Fund for Innovations in Sustainable Conferencing Initiative
Our Fund for Innovations in Sustainable Conferencing Initiative (formerly known as the Sustainable Conferencing Initiative) was launched in 2020 to encourage and support sustainable scientific communication.
Conferences provide invaluable opportunities for biologists worldwide to collaborate and connect, but there is an urgent need to find new ways of interacting that are greener and more sustainable than traditional models.
As was evident during the pandemic, virtual conferences can work well. However it has also become clear that the important social and scientific interactions that occur during in-person events are hard to replicate online.
How do we encourage and support sustainability?
Conference organisers have already taken important steps towards sustainability – for example through virtual and hybrid events. But, to become greener still, they need help to overcome a number of logistical and financial barriers.
Key objectives of our Fund for Innovations in Sustainable Conferencing Initiative:
Meet our team
Members of The Company of Biologists’ Board of Directors:
Professor Sally Lowell, Developmental and Stem Cell Biologist at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr Holly Shiels, Cardiac Physiologist at the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
Professor Laura Machesky, FRSE, Cell Biologist at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, UK
Why did we launch the initiative?
“I have become increasingly worried about the impact of conferences on the environment. We are all aware of how important conferences are to bring people together, so we have a problem.”
Professor Sally Lowell, a member of The Company of Biologists’ Board of Directors
In 2019, concerned about the environmental impact of conferences, members of our Board of Directors – Sally Lowell, Alastair Downie, Kate Storey and Holly Sheils – came up with the idea of a new initiative to encourage and support sustainability.
They wanted to provide technical, logistical and financial support to help biologists make events more sustainable and, in 2020, the Fund for Innovations in Sustainable Conferencing Initiative was born.