Many researchers focus on forest issues, but there are often relatively few opportunities to meet. Therefore, Future Forests recently invited researchers from SLU and Skogforsk for a lunch meeting.
Future Forests means to support all researchers engaged with forest issues at SLU, Skogforsk and Umeå University. The future platform is a forum that should identify knowledge needs, generate applicable knowledge and develop interdisciplinary research methods – an overarching perspective on forestry issues with a particular focus on interdisciplinary cooperation.
As there are few opportunities for researchers to meet at Uppsala Campus, Future Forests recently organized a first convening meeting. Mari Jönsson, a researcher at the SLU Swedish Species Information Centre, is the local coordinator for Future Forests.
– We want to create venues to meet, and this was a way to get started. I was happy to see such interest from both postdocs and doctoral students, from junior and senior researchers, she says.
An important part of Future Forests' mission is to lift and support the interdisciplinary perspectives on forest research. However, interdisciplinary work takes time; researchers must understand new methods and modes of communication. Therefore, there must be opportunities to discuss, understand each other, and look ahead. Of course, one can also use such occasions to discuss one’s own discipline.
– We want researchers to know that Future Forests exist, and how they best can utilize us and our activities. Then we want to hear what else they want from the platform. What are their needs? Are there additional aspects to consider? The goal is that researchers get wider networks – not least when it comes to more junior competence. It can lead to new collaborations and projects. Researchers should have the opportunity to know who is working in similar or complementary areas, and be able to turn to them if needed, Mari Jönsson says.