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ClimBEco winter meeting 2022 – summary

a small forestpath in a forest with greens on the ground. Photo.
Photo by Ars Buchatski on Unsplash.

In February, ClimBEco PhD students gathered for our annual winter meeting. For the second consecutive year – but hopefully for the last time – the meeting was held digitally due to pandemic restrictions, with a small lunch gathering at the conclusion.

During this two-day event, participants presented their PhD research to each other in an interdisciplinary setting. They had the option of sharing either a popular science version or an interdisciplinary scholar version of their work. This exchange is an important part of the ClimBEco platform, whereby PhD students are trained in both giving and receiving feedback from outside of their own disciplinary boundaries, with the aim of developing new ideas and perspectives along the way.

After PhD presentations, we moved into the theme of this meeting, being Navigating the forest.  Through a role play activity, we engaged with the current scientific debate on Swedish forestry in light of climate change. Participants prepared in two teams, each representing one of the main scientific lines of reasoning, under the guidance of senior researchers. Participants then debated on questions such as “Should wood production in Sweden be decreased or increased?”, “How do future climate scenarios strengthen your argument?”, and “Considering generational justice, what does your reasoning imply for future generations?”. By using role play as a medium, we left our own intellectual and personal convictions aside in order to more deeply engage with this complex topic, where the legitimacy of “coming from the science” can lead to opposing outcomes and conclusions.

The purpose of this exercise was to critically analyse the current scientific debate where many different scientific fields are involved. We thus increased our awareness in regards to the overriding problems and goals in Swedish forestry management. At the same time we trained our skills in embracing conflicting perspectives in order to negotiate trade-offs.