The Antarctic Environments Portal – short: the Portal – is a promising project that aims to link Antarctic scientific research and knowledge with Antarctic policy-making through an online platform. Although a beta version this online platform of was already released earlier this year, the Portal is still under development. In this critical phase, the Portal-project team asked for feedback and ideas from early career scientists.
For this purpose, Birgit Njåstad (Portal project manager) together with Sira Engelbertz (APECS) co-convened a workshop to discuss various issues around the Portal project. Ewan McIvor (CEP Chair) started off explaining why policy makers need access to scientific information, followed by Neil Gilbert’s brief introduction to the Portal. Core of the workshop, however, were the group discussions. Our five invited mentors – Neil Gilbert, Fraser Morgan, Steven Chown, Jose Xavier and David Walton – discussed each with small groups of 5-7 early career scientists following issues: technical design of the Portal, incentivising researchers to contribute to the Portal, how to ensure policy use, how to communicate complex science in a simple, yet comprehensive manner, and how to ensure an appropriate editing and review process. The workshop was perceived as a great success with a happy Portal project team about the information gained from the group discussion. 25 early career scientists and participants of the workshop received a NZ$ 50 scholarship each, which was kindly provided by the Norwegian government.