Grassworks @ Blühwiesen-Forum Lüneburg: Science communication in practice
Photo: Ulrike Lohmann
Communicating scientific findings to the public and practitioners is an elementary component of research. But how can such science communication look like in practice?
On the 21st of October 2023, the first Blühwiesen-Forum (in English approximately: blooming meadow forum) took place at the Museum Lüneburg. The forum was sponsored by the transdisciplinary Real World Laboratory Lüneburg 2030+. The objective of the event, to which the Initiative Wilde Wiesen Lüneburg, represented by Luisa Evelin Schubert, invited, was to bring together different actors and to inform and connect interested citizens. A varied program was put together for this purpose: Firstly, Dr. Olaf Anderßon from the Wilde Wiesen Lüneburg network presented a brief history of grasslands in Central Europe. Secondly, practical advice and experience for the restoration and nature conservation of grasslands were provided by the expert Georg Wilhelm from Wilde Wiese Wendland. Finally, these insights were complemented by the perspective of research on grassland restoration by presenting the Grassworks project. Furthermore, during the break and at the open exchange after the presentations, the approximately 70 visitors had the opportunity to view a nature photo exhibition by Ulrike Lohmann, and to collect information material on grassland restoration as well as regional wild plant seed mixtures for the region “Northwest German Lowlands” (UG1) at a seed bar.
All in all, the forum was a success and shows the great value and thus also the necessity of exchange between science, practice, and the public: Science communication can make research accessible to people outside academia, bring scientific findings directly to the actors involved, and also educate and raise awareness among the public about various problems.
I studied biology (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) with a focus on ecology and biodiversity at the University of Hamburg. During my PhD at the Technical University of Munich, I investigated the relationships and trade-offs between different ecosystem functions of rare arable plants and sown wildflower mixtures. As I mainly work on vegetation science, restoration ecology and ecosystem functions, my post-doc in the Grassworks project consists of organizing and conducting ecological fieldwork in the northern region (WP1). Further, my position is coordinating the ecological data collection of WP1 across all three regions. In addition, I am helping to restore grasslands in the Real-World lab in the northern region.
I am studying environmental and sustainability sciences with a focus on ecology and nature conservation at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. I am particularly interested in ecosystem functions and interactions and how we can connect them with our social systems in a sustainable and mutually beneficial way. At Grassworks, I mainly work in outreach and am writing my thesis in the ecological research component.