Panel debate Photo: From Lund University youtube channel
"Listen to the scientists”, says Greta Thunberg. But what happens if that's just not enough? Climate researchers are facing a dilemma: should they let their work speak for itself, or must they take to the barricades? Does activism among scientists impact the credibility of their results? Some people claim that civil disobedience among researchers brings much needed attention to the climate emergency. Others that it only makes people angry and takes away focus from the crucial work that has to be done.
On May 8th SUA member Jessica Jewell participated in a debate in Lund discussing the hot topic of researchers role and climate activism.
The panel consisted of:
• David Alcer, doctoral student researching on solar cells, made headlines when he jumped onto the stage during Melodifestivalen in Malmö with a sign reading “Restore the wetlands”.
• Jessica Jewell, Associate Professor in Energy Transitions at Chalmers University researching the feasibility of accelerating energy transitions and the role of science in shaping climate policy. Member of Sveriges unga akademi.
• Daniel Lindvall, sociologist at Uppsala University, researching issues related to democracy and climate policies, and author of books like “Upphettning – Demokratin i klimatkrisens tid”.
• Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) and author of "Under the Sky We Make: How to Be Human in a Warming World".
The moderator leading the discussion was journalist Lars Mogensen.
Scientists play an important role in democracies. I get pretty nervous when we start to ask scientists to be the counter-balance to specific vested interests. [...] Scientists' role is to come out and correct misinformation, from whatever side it comes, regardless of their biases, and to participate in the deliberative process as an independent arbiter of knowledge.