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Final Report Summary - 4SEAS (Synergies between science and society for a shared approach to European seas)

More than 70 % of the globe is covered by water, and Europe itself is bordered by four different water basins that have been shaping and influencing European cultural, social and economic heritage since ancient times. Seas are the paradigm of cross-cutting approaches to knowledge and life. Each topic overlaps with the others, and they can all be related both to the opportunities that seas offer to mankind and to the threats that mankind poses to the seas. The interactions of these topics embrace and influence most aspects of everyday life, and seas are appealing and fascinating. Therefore, seas are ideal tools for engaging and communicating with the public at large even on otherwise complex and 'unattractive' themes.

4SEAS participants are located in Genoa, London, Gdynia, Sevastopol i.e. on (or very close) to the main European seas. 4SEAS aims at enhancing the interaction between science and technology and society at large, providing coordination of science communication activities with particular emphasis on marine-related topics. 4SEAS applies a bottom-up strategy so that the public is requested to express its views at several points throughout the project.

4SEAS is centred on the following objectives:
- to ensure visibility and dissemination of research results to a wider audience
- to enable the public to express its point of view and concerns about science
-to promote science to the young through the use of appealing languages and examples
- to strengthen the European citizens' sense of participation in Europe through their direct involvement in the project
- to develop a European awareness of the marine environment, including both cultural and technological aspects
- to promote the regional approach within a broader context of the European dimension.

At the end of 4SEAS, two years after its beginning, we can proudly say that all the above has been fully accomplished. 4SEAS has set up a dedicated website available in four languages, and has organised three different permanent exhibitions (in Genoa, Sevastopol and Gdynia), plus a series of Nature live events (in London). Further, it has produced almost 50 different side events and delivered over 50 multimedia products including full-length movies, videos and presentations.

Over 110 000 people have been directly engaged in its activities (year II), of which approximately 4 000 also as responders to our impact assessment questionnaires. In the period September 2009 - February 2010 alone, over 5 700 people have surfed the 4SEAS website, visiting approximately 32 000 pages in total. A much larger audience has been exposed to 4SEAS, be it via its promotional activities or while visiting the hosting institutions albeit not specifically the 4SEAS sections. More than 50 external actors, not directly linked to 4SEAS, have played a role in its implementation via the establishment of novel or implemented cooperations. The feedback obtained from the 4SEAS audience is very positive (over 90 % of responders are satisfied or very satisfied, and 6 7% of adult responders ¿ 60 % of kids declare they are now keen on spending more time on science). As testified by the results of the impact assessment, all final results foreseen in the project proposal have been achieved. Actually, many more products than expected have been finally delivered.

4SEAS is basically a dissemination project, designed to engage in the dialogue between science and society. As such, each 4SEAS activity has been designed to produce an impact on the audience, and to be used for the audience. All the products (mostly multimedia) that remain at the end of the project will be kept available to the wide audience at the museum's locations, on their institutional websites, on the 4SEAS website and/or through external actors that have cooperated and will further circulate them. All this will grant a multiplier effect beyond the projects life.