Last week I raised a few questions about the kind of futures are envisaged for the planet from a rather argumentative standpoint: what will the political implication be if we take the technological fix approach to defending the climate?
Today I want to cast some light on a project that is asking another related question: what are the environmental consequences of actually carrying out scientific research?
This question moves beyond the idea that science and technological development might be able to help in reaching predetermined environmental standards (think about the Paris accord) or aims (UN Sustainable Development Goals) as it questions the research practices that might lead to this.
How can scientists make their research greener?
A small group of scientists in the Netherlands aim to investigate this question. They call themselves Green Labs NL.
From the website:
Green labs NL was started in 2021 by a few members of the Dutch Scientific Community who realized they shared a passion for making their science more sustainable.
The group aim to build a wider community in The Netherlands to help encourage individual scientists, lab groups and whole institutes to go greener when it comes to how we use our lab spaces, and the way we do science. The platform can aid by sharing resources and information, but also by bringing other like-minded scientists together.
It is run by scientists, and is fully non-profit. There is no CEO, CSO, … It is kept alive by the scientific community!
This small team of scientists (4 people) have launched a really interesting blog and just held their first online Green Labs NL network meeting (in English). The website also hosts a forum and a useful links section, one of which leads to Harvard University’s Green Labs website, so they are not alone in this movement.
This is an exciting development and I will certainly follow their work, and hope that some of our Technology Bloggers readers might do the same.