Tips and Guidelines
Are you a scientist who is concerned about climate change and wants to connect with fellow scientists in your region? Do you want to express your support for local Fridays For Future groups and provide fact-based information for decision makers and interested people? Do you want to disseminate and communicate climate-related scientific knowledge in universities, schools and any other public organizations or events? Do you want to raise awareness about the climate and ecological crises, and provide knowledge and support for people who want to make change? Do you want to do your share to ensure that the younger generation lives in a world below the 1.5 -2°C warming threshold?
We are Scientists for Future International and are here to help you get started. This handy checklist should help (and you can always contact us too):
1 – Find and connect with scientists in your region who care about meaningful climate action
- Get in contact with the international network and stay connected: https://listserv.gwdg.de/mailman/listinfo/s4f-international
- Check locally and with the S4F country representative to find out about existing local S4F groups you could join
- Reach out to your colleagues and find fellow scientists who are interested in joining a group or starting a new group if none exists
- Spread the word that you and your colleagues are joining or starting a S4F group. You can include a link to the International S4F statement and this website as a resource
- Try to engage scientists from all walks of academic life engaged in your group (graduate students, PostDocs, faculty…)
2 – Meet up and/or organize
- Find a meeting space (off- or online)
- Discuss together what you want to do and how you can support each other
- Connect with other groups
- Assign a point person and communication infrastructure for your group
- Use the S4F Webstructure to build a homepage; contact us for support
Some practical tips:
- Scheduling regular (online) meetings will help to keep your team and efforts on track and to see progress
- Consider a chat space for your team members to work on projects between the meetings (e.g. Slack, Hang outs, etc.)
- Start an infrastructure for your meeting notes (e.g. google docs) to keep things organised from the beginning
- Think about a Welcome Package for newcomers to your group to help them get oriented, know how your team communication works and where to get active
- Think about a website for your group to share information with a wider audience? We can help to get you setup with a wordpress plugin
3 – Set local goals and activities for spreading the word: Think about what activities you would like to work on together
Here some ideas:
- Organize a lecture series on climate change and climate action. Invite experts from your local area to keep potential costs minimal, or invite experts from afar to present virtually. Check out other groups for ideas.
- Offer to review climate statements and offer scientific information
- Develop school materials addressing and explaining locally relevant climate issues
- Share your climate related and peer-reviewed research on the S4F Blog
- Outreach activities – offer public talks/lectures/discussions, workshops/schools for teachers and/or students, popular science events, science festival
- Letter writing – offer scientific knowledge support to officials and decision makers, sign up for “Ring-a-scientist” or create a local version
Words of wisdom
Starting a new group is not always simple – keep going!
Don’t be frustrated, do what you can and keep going! You are making a difference and impact even if it does not seem apparent right away. Sometimes it simply takes (a lot) more time than you thought you would need – don’t give up!
If you can’t find a group or don’t feel up to organizing one, there are other ways to contribute
Consider translating material in your native language for the international S4F website, this will help increase our outreach and may even help you start a group in your region.
Get in contact with the international network and stay connected
Check out where other groups already exist and how you could potentially help each other out on different issues and topics.
Your checklist for starting a Scientist for Future group in your country or region may be longer or shorter depending on the size of the team you find and the ideas you want to realize.
S4F is a decentralized, self-organizing grassroots movement. It is established in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and networks with corresponding initiatives in a growing number of other countries through this website.