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DAMOCLES over Europe

Final Report Summary - DOE (DAMOCLES over Europe)

The Arctic Ocean has come to the centre of the climate change stage. New stories abound on the loss of Arctic Sea ice, on Greenland's calving glaciers, on the Gulf Stream and the consequences for humanity, not only in terms of the impact of climate change, but also with regard to the effect on the commercial activities in the north. There is growing public interest about the Arctic, this mysterious frozen ocean of the north. The DOE exhibition sought to inform the general public throughout Europe about the EU-funded research being carried out in the Arctic and to clarify some prevalent misconceptions about climate and the Arctic.

The DOE exhibition was put together by the International Polar Foundation (IPF) and the Atelier Brückner, museum designers of Stuttgart, and showcases the DOE project, the largest EU funded research project in the Arctic Basin, with over 48 partner institutes seeking to throw light on the interactions between Arctic Ocean, ice and atmospheric mechanisms and how they influence climate. The exhibition was inaugurated at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels (Belgium) where it was on display from 5 to 15 March 2007.

Since then the exhibition has been hosted by:
-the French Institute in Varna (Bulgaria);
- the IPF at Tour and Taxis in Brussels (Belgium);
- the European Space Agency in Frascati (Italy);
- the Ice Sculpture Festival in Bruges (Belgium);
- the European Research and Innovation Exhibition in Paris (France);
-and currently by the University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg).

The exhibition was extended from the original concept to make it more attractive to an international audience and to young people, through the use of innovative animations, film and design. The exhibition consists of a 7 m x 7 m square structure. The inside is a panorama of the Arctic landscape. Behind this panorama various Arctic themes can be observed through slits in the panorama. The 'red-line' theme is Arctic past and present - the Arctic through history in terms of climate, science and the nature of life in contrasting warm and cold periods. This leads in turn to a discussion of the role of scientific research in the Arctic in providing clues to the functioning of the world climate system, and ultimately why we need to observe and understand it.

In Paris, the exhibition was presented in the European Commission's Research Directorate-General stand. The exhibition is currently hosted by the University of Luxembourg. A total of more than 270 000 people participated in the events hosting the exhibition. The diversity of the venues and events has allowed communication to various target groups including students, the general public and professionals. The integration of the exhibition in larger events has allowed raising interest for polar sciences in the general public. Venues hosting the exhibition have been announced on the IPF internet site at http://www.polarfoundation.org/. Both the DOE film and leaflet are available for download on the internet site.

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