Summary of ClimBEco winter meeting 2021

A Mentimeter wordpuzzle with disciplines in different colours. Illustration.
The different disciplines represented at the ClimBEco winter meeting 2021.

The theme of the ClimBEco annual meeting was “Multidisciplinary learning environments – seizing their opportunities and avoiding their pitfalls”. After an icebreaker that included seeing some sweet ‘corona-pets’ in the screens, we brought ourselves onto the level of metaphysics and the multiple ways of knowing about the world. We considered the epistemological breadth in the ‘doing of science’ at our universities and how the tacit assumptions of each discipline makes meeting across disciplinary boundaries challenging.

The annual winter meeting of ClimBEco's first invited speaker Dr. Ingela Bursjöö, lecturer at the Centre for Education Science and Teacher Research of the University of Gothenburg, shared experiences from the field of education for sustainable development. She highlighted that integrating knowledge and methods across disciplines is time-consuming and there is an inherent risk in cross-disciplinary research of losing the deep knowledge of monodisciplinary research. However, the power of collaboration offers us “the opportunity to have new findings that really make a difference”. Some potential pitfalls to keep track of are in the recruitment phase of research education as well as in the research environment (how do ‘we’ engage in interdisciplinary science?, what courses/seminars are available to me?) and in supervision (do my supervisors promote collaborations and networking?).

The second invited guest, Dr. Helen Avery from the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University, started from her interest in “how we create science to meet [sustainability] challenges” and spoke about what is important when communicating and collaborating in practice. Her suggestions ranged from general to concrete actions (eg ‘reflect on your and your audiences expectations’ and ‘use both technical terms and plain language when you present’), which participants were able to implement when sharing their own presentations in small Zoom groups.

For the remainder of the meeting, the PhD participants presented, gave feedback, and reworked their short 3-minute messages in a supportive space of peers. The last exercise of the meeting was a brainstorming session to think and share a bit more freely about future research, beyond the PhD.

As is the case these days, the level of networking was limited without a face-to-face meeting. Yet at ClimBEco we’re running the long race, and this meeting is a contribution along the way of supporting our fantastic group of early-career researchers in their development as successful interdisciplinary scholars of tomorrow.

You find a list of past ClimBEco meetings at ClimBEcos webpage.

Link directly to PDF of this meeting programme: ClimBEco winter meeting program pdf.