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  1. Hello! My name is Rebecca and I am a post-doc and new visiting professor, hoping to transform the way we do science for the better. I am particularly interested in how our culture of science plays into the sustainability (or lack thereof) of our research enterprise. Excited to be here and engage in these topics.
  2. Hey All, Really excited to be here! Look forward to receiving your questions on stakeholder engagement and management of sustainability with an organisation!
  3. Marta Rodríguez-Martínez

    Live Chat: An Environmentally Friendly Model for Life Sciences 2/10/21 @ 1 p.m. EST

    Hello everyone, Very happy to be here and ready to answer any questions you may have about making research more sustainable!
  4. Join speakers from the 2020 FENS Virtual Forum on “Towards an environmentally friendly model for life sciences” at an upcoming Neuronline Community live chat on February 10, 2021 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST. Learn about the ways you can incorporate more sustainable practices in your work, and ask your questions on how to help move the field towards an environmentally friendly framework. This original event was organized by FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE). Post your comments and questions before or during the Live Chat to have them discussed and answered by the hosts! Meet the hosts of this Live Chat: Inbar Caspi is association services and congress expert with more than 20 years of experience in consulting over 60 associations and managing more than 170 association congresses. She is the former Managing Director of Kenes UK. For the past 6 years, Inbar has been supporting Scientific and Medical Associations that organize their congress in-house or wish to take more ownership on their key activity while reaching their goals for growth, profit, education and high level of service. In her new capacity, she has worked with and managed in-house the congresses of some of the largest associations in Europe such as the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), the European Pain Federation (EFIC), the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and others. Inbar is really passionate about minimizing the carbon footprint that is the outcome from our large international scientific gatherings and has exercised many eco-friendly principals in her work.” Marta Rodríguez-Martínez, PhD is a research scientist at EMBL working with Lars Steinmetz studying system genetics and precision health. She did her PhD in molecular biology with Marcel Méchali at the IGH in France and a postdoc with Jesper Svejstrup at the Francis Crick Institute in the UK. She has in parallel an interest in sustainability. At the Francis Crick Institute, she was part of the sustainability team as research sustainability manager. She has participated in several panels about research sustainability and written about the topic. She is also part of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project leadership corps and she currently participates in the sustainability initiative at EMBL. Rebecca Delker, PhD is a Molecular and Cell Biologist interested in how the genome is organized and regulated to produce diversity. She received her BS at University of California, San Diego, and her PhD at Rockefeller University. Rebecca currently conducts research as a Postdoctoral Scientist at Columbia University and teaches introductory and upper level biology courses as Visiting Assistant Professor at Manhattan College. Rebecca approaches her work with a broad lens, understanding science as an expression of who we are as people; thus, beyond the questions she asks of the cell, she is interested in interrogating our process of science, using the answers to guide the future of science. Rajnika Hirani is an award-winning sustainability professional with extensive experience in effecting change and innovation to deliver company sustainability goals and business models. Rajnika has been working in the Sustainability field for 18 years. Her experience spans various industries including nuclear, transport, construction, agriculture, waste, research and national government. A trained Lead ISO14001 auditor, with a proven track record in Environmental Management. Rajnika has excellent stakeholder engagement at all levels across all cultures and community groups. Rajnika has experience of working across small and multi-site organisations. She has strong links with peers and regulators with significant experience of influencing at policy making level. Rajnika has great corporate social responsibility experience, is a good communicator and an excellent leader who is able to balance sustainability and CSR requirements with commercial realities.
  5. Yeah. This is the main challenge I think. Our habits get in the way, but also the incentive system in our modern research environment makes it hard to take the time to change the way we do science. Because of this, the most realistic thing to do is to make change in a piecemeal fashion. For example, a lab can make a preliminary list of things that they think should change/could be done better. These can then be dealt with one at a time. The first 10-15 minutes of a group meeting (or several consecutive group meetings) could be spent on one of the things on the list. This time can be used to discuss the problem, allocate responsibilities to research alternatives, and then come back together to make a plan to implement change. Change is going to be hard if individuals are trying to do things differently against the current of their lab or the system as a whole. Making this a group effort can help.
  6. SfN is pleased to announce its brand-new virtual experience – scheduled for January 2021. This three-day, cross-cutting digital neuroscience event allows for scientific exchange via digital abstracts, dynamic talks, interactive Q&A, popular sessions such as dual perspectives and storytelling, a robust exhibit floor, a grad school fair, and a NeuroJobs job fair. This virtual experience will provide new digital opportunities for the neuroscience community, focusing on what’s new and upcoming in the field and allowing for SfN members to connect professionally to engage in scientific exchange in a time of unique challenges. This digital event provides a global opportunity to connect without the expense and time of travel and other inconveniences. With the full program to be announced this fall, pay attention to this space for many more details about abstract submission, speakers, and other opportunities to virtually interact with others in the field. SfN members will be eligible to submit a digital abstract at no cost and will receive a reduced registration fee. SfN is pleased to be able to offer this new digital programming, convening the community to foster scientific exchange that will continue to support careers, growth, and learning for the field.
  7. Marta Rodríguez-Martínez

    Live Chat: An Environmentally Friendly Model for Life Sciences 2/10/21 @ 1 p.m. EST

    I couldn't agree more! The amount of resources wasted because of how the system works does not make any sense...neither for sustainability not for science itself!
  8. Marta Rodríguez-Martínez

    Live Chat: An Environmentally Friendly Model for Life Sciences 2/10/21 @ 1 p.m. EST

    Hello, That's a good point indeed. However, there are many things that we can replace for a more sustainable option. Your example is perfect. Tip boxes are actually a very weird product in which the box make up for about 96% of the plastic! So just by using stackable pipette tip racks if you are using non filter tips, or refill and autoclave the same boxes if you are using filter tips will reduce a lot the amount of waste (by 96%!). Just take a look at the possible sustainable alternatives for the products you are using And take a look here: https://network.febs.org/posts/what-you-can-do-to-make-your-lab-greener
  9. From the operational side, I would speak to your waste manager and find out if they know of a waster contractor that resuse or recycle tip boxes. They certainly do in the UK so it is worth exploring.
  10. Yes. I agree. Research will always have a sustainability problem. This is why I like to focus not only on alternatives to plastics, etc, but also on how we structure our research enterprise and its associated culture. As it is now, we have a huge emphasis on data production, a lot of which is never published and thus can never contribute to knowledge. This "wasted" data and our tangible waste are connected. I wrote about this more here: https://fenskavlinetwork.org/waste-as-a-lens-into-our-culture-of-science/
  11. Marta Rodríguez-Martínez

    Live Chat: An Environmentally Friendly Model for Life Sciences 2/10/21 @ 1 p.m. EST

    Hello Joriem, Your question could not be more relevant! There is a lot of people working on establishing standard sustainability practices for labs (just as we have now for health and safety). However, that will indeed take a bit longer! For now I would suggest to start small and try to show your peers that changing certain "habits" into more sustainable ones does not require more work and it can actually make research more efficient! Please check the links below: https://network.febs.org/posts/what-you-can-do-to-make-your-lab-greener Hope this helps!
  12. This is where influence needs to come in and what drives people. It is hard there is no doubt about this, however if your Group Leader is interested in reducing costs, working more leaner then perhaps change protocols from this angle.
  13. The sustainability problem in biology can seem like a daunting problem because its causes are dispersed throughout the system - our way of doing research. To make labs more sustainable will require changes throughout the system. As members of a lab -- grad students, post docs, researchers, PIs -- we can do our part by making small changes on the day to day (using more glassware instead of plasticware when possible, purchasing low-plastic products, turning off equipment), but we can also voice our concerns more broadly to try to impact change in our building, in our university, in our community at large.
  14. And if there is someone responsible already, approach them and try and set up (if not one already) an Sustainability Reps group, so you are working as a collective.
  15. Marta Rodríguez-Martínez

    Live Chat: An Environmentally Friendly Model for Life Sciences 2/10/21 @ 1 p.m. EST

    Hi Chris, Glad you enjoyed the recording! Take a look at this couple of post to get an idea of where to start. https://network.febs.org/posts/what-you-can-do-to-make-your-lab-greener https://network.febs.org/posts/environmentally-sustainable-research-is-the-only-way-forward Hope this helps!
  16. Marta Rodríguez-Martínez

    Live Chat: An Environmentally Friendly Model for Life Sciences 2/10/21 @ 1 p.m. EST

    Hello! I think the first thing one could do (as a grad student, postdoc, technician...) is to find out whether there is already a sustainability initiative in their research center or a department in charge of sustainability (such as health and safety) and if so, join the team! However, if there is nothing in place yet, you can try to create a Green initiative in your building with a group of people that want a change. If this feels difficult and overwhelming, maybe try and start small, by introducing little changes in your lab. Talk to the lab manager or lab technicians about the topic. Take a look here: https://network.febs.org/posts/what-you-can-do-to-make-your-lab-greener Hope this helps!
  17. From simple things like turning off equipment when not in use, recycling where possible to speaking to perhaps your facilities department to how they can change settings centrally for the entire building to be more sutainable.
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