Fast-tracking Swedish Environmental Researchers into International Networks – a new secretariat for global environmental and natural resource issues established at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
In cooperation with several Swedish funders of scientific research, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is establishing a new secretariat – the Swedish Secretariat for Environmental Earth System Sciences (SSEESS) – in order to facilitate Swedish researchers’ participation and leadership in international research programmes about sustainable development.
There is a need for new ways of thinking, new alliances and interdisciplinary initiatives in order to meet the challenges arising from environmental, natural resource and health issues. International bodies such as the International Council for Science (ICSU) already conduct international, interdisciplinary research in the field of global environmental change. ICSU is a non-governmental organization whose members consist of 121 national scientific bodies and 30 international scientific unions covering many scientific issue areas. The participation of Swedish researchers in these networks has previously been limited even though they are conducting cutting-edge research in many relevant fields. This is due partly to traditional disciplinary and nationally-focused approaches and organization of research and research financing. The purpose of the new secretariat, SSEESS, is to make sure that Swedish research about global environmental and natural resource issues becomes more integrated in international programs. SSEESS also intends to be a reliable and accessible source of information for Swedish decision makers.
Professor Kevin Noone will be directing the new secretariat, and the Executive Board consists of researchers as well representatives from FAS*, FORMAS**, the Swedish Research Council and VINNOVA – all funders of research and partners of the SSEESS. The secretariat is located in recently renovated offices at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which also hosts other international actors in the field of environmental research.
SSEESS’s first initiative will be a campaign to inform Swedish researchers about the international programs – what programs exist and how do you get involved? – as well as informing the programs about the scientific competence that exists in Sweden.
– It’s my hope that we can initiate a long-term process of mutual enrichment in the field of international interdisciplinary environmental research, says Kevin Noone. I would also like for public and private sector decision makers in Sweden to know that they have access to a reliable and neutral source of information about global environmental and natural resource issues.
Kevin Noone, Professor of Chemical Meteorology at Stockholm University, is the Director of SSEESS. His scientific qualifications are considerable, as is his experience from leading positions in the field, for instance, at the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. SSEESS will also have a scientific coordinator, Dan Wilhelmsson, who holds a Ph.D. in Zoological Ecology, previously at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; as well as a general coordinator, Astrid Auraldsson, previously at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics.
*FAS: the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research
**FORMAS: The Swedish Research Council for research in the areas Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, founded in 1739, is an independent organization whose overall objective is to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. The Academy takes special responsibility for the natural sciences and mathematics, but endeavours to promote the exchange of ideas between various disciplines.