fredag 29 november 2019

Reducing academic flying (public seminar)

Me and Elina giving an open seminar at the Stockholm School of Economics

Me and Elina Eriksson held an open breakfast seminar, "Reducing academic flying", at the Stockholm School of Economics (HHS) on Friday November 29. This is the very first seminar we have given that is based on our just-started (autumn 2019) research project "Decreased CO2-emissions in flight-intensive organisations: from data to practice".

The invitation to give a seminar came out of in informal request on Facebook from Tinni Ernsjöö Rappe at HHS, with whom both me and Elina have previously worked (at KTH). I went back to our Facebook chat and discovered out that Tinni had asked me about giving a talk at HHS already in the beginning of September - when the project had hardly started! I postponed the talk as I thought it would be better to wait until we actually had something to say! Here is the invitation to the talk and further below are some thoughts about the seminar itself:

Reducing academic flying 

Should everyone in society fly less? Should also researchers fly less? How? Welcome to this breakfast seminar with Daniel Pargman and Elina Eriksson

Academics fly more frequently than most other professionals. There are many questions, thoughts, feelings and opinions about this. Some questions are:

- Why do we researchers fly so much?
- Why do we fly more and more?
- Should everyone in society fly less?
- Should also researchers fly less?
- Should (and could) SSE decrease flying? 
- How?
- Do we (researchers) have to fly as part of our careers?
- Is there a correlation between flying and academic excellence?

In the talk, we presented our project, results from reading quite a few research papers about "academic flying" and the test data we have received - all KTH employees' all flights during a 12-month period (September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019). Delivery of that data was severely delayed due to various reasons - unfortunately including internal KTH resistance from key persons to hand out the date, but we did in the end get access to the data in the beginning of the month. The data we asked for includes:

From our travel agency and for each plane trip by a KTH employee:
- Unique ID (employment number or something similar)
- Date
- Flight number
- Airport codes
- Price
- CO2 emissions

From KTH Human Resources and for each KTH employee:
- Unique ID (employment number or something similar)
- Year of birth
- Gender
- Position (PhD student, full professor etc.)
- Salary
- School and Department

From another HR system:
- Stated purpose of each trip

The presentation at the Stockholm School of Economics was followed by a lively discussion that could have gone on for much longer had we had the time. The people who showed up for this talk were all very interested in the issue of decreasing flying and besides people from HHS, there were also people in the audience from KTH, from Stockholm University and from Karolinska Institutet. 

We were also invited to come back a later point in time to present further results from the project, and I'm sure we will!

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