CCAMLR is the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Its headquarters are in Hobart. Scientists from around the world meet here this week to design a system to better monitor the health of the oceans. Living Data animations are presented at the conference dinner.
The wider international community is concerned about the status of krill and the consequent status of penguins, flying birds, seals and whales. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources (CCAMLAR) is known as the ‘krill convention’ and was agreed in 1980 to address that concern. (Conference notes)
Delegates at the dinner related strongly to the krill animations and a request came from CCAMLR that they be presented at the next Antarctic Treaty meeting (in June).
During the week I meet up with a fellow artist who is working with climate change scientists in Hobart. I recognise the phase she has just past through, and of trying literal ways to reconcile scientific information with sensory responses. I know this as a necessary and awkward (often painful) phase in making sense of scientific information. It is validating to witness another artist reaching a familiar turning point, where we trust that we understand the science enough to let it go from our heads, and for the sense of it (what it means, how we feel about it) to guide our hearts and hands. Later on I dined with scientists from the CCAMLR meeting. They agreed that as artists and scientists (and we can be both) we must have intimate sensory knowledge of our subjects. For example, if you want to really understand kelp, go diving in a kelp forest.
The week-long science meeting validated the power of collaborative effort. By sharing knowledge, including methods and resources, we may advance understanding soon enough to reshape public perceptions and actions. Conversations with conference delegates also reinforced the need for scientists to openly acknowledge their world views because these shape our stories (hypotheses). Amongst the delegates I recognised world views that ranged from mechanistic to holistic.