Voices from the water: experience, knowledge, and emotions in long-term ecological research (LTER Italy)
Based on the last decade of activities at the Italian Long Term Ecological Research network (LTER-Italy), I describe and highlight here some major outcomes and challenges, by picturing different voices, which we are listening to and we are talking with. Organisms, ecosystems, methodologies, data, researchers, stakeholders and citizens: their “voices” - which we receive, interpret and express - create our experience and knowledge, which we share with and convey to our contemporaries and future generations. One of the main narrator’s voices will be that of plankton: how we “listen” to them, describe and share long-term data and researches, also with the wide public. Through the “voices from the water” I will report and discuss experiences, which have been relevant also to open up the views on the role that science is challenged to play in a world of rapid change, characterized by complexity and contradictions. In particular I will consider: (i) the voices coming from various LTER aquatic sites, mainly addressing the comparison among them, (ii) how to make the voices most harmonized and audible through the open science approach, and (iii) how to put the LTER voices in an effective dialogue with society. Finally I will share some thoughts about the necessity and the possibility to open the purely scientific cognitive approach to other forms of knowledge.
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