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This laboratory considers moving away from air-based modes of transport for conference and other academic travel to terrestrial alternatives such as rail, coaches/buses, and ridesharing. We share knowledge of travel requirements, and how to move away from flying, practicalities and constraints.
This laboratory considers moving away from air-based modes of transport for conference and other academic travel to terrestrial alternatives such as rail, coaches/buses, and ridesharing. Sociocultural anthropology has long embraced the fieldwork model of knowledge creation, often requiring travel to some degree. However, to quote the saying 'the most important skill for an academic is to pack a suitcase', academic life often requires mobility, especially for conferences, hence our presence in Lisbon. Yet environmental, social ('flight shame'), and university concerns, or disliking flying, encourage rethinking the violence to the world our career carbon emissions commit. Therefore, participants will discuss current travel requirements, e.g. conferences, potential practicality of flying, and examine concrete alternatives for journeys completed as academics (and humans) in globalised, interconnected societies. In the spirit of sharing our knowledge and learning, the lab will run thus: (1) share the travel we must do and why, (2) use/share valuable information resources to discover how our travel can be made terrestrial, and (3) consider how easy these changes are, due to time, funding and institutional constraints. Different cultures, political systems and infrastructural geographies we European (and further afield) anthropologists inhabit, may preclude one-size-fits-all solutions due to cultures or differing high-speed rail/road densities. (4) We will attempt to organise our findings into a webpage of advice for colleagues and potentially inspire them to change travel modes for the future. [NOTE: if accepted, I'll live tweet conf hashtag making my travel plans and travelling. Not flown since 2002!]