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will allow the acquired scientifi c knowledge to more easily be incor- porated into political decisions, thus ensuring that these decisions be underpinned by scientifi c research. or relieve the pressure on critical Nevertheless, behavioural change will not come about simply as a natural resources (such as consequence of more information when that change is not clearly in fossil fuels), will lead to economic an individual’s immediate selfi nterest. Research shows that it is the gain in the short term. However, it is values underlying the behaviour that need to be addressed, such as important not to focus solely on optimising ‘the more intrinsic or selftranscendent values vs. more extrinsic or selfen- bottom (economic) line’ on the short term without keep- hancing values. Research is needed to show how to manage a shift ing overall long-term goals with respect to human society’s in focus from what we live on, to what we live for, in order to solve use of natural resources insight. Superoptimising economic return problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, or inequity. in the short term can lead to enormous societal (economic and Currently, there is a credibility crisis with respect to scientists, in gen- other) losses in the long term. The balance between short-term and eral, and the advice being transmitted from the scientifi c community long-term societal development should be brought more strongly to policymakers, in particular. In some respects, this crisis is based to the fore in the document. Specifi cally, it should be emphasised on a misunderstanding of the role of scientists in policymaking. It is that the overall goal of research within the fi eld of climate action important to differentiate between research and policy decisions and and resource utilisation must be to underpin the future development this distinction between the two realms should be clearly emphasised of society. It is time to recognise that research, through giving an in the fi nal Horizons 2020 document. understanding of systems as a whole, can help policymakers to understand the consequences at all levels of various political deci- Nevertheless, scientists can and should provide knowledge for sions and thereby contribute to bringing societal demand for natu- informed decisions by policymakers, including the potential implica- ral resources to within the actual global supply of these resources. tions of different policy options. Another reason for the apparent loss of credibility in people’s perception of scientists and their The continued development of society is dependent upon the in- advice is the increasing dependence on third-party funding to carry novation of society as a whole in such a way that development ac- out research. Potential dependence on interest groups can jeopard- knowledges the limited nature of many essential natural resources. ise the credibility of the messages scientists give to policymakers. This innovation can be stimulated by the inclusion of the following Researchers should remain independent from short-term economic mechanisms in Horizon 2020. and political interests. Too-strong links with industrial or short-term economically successful research may endanger independent MECHANISMS ALLOWING AN INTEGRATED research and bias the selection of research direction. In view of the AND INTERNATIONAL APPROACH current volatile fi nancial situation in the EU, it is important to have Climate change and sustainable resource management must not be cost-effective research programmes that are robust in a changing contemplated in isolation but should be considered central crosscut- economic environment. ting issues embedded within each of the other societal challenges specifi ed in the draft document Horizon 2020. Credibility also depends on the scientifi c community learning to criti- cally refl ect its own role in climate change and unsustainable behav- Research projects should be encouraged to engage with stakehold- iours. This addresses operational aspects, such as travel, meetings, ers to produce science which most effi ciently can be made relevant paper, computer, and Internet use, as well as the values underlying for society. Additionally, incentives furthering cross-disciplinary, their conventions and rituals. A set of criteria for sustainable research interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research, preferentially should be developed and its implementation made part of the selec- including both the natural and social sciences, must be introduced. tion criteria in Horizon 2020. It should then be made part of the A global and international approach must be encouraged and contract for all research grants – not only in the climate fi eld. mechanisms supporting such an approach – for research as well as innovative applications – must be put in place. Strong coupling in- INNOVATION IMPACT struments are required to link the best disciplinary research groups In the draft version of Horizon 2020, the general focus is on the with each other and enable seamless communication and synergies prospect of immediate fi nancial gain from technological develop- among them. ments relating to resource use. As noted above, it is likely that technologies and processes that lead to more effi cient resource use, CLIMATE 71


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