Call for ecological and climate sustainability to the Czech Academy of Sciences : overview

Below, you can find the text of Call for ecological and climate sustainability to the Czech Academy of Sciences (also as pdf) and subsequent Frequent questions and comments as pdf. The Call was our first joint step (in December 2019) which eventually led to Sustainable Academy. We sent the Call in March 2020 with almost 300 signatures of employees across 42 institutes of the Czech Academy (out of 54 institutes) to the Academy Council. There were 12 directors of institutes among the signatories.

It is not possible to sign the Call anymore. However, there are many other ways in which you can contribute.

Text of the Call

The international scientific community agrees, in a persuasive majority, on the existence of human-driven climate and other ecological transformations that are impacting and decreasing the quality of life on Earth. These transformations and their impacts are extensively documented in leading scientific journals and summarized in the IPCC reports.1 The Czech Academy of Sciences surely understands the credibility and gravity of these findings. The social role of the Academy as a prestigious research institution requires that it seriously and without delay engages with this global problem. This includes analysing and, in some cases, revising the operational mechanisms of the Academy that are implicated in the negative impacts of anthropogenic transformation.

Three aspects are key in this respect.

The first aspect is the support of relevant research across disciplines that describe and analyse current and future scenarios, as well as research that contributes to mitigation and adaptation measures in the Czech territory and beyond. We are aware of and appreciate that the Academy has already supported a number of such research projects, within, but not limited to, the Strategy AV 21.

The second aspect is communicating to and engaging with policymakers and the public on climate change. In this respect, a convincing and systematic communication strategy is needed that will draw upon up-to-date scientific knowledge. The aim of such communication should not only be to present available facts about climate and ecological dynamics but also showcase the complexity of the relevant processes, including analysis and modelling. This engagement will enable our society to better face and act under the pressure of an uncertain future. Many employees of the Academy have already been active in such public communication. However, these efforts should have a stronger and coherent concept and institutional support. Clear presentation of the position of the Academy’s top management is also crucial.

The third key aspect is the material functioning of the Academy and its institutes in regard to the climate and ecological impacts of its operation. Efficiently coordinating efforts to solve technical, topical, and conceptual problems of individual worksites is one of the key roles of the Czech Academy of Sciences.2 To tackle ecological impacts, the creation of a clearly formulated concept would enable the Academy and its workplaces to institute a swift transformation in its operations that align with scientific knowledge on ecological sustainability. The principal part of this necessary transformation lies in energy management of the Academy’s workplaces. However, other aspects, such as waste management and the scope and forms of academic mobility should also be systematically considered.3 Thousands of organizations and companies face the same challenge to make their operation ecologically sustainable. The expert approach of the Academy can serve as an exemplar for these other subjects. Let us note that the experience of prestigious academic institutions abroad shows that many steps towards sustainability have short payback and are thus not only ecologically but also economically favourable.4

Thus we call on the management of the Academy, the Academy Assembly, and the management of the individual institutes to seriously consider the above issues and take adequate measures.

In Prague, December 5, 2019

Luděk Brož (Institute of Ethnology)

Jan Hladký (Institute of Mathematics)

Diana Piguet (Institute of Computer Science)

Vojtěch Pravda (Institute of Mathematics)

Tereza Stöckelová (Institute of Sociology)

______________ Footnotes


Domain is owned by the Institute of Mathematics of the Czech Academy of Sciences.


  • Zuzana Harmáčková
  • Jan Hladký
  • Vojtěch Pravda
  • Tereza Stöckelová
  • Kamil Vlček