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Young scientists explore, discover and connect

On Tuesday, 23 August the Russian State Hydro-meteorological University hosted a fun-filled evening for the young scientists attending the 8th Baltic Sea Science Congress in St. Petersburg.


A young Russian scientist Anna Kanukhina led the participants through a brainstorming session for the next Baltic Sea Science Congress motto. Young scientists’ suggestions were manifold, some more earnest than other, but all proving ammunition for a very entertaining evening with food, drink and laughter. Suggestions ranged from "Defend ecosystem from our technology", "The Baltic Sea, no more bonus points left over" and "Baltic – an unique and unite region in a changing world", to "Reduce uncertainty, Increase accuracy, Define probability = Higher, Stronger, Faster", "Let’s prevent the problems of the Baltic Sea before we give up and drain the sea and turn it into a vineyard" and "Baltic Sea – the sea of opportunities".


After a round of presentations of mottos, some presented in a format of singing and poetry, the difficult task of choosing a winner was put to a judging panel which eventually announced the winning motto to be "Baltic science – Explore, Discover, Connect". This was considered to capture well the essence of the forward looking and growing forum of the BSSC . The panel members included the BONUS invited BSSC key speakers, Professor Deborah Bronk (USA), Professor Hans von Storch (Germany) and Professor Wajih Naqvi (India) and members of the BONUS Secretariat team.


The other task Anna put to the six teams consisting of a total of 40 participants was to present each team’s view on one of the following questions: What is the role of the mass media in defining the future of the Baltic environment?, Baltic Sea in 2050, The urgent environmental issues of the Baltic: how to solve them?, How to make BSSC more attractive, useful and friendly to young researchers in future, and ‘Themes of the next BSSC’. And again, answers were manifold and intriguing – ranging from proposed speed dating with senior scientists to make BSSC more attractive to young scientists to “if we don’t find solutions, the nature will start a revolution” when discussing urgency for solutions needed to urgent environmental issues. One of the suggested scenarios for the Baltic Sea in year 2050 was that “The global warming stops the great Earth current and a next big ice age will cover most parts of the Sea with ice shield”, and the role of mass media was considered strong with it possibly determining the politics of the future. As for the themes for the next BSSC, suggestions included "Baltic Sea as energy resource", "Survive while fishing – fishers and consumers" and "Who ‘greens’ the Baltic Sea – science, policy or algae".


Besides the scrumptious and plentiful banquet, participants left the evening of activities also with food for thought about the future of the Baltic Sea science. 


This was the third BONUS sponsored Young Scientist Club since the BONUS+ Kick-Off Conference in early 2009. The ambition is to look also into the future in terms of creating networks between tomor­row’s leading Baltic Sea scientists in the early stages of their careers.


The BONUS Secretariat will be asking for feedback from the Young Scientist Club participants in order to share this with the next local organiser when young scientists meet next in conjunction of major BONUS event.

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