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Symposium Interdisciplinarity for the Net-Zero transition

03>03 Nov. 2022

This joint event took stock of the past year and achievements towards its 2021 Call to Action towards the Net-Zero Transition. It showed that only by acting together, the research system can contribute to the goals of this transition. The chosen topic of the event was 'Interdisciplinarity', to conceptualise how various actors can co-operate.

It focused on concrete actions taken by different actors in the research system (universities, research performing and funding organisations, policy makers) towards the Net-Zero Transition.


On 8 November 2021, at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), CESAER, the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), Science Europe and the University of Strathclyde organised a ‘Science for Net-Zero transition’ Symposium and launched a joint call for collective global action to tackle climate change by reducing and transitioning to Net-Zero emissions.

Six key areas were identified:

  • Responding to the complexity of the Net-Zero challenges by addressing them in an interdisciplinary way.
  • Developing the next generation of students and researchers for the Net-Zero Transition.
  • Reducing our own organisational carbon footprint.
  • Supporting the Net-Zero transition in policymaking at all levels.
  • Improving the shared understanding of what needs to be done.
  • Facing the challenges together.

A full report on this challenge was published in March 2022, elaborating this vision.

The four partners have committed to reconvene at every COP to take stock of the progress made towards the Call to Action, as well as seek more partners to join their cause. This is why they organised a lead-up COP27 Symposium ‘Interdisciplinarity for the Net-Zero Transition’, alongside new partners: the European University Association (EUA) and the Network of Universities for the Capitals of Europe (UNICA).

About the Event

This open, online event had the following objectives:

  • Present the engagement of the promoting organisations for the Net-Zero Transition to their membership/constituencies.
  • Take stock of the progress towards the Call to Action and the partners’ commitment to its cause.
  • Engage other actors of the (European) research and higher education systems for the Net-Zero Transition.
  • Advocate to stakeholders the importance of acting together.

The format for the event was:

  1. A first panel discussion with experts from universities and research funding organisations, presenting practical examples of interdisciplinary projects necessary for the Net-Zero Transition from a researcher's perspective.
  2. A second panel discussion with policy experts discussing how the results of interdisciplinary projects are shared with policy makers and society to lead the Net-Zero Transition at the national, regional, and global level.
  3. A final panel discussion with the Presidents of each partner organisation. In this session, a keynote speaker presented the Sci4Net0 Call to Action and the new partners involved. The moderators of the first two sessions reported key messages from the first two panels. The Presidents took stock of the progress made towards the Call to Action and present concrete actions and how they (can) act together to enhance the Net-Zero Transition.

The objective was to show the importance of acting together, presenting concrete interdisciplinary actions for the Net-Zero Transition.


Download the press release of the event (pdf).

The University of Edinburgh's whole-institution approach to tackling the climate crisis

Alberto Garrido's contribution to the COP27 lead-up event Symposium on Interdisciplinarity for the Net-Zero Transition 

Douglas Halliday's contribution to the COP27 lead-up event Symposium on Interdisciplinarity for the Net-Zero Transition 

Promotional videos

Discover our promotional videos for the Symposium on Interdisciplinarity for the Net-Zero transition with video extracts from the 2021 Symposium and other related events.