The Travelling Scientist Summarized!

For almost a year, we entertained a conversation among scholars about the doubts and dilemmas, the thrills and the thrust of carbon-dependent international collaboration i academia. A big THANK YOU! to all who participated.

The outcomes and experiences of this process  are shortly to be published in an article co-authored by Johan Gärdebo, David Nilsson and Kristoffer Soldal in a Special Issue “Social Media in the Anthropocene” in Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities.

Please stay tuned! As a teaser, here’s the abstract…

Who can and should travel? When has travel gone wrong? What makes travelling right? What are your doubts and dilemmas about travelling? We asked these and similar questions as humanist researchers on the Anthropocene to scientists through our blog The Travelling Scientist, November 2014 until June 2015. Underpinning this discussion is firstly the increased emphasis on environmental concerns, secondly that researchers have incentives to contribute to climate change through increased flying. From the researchers’ entries, sharing and critique by commentators, we have in this paper delineated recurring themes in how researchers reflect about travelling. The ‘travellers’, as we call our bloggers or blog contributors, wrote about the practice of travelling, the rationales for doing so both as individuals and as members of an academic community, as well as the morality and emotional means of coping with this complicity in the making of the Anthropocene. We relate these themes to the history of travelling researchers where we suggest that the researcher has always been a traveller. What is important in the development of travelling are the routes and habits of travelling that have co-evolved over time with an airborne lifestyle complete with conference venues as tourist attractions. We conclude that all academics must start talking about their unsustainable travelling practice in the light of our carbon dioxide emissions in the Anthropocene. Academia needs to seriously start examining and reshaping the conditions for research for an effective decoupling of fossil input from research output. We believe that social media can be an important space for a conversation around knowledge production in the Anthropocene because of its ability to provide a reflexive approach that transcends the research community into the personal.