2022 - All Press Releases

Springer Nature and UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network white paper finds interdisciplinary knowledge exchange key to addressing crises

London | New York | Berlin, 12 May 2022

Springer Nature and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have today published a white paper featuring some of the most compelling ideas explored in a series of interdisciplinary roundtables which aim to spur new perspectives on, research in, and interdisciplinary approaches to global crises. 

The Learning from Crises series, which asked what we could learn from the COVID-19 pandemic that could be applied for climate action, consisted of two cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary expert discussions and concluded with a virtual event hosted alongside COP26 with keynote speakers Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief of Nature and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of SDSN. 

The first roundtable focused on behaviour and misinformation, and examined how - just like in the pandemic - we need behavioural interventions to reduce carbon emissions and promote climate adaptation. The second roundtable explored the imbalances in the impact and response to crises, the way in which inequality can hinder solutions, and identified the lessons learned to create more equitable responses to future crises. 

These topics were chosen because COVID-19 highlighted the crucial importance of tackling misinformation and motivated ignorance, demonstrated that individual behaviours can benefit society collectively, and has shown how structural inequalities predetermine who is most affected and how - all issues that have clear parallels to the climate crisis. The white paper features a variety of expert voices and interview quotes, and concludes that identifying ways to proactively address complex global challenges that emerge from crises, requires ongoing interdisciplinary research, drawing from a diverse range of voices and the expertise of multiple disciplines. 

The white paper also provides the background to the roundtables and the collaboration between Springer Nature and SDSN, more information on the wide range of participants and further detail as to why interdisciplinary approaches are so important for identifying solutions to crises. It also includes a list of supporting research to encourage further reading on the topics raised.

Commenting on the roundtable series and the white paper, Tamsine O'Riordan, Editorial Director, Social Sciences at Springer Nature said: 

“Such vast global crises as pandemics and climate change, require new and more integrated approaches across the globe. We had an aspiration to bring together people who might otherwise not meet and who could contribute a broad range of knowledge and experience. As responsible stewards of knowledge it is our duty to find new ways to work together and identify novel and innovative solutions to the challenges before us and to those that lie ahead. 

Whilst of course there were many empty seats in terms of full inclusivity and representation, it was an inspiring start: we matched medical doctors with scholars of race and gender, psychologists with climate change mitigation experts, a chief executive with a journalist, and more. In establishing this forum, we have started collaborations that we hope will continue to generate new insights and solutions as time goes on.”


Notes to Editors

  1. You can learn more about the roundtables and watch the final event here.

  2. Find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network on their website.

  3. For over 175 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

    As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to trusted brands including Springer, Nature Portfolio, BMC, Palgrave Macmillan and Scientific American. For more information, please visit springernature.com and @SpringerNature


Maeve Dunne | Senior Communications Manager, Sustainability | Springer Nature | maeve.dunne@springernature.com