By: Winson Yang, on behalf of the SEA-SIG
The Sustainability and Environmental Action Special Interest Group (SEA-SIG) was formed by the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) in 2020 in recognition of the need to reduce the impact of the organization and its members on the environment. The SIG has three working groups, with each providing a unique focus for shared action:
At OHBM 2021, SEA-SIG participated in numerous activities. These included:
Through these climate-science-related activities, there are several main takeaways for all OHBM members. First, we learned that virtual conferences drastically reduce the carbon footprints of conference-goers. This is mainly because long-haul and intercontinental flights generate a lot of carbon emissions per passenger. Many also suggested that having hybrid in-person-virtual or virtual conferences in alternate years may help reduce carbon footprints of conference travel while reaching more colleagues and scientists who could not attend conferences due to various inclusivity and accessibility reasons.
The Open Science Room forum, Saving time and resources: Open-science and sustainability, was the most highly attended out of all the SEA-SIG activities and garnered over a hundred attendees. Our panelists discussed many knowns, unknowns, and possibilities about sustainable neuroimaging pipelines and how we could tackle this global issue together. We discussed the relationship between sustainable neuroimaging, open science, and climate change, and how they reinforce one another. Throughout the various activities, many agreed that we need to work together, not just as individuals, but also as a team, institution, or organization, to reduce our impact on the environment.
The Open Science Room forum, Saving time and resources: Open-science and sustainability, moderated by Charlotte Rae (https://twitter.com/NeuroRae). Dustin Moraczewski (https://twitter.com/dmoracze), Youngjae Woo (https://youngjaewoo.com), Winson Yang (https://twitter.com/winsonfzyang), and Nikhil Bhagwat (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikhil153) shared their views and ideas on tackling sustainable neuroimaging pipelines.
One of the first steps anyone could take should they be interested in tackling climate change is to join the activities of SEA-SIG. SEA-SIG is looking for talented individuals who have a heart for sustainability to join the three working groups. Furthermore, SEA-SIG will also soon be holding elections for Chair-Elect, Secretary-Elect, and Treasurer-Elect.
If you would like to participate in any of the three groups or would like further information, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome informal enquiries if you are not sure before you sign up to participate!
For further details on the aims and objectives for each group, see our new website at ohbm-environment.org
If you know a colleague who would be ideal to contribute to one of our groups, please do pass on our details. And you can retweet our Twitter post announcing the groups.
To end off, we believe that we can make a difference for our planet, our future generations, and science if we can work together.
"Climate change is happening, humans are causing it, and I think this is perhaps the most serious environmental issue facing us."
~ Bill Nye