Seasonal greetings from UiO:Energy!
«It’s been a strange year» may well be the most common way to start Christmas and New
Year’s greetings this time around. Little did we know last January that it would be this easy to fulfil the goal of cutting climate gas emissions related to air travel at UiO. Little did we know about the number of Zoom-meetings you can fit in one day. Little did we know how comfortable it is to wear sweatpants all week…
“Corona” was recently chosen as the (Norwegian) Word of the Year by Språkrådet, quite predictably and a bit boring, to be honest. There is no Phrase of the Year, but my humble suggestion would be “You’re muted!” or “You have to unmute!” – said with a varying number of exclamation marks depending on how far into the meeting or into the day you are.
I think that many of the young researchers have found this whole period to be a challenging and somewhat muted experience. At UiO:Energy we have tried to compensate a bit, giving high priority to PhDs and postdocs at our various digital lunch seminars. A clear highlight of 2020 was that we were actually able to organize our annual NorRen summer school in August in a safe way. The participating PhDs also seemed to enjoy not only the scientific content, but the very fact that they could meet other PhDs and socialize – restoring some sense of normality after a tough spring semester.
Part of the purpose of UiO:Energy is to bring people from different disciplines and various sectors together. Like everyone else we’ve had to go digital, and while we’ve certainly gained a lot of valuable experience, we also see that limitations. We are looking forward to 2021 and to hopefully being able to mix digital and physical meeting places.
Looking ahead, there’s lots of exciting things in the pipeline. The process is underway to establish a couple of interdisciplinary UiO:Energy Convergence Environments (heavily inspired by UiO:Life Science). We’ll also start up a handful of projects in the brand new SPARK Social Innovation – the first of it’s kind. UiO:Energy is also involved in the development of a holistic climate- and environment strategy for UiO. That’s just three examples of what 2021 will bring, and certainly hope it will be a less strange year!
A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year from UiO:Energy!