Arctic Hub – A bridge between research and society in Greenland | Polarjournal
The International Arctic Hub creates a unifying platform for Greenlandic, Danish and international polar researchers and Arctic stakeholders. Image: Screenshot International Arctic Hub

The International Arctic Hub platform was established in April 2020 by the governments of Greenland and Denmark with the aim of connecting scientists conducting research in Greenland with the local population, businesses and authorities to share knowledge and learn from each other (we reported). The newly created Arctic Hub website has been online for a few days now and already presents some bridge-building initiatives.

Greenland is the focus of interest for numerous climate researchers and many of them spend more or less time on the island, which is severely affected by climate change. They collect countless data, generate invaluable knowledge, but communication of the findings to Greenlandic society is often missed out. With the establishment of the International Arctic Hub, this is now changing: the platform sees it as its task to build bridges between research and society. On the one hand, the Arctic Hub makes research results available to the public in an understandable way, and on the other hand, the platform facilitates the involvement of local people in research.

Anna-Sofie Skjervedal, Head of the International Arctic HubSecretariat in Nuuk, Greenland explains on the website: “We are trying to prevent what we call ‘fly in-fly out’ conditions. So many different researchers come to Greenland to conduct their research, collect data, and discovering ways to approach various topics and solutions. The researchers often have so little time, and many are uncertain as to how to approach, for instance, local community engagement or how to disseminate their valuable data.”

Anna-Sofie Skjervedal has been the Head of Secretariat and responsible for the management of the International Arctic Hub office in Nuuk, Greenland since 1 November 2020. Photo: Christian Sølbeck

The International Arctic Hub sees itself as a central point of contact for researchers for questions regarding cooperation, funding, logistics or networking with the local population, in order to facilitate the start of projects and to promote dialogue between the disciplines and actors in Arctic research.

According to Skjervedal, local anchoring of knowledge is the key to sustainable development, benefiting both researchers and society if researchers make a greater effort to disseminate their findings. Therefore, the International Arctic Hub sees one of its main tasks in making research results from Greenland more visible and accessible and thus supporting society. Scientists conducting research in and around Greenland are given the opportunity to present their findings in short videos and popular science articles on the website of the International Arctic Hub and thus make them accessible to a wider audience.

Filmmaker Vivi Vold on the need to incorporate indigenous knowledge into research in Greenland. Video: Arctic Hub

In addition, the International Arctic Hub organizes events to promote dialogue between research and education, business and industry, citizens and policy makers, and across national borders. In early November this year, a workshop organized by the International Arctic Hub and the Danish science platform built a first bridge between local scientists and journalists, ensuring more effective communication between them. In addition, the researchers received coaching on how to make their research more understandable, exciting and relatable for the local population. At the same time, journalists were trained on how to discover new and important research results from Greenland.

Julia Hager, PolarJournal

Link to the International Arctic Hub:

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