds which I study,” says Archer. “The award winning films will attract film going audiences who would not normally attend science events, allowing us to engage hard to reach audiences with current scientific research.”

Mielonen wrote a graphic novel about atmospheric research called Otsonipäiväkirjat (Ozone diaries, in English), which was published last year in Finnish. “The book tells about a Finnish scientist who moves to the Netherlands to study ozone with satellite measurements. The story describes how science is made in practice but it is also a travelogue describing the main characters life in the Netherlands and his trips around Europe,” Mielonen writes in his proposal. He will use the EGU grant to produce a promotional package, including chapters translated into English, to ultimately get the graphic novel published by an international publisher.

Archer is a space-physics researcher at Imperial College London and an outreach officer at Queen Mary University of London, who has worked on a number of public engagement projects, including a DJ Physics show and a science podcast. Tero Mielonen is a senior scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. He has given public lectures on graphic novels with scientific content both in Finnish and English.