Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Planet Under Pressure Conference (26-29 March)
Yesterday thousands of international researchers from a host of disciplines gathered in London, in what has been seen as an unprecedented attempt to refocus their work on solving planetary crises. More than 2,500 researchers, ranging from earth scientists to psychologists, joined policymakers and representatives from the private sector at the Planet Under Pressure conference (26–29 March) to assess problems ranging from the collapse of fisheries to land grabs — and to pool their expertise to find ways forward. The organisers say the meeting demonstrates a change in attitude among scientists, who are moving away from documenting what is happening to Earth towards providing and assessing solutions to pressing environmental and social problems. A key principle behind the conference is that the quest for multidisciplinary approaches to problems must be strengthened. In the words of Anantha Duraiappah, executive director of the IHDP "We talk about multidisciplinarity but most of the time research is driven by one particular discipline and the others tag along. We are saying we all have to be involved from the start and this meeting is the first real example of this type of approach."