Not all of us NPE team members who attended the NRF conference in Akureyri, Iceland (see the post below by Ilona Mettiäinen) took the shortest route back home to Rovaniemi since another event highly relevant in terms of studying northern developments – the UArctic PhD Summer School on extractive industries in the North – was organized in Nuuk, Greenland. The summer school, arranged in conjunction with the NUNAMED medical conference, took place from 5th to 9th of September with a focus on the theme “Health, Society and Environment in relation to Large-Scale Industrial Projects”.
The Northern Research Forum (NRF) organizes Open Assemblies biennially for providing a forum for open dialogue between academics, decision-makers and other Arctic or Northern actors and stakeholders on the changes that the Circumpolar North is facing now and in the future. The theme of this 7th Open Assembly that took place in Akureyri, North Iceland in 21-24 August 2013 was “Climate Change in Northern Territories - Sharing Experiences, Exploring New Methods and Assessing Socio-Economic Impacts”. The theme was further divided into three sub-themes: “Territorial socio–economic impacts of climate change”, “Methodologies for assessing socio-economic impact” and “Adaptation to climate change in regions and local communities – examining methods and sharing knowledge”. The conference was organized in collaboration between the Northern Research Forum and ESPON ENECON.
August has started and here in Upper Lapland it is a late summer month. Most of us have experienced this summer longer than usually, just because it was awfully warm already in May. This has been a good summer, our pied flycatcher nested twice, there have been a lot of cloudberries and big juicy blue berries, and eventually it looks like lingonberry harvest will be excellent. This has been a good summer for mosquitoes, too. Polttiaiset, as we call those little flies appearing at the end of the summer are occupying our river banks in the evenings and at the moment it is a pain to fish. I am waiting for salmon trout to rise for upper stream; there should be a good catch by the end of this month. Reindeer is in the forest after the mushroom.
I have been a member of the Northern Political Economy group since January 2013. Unlike most of the group members, I am not a researcher but my job is to coordinate one of our international cooperation projects. The objective of the project I’m working for is no more and no less than to establish a new academic journal - Barents Studies: Peoples, Economies and Politics.
I had the privilege to participate to the yearly EU-Russia talks organized by EU’s economic and social committee and the Russian civic chamber. This year the one day event, organized in Brussels late May, had four topics on the agenda: EU-Russia relations in general, Russian membership in World Trade Organization, human rights, and Arctic cooperation. The discussions between the parties were for the most part direct and informative to my understanding. The day ended with a joint declaration and commitment to continue the talks next year.
A couple of weeks ago NPE’s Ilona wrote a post shedding light on what takes place behind the scenes when international conferences are being organized. This post takes the opposite view: here’s a participant’s report of the Calotte Academy 2013 experience.
Researchers take part in conferences and seminars on regular basis. When your abstract is accepted and sufficient funds for travelling are granted, it’s time to book your tickets and prepare your presentation. On site, you are a guest and can enjoy the work being done by the organizers and focus on learning about the newest research done in your field. Sometimes you might get a chance to take a look on the arrangements from the other viewpoint when your home organization takes its turn to host a scientific event and you are assigned to a role in making the preparations to welcome the guests.
Do we have a lack of imagination when it comes to political research, or is there a danger of developing theologies which forget the human? These are the two highlights which captured my ear during the keynote speech of Professor R.B.J. Walter in the opening of Finnish Political Science Association Convention arranged 7–8. 3.2013 in the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi.