News
Science Corner in the Royal Museum of Central Africa !

The Science Corner is a new permanent exhibition space devoted to scientific research. It presents projects carried out by the RMCA on the African continent, from a sustainable development perspective. Currently, 80 scientists and 175 trainees are working on more than 100 projects in the natural and human sciences.

A brief video invites the viewer to discover the RMCA’s collections and the types of research it conducts. A second monitor is inserted in a map of Africa and indicates the locations of scientific projects. Just touch the screen to learn more!

A second area of the Science Corner is devoted to the International Year of Planet Earth, where the RMCA presents international projects of 2007-2009.

The Science Corner is located in the small rotunda near the cafeteria of the Royal Museum of Central Africa, Leuvensesteenweg, 13, 3080 Tervuren.
www.africamuseum.be

Le gouvernement flamand soutient 11 projets belges consacrés à la planète Terre
De Vlaamse regering steunt 11 Belgische projecten met als thema ‘De Planeet Aarde’

Le département Économie, Science et Innovation du gouvernement flamand a proclamé les lauréats de l’appel à projets sur la popularisation scientifique dont le thème était en 2008, la ‘Planète Terre’. Ce concours était lié au plan d’action annuel des autorités flamandes sur la communication scientifique. Les institutions, universités, hautes écoles et associations qui s’occupent de popularisation et de communication scientifique auprès des jeunes et du grand public pouvaient concourir.
59 projets ont été introduits dans les deux catégories proposées, ‘Projets multimédias ’ et ‘Planète Terre ’, la première n’était pas liée à un thème précis et la deuxième était réservée aux sciences de la terre et à l’espace. Sur les 47 propositions introduites sous le label ‘Planète Terre’, 11 ont été primées par un jury d’experts scientifiques. Chacun de ces 11 projets sera financé à hauteur d’environ 75 000 euros par le gouvernement flamand. Les auteurs disposent dès à présent d’un délai maximum de trois ans pour en finaliser la réalisation.
Le comité national IYPE (géré par la VUB et le Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale), en collaboration avec d’autres institutions, a participé à deux propositions sous la direction du département géologie de l’Université de Gand. ‘Leiden stenen een eigen leven ?’ et ‘Ghent we have a problem !’ ont été retenus parmi les 11 projets primés.
Retrouvez les descriptions et les détails des projets soutenus dans les fichiers ci-joints.

Het Departement Economie, Wetenschap en Innovatie van de Vlaamse regering maakte de laureaten bekend van de oproep projectvoorstellen wetenschapspopularisering (2008) met als thema ‘De Planeet Aarde’. Deze wedstrijd was verbonden aan het jaarlijkse actieplan van de Vlaamse overheid rond wetenschapscommunicatie. De oproep richtte zich tot instellingen, universiteiten, hogescholen en verenigingen die zich toeleggen op wetenschapscommunicatie en -popularisering bij jongeren en bij het grote publiek.
Er werden 59 projecten ingediend in de twee opgegeven categorieën: ‘Multimediale projecten’, zonder welomschreven thema, en ‘De Planeet Aarde’, rond aardwetenschappen en ruimtevaart. Van de 47 ingediende projectvoorstellen in de categorie ‘De Planeet Aarde’ werden er 11 geselecteerd door een jury van wetenschappelijke deskundigen. Elk van deze 11 projecten ontvangt ongeveer 75.000 Euro van de Vlaamse overheid. De deelnemers beschikken vanaf nu over een tijdsbestek van maximum drie jaar om hun project te realiseren.
Het nationaal comité IYPE (onder leiding van de VUB en het Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika) verleende, in samenwerking met andere instellingen, zijn medewerking aan twee voorstellen uitgaande van het Departement Geologie van de Universiteit van Gent. ‘Leiden stenen een eigen leven?’ en ‘Ghent we have a problem !’ behoren tot de 11 bekroonde projecten.
Voor een meer gedetailleerde beschrijving van de geselecteerde projecten zie bijgevoegde bestanden.

- Base to Mars
- Bodemdetective - Speuren in de ondergrond
- GeoloGIS
- GEO-Mobiel
- Ghent we have a problem !
- Jules Verne Achterna
- Klimaatverandering? Laat je niets wijsmaken…
- Leiden stenen een eigen leven?
- Oma gaat de ruimte in !
- Paniek in de atmosfeer

CD-ROM on Geoheritage

The Geological Society of America (GSA) produced a wonderful CD on Geoheritage as a contribution to the International Year of Planet Earth. This CD may soon be downloaded freely from the IYPE website: www.yearofplanetearth.org.
Order form for a translated CD.

The RMCA will participate in Wetenschapsfeest 17-19 October

The Royal Museum for Central Africa will attend Wetenschapsfeest to propose several activities in the context of International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE).
The RMCA will introduce a few of its scientific projects that focus on themes important to the International Year of Planet Earth.
At our stall, you will also be able to manipulate the earth and thanks to CD-ROM software you’ll become an expert on the polar regions, hydrology and climate. You can also test your knowledge during a lively quiz on the poles and Belgian scientific institutions !
Partners: Royal Observatory of Belgium, International Polar Foundation and Royal Museum for Central Africa.
Join us at Nekkerhal in Mechelen at stall 523!
Wetenschapsfeest takes place Friday through Sunday, 17-19 October.
More information: www.wetenschapsweek.be

Science Tunnel

A fascinating journey through science
The Science Tunnel is a unique multimedia exhibition of the Max Planck Society.
On a surface of 1000 square metres, you can come in contact with the latest scientific discoveries and the technologies of tomorrow. Fascinating images, video clips and interactive exhibits take you on a journey from microscopically small particles to far-away galaxies.
You can visit the Science Tunnel from 23 August up to and including 10 October 2008 in the Studio of the Ethias Arena in Hasselt.
After Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Dresden and Berlin, this unique and spectacular multimedia show will take place in Hasselt. The exhibition has been developed by the famous Max Planck Society. Besides the Science Tunnel, you can also get an idea of a number of research themes in which Hasselt University plays an international role.
The Science Tunnel guides its visitors through the recent evolutions in science, from the smallest elements to the largest structures of our universe, by means of unique pictures, video material and interactive exhibits.
Because Hasselt University considers this event a sensitization activity, the entrance will be free. We advise groups (from 10 persons) to register in advance.
You can find more information on the following website: www.sciencetunnel.be.

IYPE & Earth Science Week Photo contest

To celebrate the International Year of Planet Earth and Earth Science Week, the American Geological Institute is sponsoring a major international photography contest: “Exploring Earth Science Around the World.” No matter where in the world you live, Earth science is all around you. Just step outdoors, and you find it in rivers and lakes, in the sky above you, and in the ground under your feet. Earth science includes geology, oceanography, meteorology, hydrology, paleontology, and other geosciences.
Your photograph should focus on “Exploring Earth Science Around the World.” Show people engaged in Earth science exploration in the natural environment of your part of the world!
The contest is open to anyone of any age, anywhere around the world. All Eligible submissions must be received email by the close of Earth Science Week (www.earthsciweek.org) on October 17, 2008.
The winner will receive a prize of $500 cash (US currency or equivalent), a “Faces of Earth” DVD set, and photo placement on the International Year of Planet Earth and Earth Science Week websites. The second place winner will receive $300, and the third place winner will receive $100.
For details see:: www.earthsciweek.org/contests

Geotruck verovert Geel
Speels Nederlands leslokaal wekt interesse aardwetenschap

Het Nederlandss project Geotruck passeert in het koninklijk atheneum van Geel. Jongeren informeren zich in de truck via het spel ‘EarthQuest’ op een speelse manier over aardwetenschappen.
Geotruck is een wetenschappelijk project van de universiteit van Utrecht. De enorme vrachtwagen – hij was zelfs te groot voor de speelplaats van het atheneum – herbergt drie wereldbollen vol technische snufjes. Derdegraadsscholieren uit het secundaire onderwijs spelen er het spel ‘EarthQuest’ tegen de tijd. Leerlingen moeten binnen een lesuur grote maatschappelijke thema’s zoals klimaatverandering, natuurrampen en een groeiende wereldbevolking proberen op te lossen. “Het doel is om jongeren op een speelse manier te laten kennismaken met mondiale problemen. Zo hopen we dat de interesse voor studies aardwetenschappen stijgt”, vertelt Roel Rink, medewerker van de universiteit Utrecht.” De truck beschikt in Nederland over de nodige subsidies om zeker tot in februari 2009 langs scholen te toeren. Dit is onze eerste week in Vlaanderen. We hopen dat de Vlaamse overheid ons kansen geeft om hier een grote toer aan te zetten”.
Bron en copyright: Gazet Van Antwerpen [6-05-2008]
Meer info: www.geotruck.nl

Géologie et tourisme en Belgique - Geologie en toerisme in België

Le Service géologique de Belgique célèbre l’Année Internationale de la Planète Terre en mettant en évidence les activités touristiques qui parlent des sciences de la terre. Cela concerne les musées, les mines et carrières souterraines touristiques, les grottes et les géosites pour lesquels les données suivantes ont été rassemblées : le nom, l’adresse, l’itinéraire, les heures d’ouverture, les numéros de téléphone et de fax, le site internet, l’adresse de courriel, les prix, une description mettant l’accent sur la partie géologique et des remarques contenant des informations diverses (audio guides, langues utilisées, parking, boutique, cafétéria, dossiers pédagogiques, etc.).
Plus d’infos : www.sciencesnaturelles.be/geology/geotourism

De Belgische Geologische Dienst viert het Internationaal Jaar van de Planeet Aarde door de toeristische activiteiten die verband houden met de aardwetenschappen, in de schijnwerper te zetten. Het gaat hier dan meer bepaald om de musea, de toeristische mijnen en ondergrondse steengroeven, de grotten en de geosites, waarvoor de volgende gegevens werden verzameld: naam, adres, wegbeschrijving, openingsuren, telefoon- en faxnummers, website, mailadres, toegangsprijzen, een beschrijving met vooral aandacht voor het geologische gedeelte en diverse opmerkingen (audiogidsen, gebruikte talen, parking, boetiek, cafetaria, pedagogische dossiers, etc.).
Meer info : www.natuurwetenschappen.be/geology/geotourism

Science Connection consacre deux numéros à l’Année Internationale de la Planète Terre
Science Connection besteedt twee nummers aan het Internationaal Jaar van de Planeet Aarde

Deux numéros du magazine de l’actualité scientifique publié par la Politique Scientifique fédérale sont dédiés à l’Année Internationale de la Planète Terre.
De twee laatste nummers van het tijdschrift over de wetenschappelijke actualiteit, uitgegeven door het Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, zijn gewijd aan het Internationaal Jaar van de Planeet Aarde.

Science Connection n° 21
Edition spéciale: Changements climatiques
(Santé, énergie, forêts, mer, agriculture, espace, ...
Speciale editie: Klimaatverandering, een wetenschappelijke uitdaging

Publication of April 2008
to download: part 1 [NL or FR]
to download: part 2 [NL or FR]

Science Connection n° 20
Dossier Année internationale de la Planète Terre
Dossier Internationaal jaar van de Aarde

Publication of February 2008
to download: part 1 [NL or FR]
to download: part 2 [NL or FR]
Launch of The International Year of Planet Earth in Belgium

The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) 2008-2009 has officially started in Belgium. Philippe Claeys, professor of geology at VUB, the Flemish-language Free University of Brussels and head of the national Belgian committee of the IYPE, presented the issues and objectives of this initiative during the Earth and Space Week organised by the Eurospace Society from 8 to 11 April under the aegis of Dirk Frimout, Belgium’s first astronaut.
The aim of this week of meetings organised in Brussels, Liège, Transinne, Ghent and Ostend among astronauts, scientists and almost 3,000 secondary school pupils was to increase awareness among the general public, and particularly among young people, of space research and topics relating to Earth Sciences and the environment. A number of sessions organised by partners of the event (Science policy, universities, Eurospace Center, Earth Explorer) gave primary and secondary schools pupils the opportunity to find out about the contributions made by space research to the observation of the Earth and environmental changes.
In his talk, Philippe Claeys also went over the most important stages in the evolution of our planet since its creation 4.5 billion years ago. He recalled the main events in the evolution of life as well as the major climate changes that have occurred over the course of the Earth’s history. Climate change is thus not a new phenomenon: “the Earth’s environment is constantly changing. It’s part of the planet’s natural process. The actions of man (or the “anthropogenic effects”) have only had a significant impact for the past 200 years and even though they are playing a major part in the changes that are occurring, they only represent one factor among others in the complex equation that governs environmental change”, he stressed.
Using numerous photographs taken from space over a long period of time, NASA astronaut Mario Runco showed a few examples of desertification and erosion as a result of deforestation on several continents. Although man bears responsibility for these changes, Mario Runco also placed them in the wider context of planetary changes. Professor Loren Acton of the University of Montana, a former astronaut, talked about observing the sun from space and the effects of its radiation on the planet. Other astronauts such as Jean-Francois Clervoix (F), Dorin Prunariu (RO) and the Belgian Frank De Winne – who will shortly be joining the international space station – shared their passion for space and the Earth with the students.
The International Year of Planet Earth aims not only to promote understanding of environmental changes, but also to spread and transfer the knowledge acquired by scientists who study the Earth. This is a major concern as regards young people because, as Dirk Frimout, initiator of the Earth and Space Week, pointed out, tomorrow the pupils present at this event will replace the scientists of today. Philippe Claeys had the final word and his message is perfectly clear: “we only have one planet and it’s in our hands!”

Presentation by Philippe Claeys (64 MB) + Sumatra Earthquake Tsunami Simulation
Three Belgian students lauded in Paris
Stéphanie Decaluwé, Diana Schneider and Sam Van de Heyning were chosen as winners in the International Year of Planet Earth contest organised by UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
Students aged 18 to 22 from around the world were invited to approach one of the 10 themes covered in the Internationel Year of Planet Earth in a creative way. Topics included Earth and Health, Climate, Megacities, and Hazards. Artistic contributions of all forms were welcome - photography, film, essays, songs, multimedia presentation, poetry, et cetera.
Stéphanie wrote a song, Baby Earth. Diana created a visual presentation of her ideal city. And Sam wrote an essay on mankind's relation to time and space. Their project, submitted in English, won them a place alongside some 130 students from the world over.
The winning students were invited to Paris to take part in the official launch of the Year of Planet Earth at UNESCO last 12 and 13 February. They attended the conferences and also sang the Geo Song Mother Earth in front of all the participants.
The trip of the winning Belgian students was organised and funded by the Royal Museum for Central Africa.
Winning projects:
- Baby Earth, by Stéphanie Decaluwé
- Megacities, building deeper by Diana Schneider
- The nullity of men related to time and space by Sam Van de Heyning

Les plus beaux rochers de Wallonie

Publication du livre: Les plus beaux rochers de Wallonie Géologie et Petite Histoire, par Léon DeJonghe & Florence Jumeau, 358 pages,
ISBN: 978-2-9600676-0-6
Editions du Service Géologique de Belgique, 13 rue Jenner, B-1000 Bruxelles,
Tel: 02/788 76 64 ou 62, prix €25
Date de parution: Janvier 2007
commandes@sciencesnaturelles.be, publication website, website SGB