‘Experiment’ at the 2020 PtS conference

Photo by Robert Oosterbroek

On the 5th of March 2020, local group Utrecht hosted a stand at the Pathways to Sustainability conference. The theme of our stand was: “Being an academic in times of a planetary emergency”.

We brought posterboards on which we explored the various aspects of our responsibilities, both as individuals and as institutions. Framed as a scientific experiment (which it was clearly not), these posters did foster lively discussion amongst people passing by.

Find the results of the ‘experiment’ below. Clearly, these are not representative in any way, given the specific audience that our stand attracted and the flawed design of the experiment (e.g., one could see the input of previous participants). Still, some interesting and perhaps surprising results came out.

Poster 1

Most of the participants (N=36) experience feelings of anxiety, but feel the same time empowered to do something about it.

Poster 2

Most participants feel that there are few issues more important than the climate crisis, and that others around them underestimate the severity of the situation.

Poster 3

One of the posters with the most spread.

Poster 4

Most participants are optimistic about the next 10 years regarding the transition to a sustainable world.

Poster 5

Most participants feel scientists should be more vocal about the planetary emergency, which they can safely do without loosing credibility.

Poster 6

Participants are undecided whether universities recognize their important role in the Great Transition, but feel that ‘sustainability’ should be more than becoming carbon neutral.

We thank the conference organizers for having us, and everyone that participated for your interest and input.