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Traveling science : greetings from Tokyo, Beijing, L. A. ...

Many students and many teachers are worried about global warming and the associated climate change. United in the consciousness to stand on the right side, you can cycle the bike to Uni, buy a whole-grain bun with organic Salami and outraged about Donald Trump, have opted out of the Paris climate agreement. The own contribution to global warming is ignored.

That climate change is driven mainly by greenhouse gases and the emission of carbon dioxide is only disputed by a few experts. Especially air travel, contribute significantly to the CO2 emissions. It's not just the holidays that are having an effect, but many of the airplane made travel.

The science has realized in the last decades of increasingly inter-nation. Scientific committees and promotion committees are always set up more and more international and research cooperation can work more closely with partners in other countries. In addition, the international conference volumes have grown exponentially. Many of my colleagues from the University of jetting, increasingly, around the globe, you'll notice on the E-Mails you receive from them: you end up with "greetings from Tokyo and Beijing, L. A. or Singapore". The damage to the international conference tourism through a lot of flying academics is significant. A Return flight from Berlin to Brussels to participate in a doctoral Commission is associated with half a ton of carbon dioxide, the visit to a conference in Boston with 4.5 tons, and an Advisory Board meeting in Tokyo with 6.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This can be explained by the daily Cycle from home to University is in no way compensate.

The FU as an "international network University"

The globalization of science is a good development and my University, the Free University, plays the role as an international network University, an important pioneer. It's not about the wheel of the internationalization of science to turn back. A reduction in the flight of academics, but it is necessary and feasible without the development of Science would suffer. Appeals will be of little use. Because the environmental consciousness is nowhere so pronounced as in the academic environment, where an ecological life style a key feature of the Habitus. There is a need for new institutional rules, which can be without a lot of effort to implement. These three suggestions.

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(a) Many councils and commissions of the academic world are oversized according to my experience, and have too many members. A reduction in the number of members of such bodies by one-third gives the released persons only, the more time that you can use it for their core tasks, namely research and teaching, but also reduces the amount of travel and therefore CO2 emissions; this is particularly true for international bodies, where the flight distances and thus the environmental impacts are particularly pronounced.

More videoconferencing

(b) The existing technologies, which can be used in video conferences, lectures and meetings not only more, but of the universities and their members significantly more likely to be used should be developed. This is especially true for lectures in front of a small audience, the project meetings with international partners, but also, for example, for doctoral examinations with international experts. Just then, if it is very small groups, it is usually possible without problems, to organize an exchange virtual. Universities could encourage the use of virtual events, by saving the saved travel funds, you would have to apply for the arriving guests, but the respective Institute refund, so this is rewarded for its eco-friendly policy.

(c) let The air travel incurred by environmental damage through compensation payments to be offset. The funds will be used for measures aimed at the reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide. So lead, for example, a return flight from Berlin to New York, according to the calculations of atmosfair.de to a compensation payment of EUR 73. The universities should commit to pay for each booked air travel, the corresponding compensation payment.

(d) The public disclosure of the number of flights, which were made by the members of a University in the last two years, automatically generates pressure to reduce the number of flights in the future. A similar measure has proven useful, for example, in the case of the equality reports of the universities.

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climate change to Eight per cent of the greenhouse gases cause tourists

The Free University, the Humboldt University, the Technical University of Berlin and the Charité have just under the Heading "Berlin University Alliance Crossing Boundaries toward an Integrated Research Environment" your application for the competition of the excellence initiative by the German Council of science submitted. It would not be fitting for the new composite well, if he refers to the title used the environment concept only to the local networking of the universities, but in the future, its contribution to the reduction of carbon dioxide would contribute. - The author is a Professor of sociology at the Free University and member of the National Academy "Leopoldina".

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