Two lectures and discussions on the occasion of Czech Arctic Festival will be held at the University of Akureyri on 15 September 2022. 


Professor Josef Elster, Centre for Polar Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice & Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Třeboň, Czech Republic

Under present climatic changes, the Arctic brings new opportunities for industrial developments (oil and gas resources, fish and fisheries management, shipping in the Arctic Ocean, etc.). Urbanisation and development of all technical support for human life are one of the most globally urgent tasks for the future. The development of low-temperature biotechnology is a challenge for Czech Science. The development of novel technologies for low-temperature environments is crucial for the minimalization of impacts of human activities and settlements on the pristine Arctic environment. Algal biotechnology based on local algal and/or cyanobacterial strains is one of the tools for the long-term sustainable development of the Polar Regions. A novel type of photobioreactor for the polar environments with sun-tracking cuvette rotation was developed to receive as much solar energy as possible. After successful operation and performance tests in winter and spring conditions in the Czech Republic, the photobioreactor was transported to the Czech Arctic Research Station in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. During the cultivation, the environmental parameters (air and suspension temperatures, photosynthetically active radiation and pH) were recorded automatically in 10 min intervals as well as the absorbance at 720 (A720) and 680 (A680) nm as biomass proxies and the effective quantum yield (PSII) as a proxy of photosynthetic activity. In addition, once a day, the A720 and A680 were measured manually together with the maximum quantum yield (FV/FM) and the OJIP transient. Once a week, a bulk sample of a volume of 3 L was taken for biochemical analyses.


Dr Zdeněk Lyčka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic

The Arctic Festival is a traditional festival of the Arctic and Czech culture and science. Its main goal is to deepen existing contacts between Czech and Arctic artists and scientists and to establish cooperation between new partners. Thanks to the Festival, both the professional and non-professional public can enjoy the results of the work of Czech and Nordic scientists in Arctic research and learn about joint Czech-Arctic cultural and scientific activities in Czechia and the Arctic. The Czech public can gain an awareness of the Arctic nations and enjoy a unique culture from different parts of the High North. On the contrary, the public in the Arctic can get acquainted with Czech culture.
The festival seeks to show how culture can generate media interest in Arctic scientific research, how science can be brought closer to non-professional audiences, and how public interest can influence stakeholder access to and increase funding for further scientific research. And vice versa - the scientific community, with its long presence in the Arctic, the number of personal contacts and its prestige, opens the door to music, art and other cultural projects that would not otherwise get to these places, and even Arctic culture in the Czech Republic would not be so known. It is therefore a mutually beneficial symbiosis.

It turns out that the presentation of scientific research together with culture is not a pointless slap in the water, but rather a very significant and innovative achievement, as evidenced by the science and culture festivals At Home in Svalbard 2018, Arctic Festival 2019, Arctic Festival 2020-21 and Arctic Festival 2022.

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