Symposium on 'Reducing academic flying'
University of Sheffield, UK - ICOSS, ICOSS Conference Room
Wednesday, 13 November 2019, 9:30 to 16:00
If universities are to contribute their share to urgently needed and radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, they must tackle their dependence on air travel. Acceptance of the climate crisis is increasingly mainstream, with formal recognition by an increasing range of public bodies, including universities. A small number of studies on universities’ total emissions suggest flying typically accounts for 10-20% of a research-intensive university’s total (scope 1, 2 & 3) emissions. The prospects for significant improvements in the efficiency of flying are very limited. Consequently, academic flight is increasingly problematised and debated.
About the symposium
This symposium draws together international expertise from research on flying, and from experiences of initiatives aimed at reducing it. The symposium will involve the presentation of conceptual perspectives on academic flying to help to explore experiences of personal and institutional measures to reduce flying. This will inform collective discussion and reflection to develop research agendas and potential research collaborations, including as pathways to effective action.
Some groups of academics have taken a lead by developing policy on reducing the amount they fly, or not flying at all (e.g. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Lund University Centre for Sustainable Studies and Université de Neuchâtel). Also, there have been a number of conferences and events related to reducing flying in academia and generally (e.g. Flying Less: Reducing Academia's Carbon Footprint webinar and “Degrowth of Aviation” Conference). As well as some academic conferences which have experimented with ways of organising meetings that reduce the need for academics to fly (e.g. Society for Cultural Anthropology conference and Global Arts and Psychology Seminar).
There are a few studies that have begun to research academic flying and alternative low carbon possibilities for travelling, meeting and collaborating (Caset, Boussauw, & Storme, 2018; Gärdebo, Nilsson, & Soldal, 2017; Glover, Strengers, & Lewis, 2017; Nevins, 2014; Nursey-Bray, Palmer, Meyer-Mclean, Wanner, & Birzer, 2019; Waring, Teisl, Manandhar, & Anderson, 2014; Wynes, Donner, Tannason, & Nabors, 2019). However, there are many aspects associated with academic flying which have had limited consideration including: academics’ identities and flying; universities internationalisation and academics’ flying; and, personal and university benefits of academics flying less.
|9:30-10:00||Arrival with refreshments|
|10:00-10:15||Introduction: purposes for the day (Matt Watson and Steve Allen)|
|10:15-11:15||Conceptualising academic flying (12-15 mins each plus discussion):
|11:30-12:30||Reflections on initiatives for, and experiences of, flying-less (10-12 mins each plus discussion):
|13:15-14:15||Current studies and future research possibilities (10-12 mins each plus discussion):
|14:15-14:35||Project conversation groups selection around key emerging questions and areas|
|14:35-15:30||Project group discussions and action plan development|
|15:30-16:00||Project groups report back on action plans and symposium|
Find out more
Attendance is free but registration is required. For information about how to register to attend the symposium and about participating remotely, please email: email@example.com