Science is not just labcoats and computers, paper and pencil, and a peer reviewed publication, science and academia is about data exchange and communication. Astronomy, for example, is a global science with researchers on all continents (including Antarctica!). At the same time technology centers and telescope facilities are not randomly distributed, but are either attached to large institutions (tech) or remote mountain ranges (telescopes). So?
Communication in academia follows a receipe that is not that much different today from a 100 yrs ago: thoughts and data are gathered and discussed, ideas and scenarios are written up in articles, published, then presented at conferences and workshops. Today more often in large-ish or actually large collaborations than a century ago, but not fundamentally different.
Communication, carbon, commuting
All this involved talking to other researchers, which is good. But, and this is one of the central points of this Site, this involves travelling to other places, often over long distances, often by plane, creating major amounts of CO2 impact on the enviroment.
Contributing to the anthropogenic climate change. Not good.
So, what can we scientists do to not have this behaviour be part of the climate change problem? This is the question that has no simple, no single, and no straightforward answer except for “we have to stop behaviour emitting anthropogenic CO2”. But what this would involve has many facets.
Here we want to collect discussions around the topic of Climate Neutral Research, how science and academia might get there. What are the factors that academia can directly influence itself? Which are external factors that need a global or societal solution? How could we change research that might actually be beneficial also in other aspects than reduced carbon emission?
Many questions. But at the same time many people that would like change. And many brains that can contribute to solutions.