Fear and loathing of the deep ocean: Why don't people care about the deep sea?

Alan J. Jamieson, Glenn Singleman, Thomas D. Linley, Susan Casey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A recurring question within deep-sea science and conservation is why don't people care about the deep sea? How does the deep-sea science community convince non-scientific audiences to support, engage, and care more for the largest habitat on Earth? Here, we examine various aspects of an apparent dichotomy of perspectives between the scientific and non-scientific communities by discussing the problematic roots from within human neuropsychology, and how knowledge of the deep sea is delivered to, perceived by, and ultimately valued by non-scientific audiences. The answers are complex, covering issues such as conscious and subconscious thalassophobia, perspectivism, aesthetics, phenomenology, abstract interpretation, epistemology and media-driven enigmatization, self-deprecation by the science community, and perceived value-driven ethics. This discussion focusses on the nexus of scientific and non-scientific perceptions to catalyze meaningful societal engagement with the deep sea and to try and understand "Why don't people care about the deep sea?"

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-809
Number of pages13
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


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