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University of Gothenburg

Sea and Society Talks

Sea and Society talks is a lunch seminar series focusing on the UN sutainable development goals. The seminars link goal 14 "Life below water" with the other 16 goals. The idea is to give a short introduction to the topic and invite to discuss how researchers at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers can help in achieving a sustainable society.

Upcoming talk

January 20 2022: In the footsteps of Otto Nordenskjöld

120 years ago Otto Nordenskjöld led a Swedish research expedition to Antarctica. Today, the remains are acutely threatened by climate change. In this Sea and Society talk Jonathan Westin and Gunnar Almevik describes the escapades of Otto Nordenskjöld expedition. It also discusses questions such as: What is this cultural heritage? Whose cultural heritage is it? What are the appropriate measures?

Previous Talks

December 8 2021: Niels Krabbe: Who owns the genetic resources of the deep seas?

In this Sea and Society talk Niels Krabbe discusses the conflict between different legal understandings of the genetic resources of the deep-seas, including the prospects for resolving these issues in the expected new treaty on Biological Diversity Beyond National Jurisdiction.

Video (34:57)
Who owns the genetic resources of the deep seas?

October 7 2021: Linus Brunnström: Effects of coaching and the pandemic on local marine entrepreneurship

How has businesses in the maritime sector managed during the Pandemic? Can coaching actually help grow blue businesses? In this Sea and Society Talk Linus Brunnström presents an evaluation of the project Maritime Bohuslän.

September 16 2021: Lynne Sneddon: Should we care about the welfare of fishes?

Lynne Sneddon, senior lecturer in zoofysiology at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, gives a Sea and Society Talk about whether we should care about the welfare of fishes and give them the same consideration as mammals.

Video (36:11)
Should we care about the welfare of fishes?

June 10 2021: Aron Westholm: Planning the ocean – How law shapes nature

How can municipal planning be a part of a modern system for adaptive management of the marine environment? Aron Westholm is a legal researcher interested in how law shapes nature, and vice versa. In this Sea and Society talk he present his thesis “Scaling Marine and Water Management."

Video (32:21)
Planning the ocean – How law shapes nature

April 29 2021: Poul Holm – Unravelling oceans past

Ocean policy is becoming increasingly informed by insights into the past. Transdisciplinary collaboration underpins several new large-scale research projects that promise to change how we understand oceans past – and future. In this talk Poul Holm, Guest Professor in environmental history, will highlight how new avenues are being pursued. Questions are being asked that seemed unanswerable a few years ago.

Video (31:08)
Unravelling oceans past

April 8: Blue community gardens - experiences from Denmark

In Denmark, blue community gardens have grown explosively and now there are over 1,000 hobby sea farmers in the country. Joachim Hjerl, founder of the organization Havhöst, shares his experiences of starting a new popular movement that grows mussels, oysters and algae. Maria Bodin, project manager at the University of Gothenburg, talks about the work on Sweden's first blue community garden, which has been available at Tjärnö marine laboratory outside Strömstad since last autumn.

Video (32:21)
Blue community gardens - experiences from Denmark

January 21 2021: Cornelia Spetea Wiklund – West coast microalgae as year-round sustainable source of food and bioenergy

In this Sea and Society Talk Cornelia Spetea Wiklund, Professor at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, discuss how cultivation of microalgae can be used as a complement to sources from forestry and agriculture for bioenergy and food production.

Video (37:14)
West coast microalgae as year-round sustainable source of food and bioenergy

December 15 2020: Bettina Schulz Paulsson: Whaling in the stone age – a driving force for long distance maritime journeys

In this Sea and Society Talk the archaeologist Bettina Schulz Paulsson will discuss whaling as a key component of Stone age coastal economies and the rise of long distance maritime journeys in Atlantic Europe.
Most of the ~35´000 still existing European megaliths, such as stones tombs, stone circles and alignments are located in coastal areasEngravings of boats and sperm whales on the earliest stone megaliths in Britain emphasize a maritime basis of these societies. New research suggest that these early builders undertook long-distance voyages enabled by skills in shipbuilding and navigation ~2000 years earlier than previously proposed.

October 8 2020 – Niklas Harring: Why people who are concerned with environmental deterioration don’t take (sufficient) action

In this talk I present data from the national SOM survey on attitudes towards the marine environment, the climate and other environmental issues, and data on what people state that they do on a private level to protect the environment and to reduce the climate gas emissions from their lifestyles. I will then contrast this with data on real consumption patterns leading to a discussion on how we can understand why individuals, who are concerned with environmental deterioration, do not change their unsustainable consumption patterns and lifestyles. Based on this I will present a framework to understand the conditions for large-scale cooperation and collective action, and discuss why government intervention and policies are necessary.

August 19 2020 – Dick Kasperowski: New possibilities for collaboration - Citizen Science and Agenda 2030

Under the banner of citizen science, public participation in scientific research has under the last decade significantly increased and is already used to monitor and produce data for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Policymakers andscientist are now promoting citizen science as a way to create trust, mitigate societal polarization and creating mobilization around societal challenges.

Video (22:43)
Dick Kasperowski: New possibilities for collaboration

June 10 2020 – Matthias Obst: The Koster Seafloor Observatory – Marine Citizen Science 

At the new website Koster Seafloor Observatory the public can assist scientists by watching snapshots of deep-water recordings and identify species in these short movies. This Sea and SocietyTalk will walk you through the different functions of the observatory, present some preliminary results, and discuss the potential of the system for online education, ocean literacy, and marine ecology research.

May 27 2020 – Petra Wallberg: UN Decade of Ocean Science - How can the Swedish research community get involved?

The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 aims at providing a "once in a lifetime" opportunity for nations to work together to generate the global ocean science needed to support sustainable development. In this talk Petra Wallberg, Senior Research Officer at Formas, will go through the purpose of the Decade and open up for a discussion concerning the Swedish agenda and activities.

Video (21:30)
Petra Wallberg: UN Decade of Ocean Science

May 19 2020 – Andreas Skriver Hansen and Matthias Obst: What will our future coasts be like?

In this Sea and Society Talk Andreas Skriver Hansen and Matthias Obst presents the research project Land2Sea that looks at the effects of the coastal development, making models for three possible future scenarios: One with a development driven focus, one with a technology based focus and one with sustainable focus.

May 13 2020 – Maria Persson: Knowledge tourism and sustainability

This Sea and Society Talk presents the new project Knowledge tourism as attraction and resource. The purpose of the project is to explore, establish and demonstrate the potential for knowledge tourism and science tourism.

April 21 2020 – Johan Magnusson: How will digitalization impact the way we create value?

Digital initiatives have become commonplace, yet there are still wide-spread misconceptions about what impact they really have. In this Sea and Society Talk Johan Magnusson will open up for a discussion about the value of current or future digital initiatives related to goal 14 - Life below water.

April 14 2020 – Zihan Nie: Reducing single use plastic consumption with celebrity endorsement

In what way can celebrity activists and their endorsement of environmental campaigns influence single use plastic consumtion?
Zihan Nie works with policy instruments for sustainable management of oceans and marine resources with special focus on mitigating marine plastic pollution problems with behavioral economics approaches.

February 5 – Per Hallén: Steam trawlers in Swedish fishing - the untold story

Free and equal fishermen lived along the coast anddeveloped their business without influence from companies. This is how Swedish fishing has often been described - but the reality was another.
Swedish industrialists followed the British fishing model with steam trawlers organized within the framework of limited companies. These came to dominate for several decades - a forgotten era.

January 7 2020 – Elin Torell: Gender, sustainability and fisheries: Lessons from Ghana and the Philippines

Elin Torell presents how gender norms, resource use patterns, and power relationships influence the effectiveness of fisheries management in Ghana and the Philippines.
Research from Ghana and the Philippines has revealed that the roles of women and men living in fishing communities are deeply integrated, but unequal, especially in relation to workload, leadership, anddecision-making. Achieving more sustainable fisheries management requires working with men andwomen to challenge social constructs, growing women's confidence, and recognizing the "invisible" work of women in households and the fisheries sector.
The University of Rhode Island's Coastal Resources Center implements ecosystem-based fisheries programs around the world. Integral to this work is understanding how gender norms, resource use patterns, and power relationships influence the effectiveness of fisheries management.