Bringing Scithons to Stockholm

Completing our second Scithon

On Friday we held our second Scithon, in Stockholm, in partnership with the Stockholm Resilience Centre, an international center focused on trans-disciplinary research for governance of social-ecological systems, and Future Earth, a research initiative on global environmental change and global sustainability.

Four teams of interdisciplinary researchers, randomly assigned, tackled two different research questions, with associated lengthier problem statements, around biosphere positive impacts:

Teams 1 & 2 were asked: In which time frame can global urbanization become biosphere positive?

Teams 3 & 4, on the other hand, dug into: Can biosphere positive fibres and textiles clothe the world?

Over a four hour timeframe, teams 2 & 4 used Iris.AI as their only research discovery tool. Teams 1 & 3 only used Google Scholar.

While we wait for the jury to evaluate the performance of the different teams, which will require more work than in our previous exercise, we were able to draw some interesting conclusions:

– Teams using Iris.AI obtained a broader perspective over the problem space.
– The problem statements were probably too broad for the allotted time frame.
– Scientific research, particularly around the global urbanization and the biosphere, was scarcer than optimal.
– General familiarity with the sustainability space flattened the difference in the performance of the two tools.

We will report more on results as soon as we hear back from the jury!