There is increasing awareness among academics that in order to help minimise the effects of climate change, we should fly less or not at all. In my field, this was highlighted in a recent review article aimed at cognitive scientists and by the decision of prominent neuroscientists such as Russ Poldrack and Adam Aron to reduce or eliminate their air travel (if you know of others please let me know!).

Institutions can play a part too. For example, the University of Ghent has introduced new rules that require researchers to choose more sustainable travel options for academic visits and conferences.

Even the journal Nature has highlighted the ways in which conferences could be made more sustainable. See also this article from the Wellcome Trust.

Some groups are launching initiatives for virtual knowledge exchange, for example the remote speaker series run by UCL’s Affective Brain Lab. Sam Gershman has created a website where speakers can advertise their trips, allowing other local researchers to invite them – potentially allowing trips to be combined.

please share your thoughts and suggestions on this topic with me:

christopher.summerfield [at] psy.ox.ac.uk

please visit our lab website for more details about our work, including [coming soon] videos of talks that I might otherwise have given in person…


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