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Published: 17 Jan, 2020

CANCELLED: Arcum organizes popular travel to Russia

NEWS Could a 200 mile long bus trip between Umeå and Archangelsk attract researchers? This was the question which Arcum asked, and sent out a survey. Now the bus is 40 % full, which means that the trips is definitely happening. Arcum hopes that more Arctic research from Umeå will choose this sustainable mode of transport.

Text: Lena Maria Nilsson

In June this year the city of Archangelsk in northern Russia is hosting a large conference, ICASS X. The conference, which is organized every third year in different parts of the northern hemisphere, handles questions of the humanities, social sciences and health in the Arctic.

Sustainability is an important theme for this iteration of the conference. Through an initiative from Arcum (Arctic Centre at Umeå University) there is now also the possibility of travelling to the conference in a sustainable way, for any researchers interested in participating. A charter bus will set out on the 14th of June from Umeå, the day before the conference starts and will be back on the 20th of June, the day after the conference end. The calculated time of travel will be 25 hours, with one hotel stay about halfway into the trip. Several participants are thrilled about this opportunity:

The only reason that I hesitated to register for the ICASS conference is the troubles of travel. That’s why I think that this bus trip is an excellent initiative!

Arcum finances the bus but the researches themselves will be responsible for other costs, for an example food and lodgings. The buss can also pick up passengers along the way, and will make stops in both Luleå, Tornio and Kemi.

Interest for the bus is strong. At this point, a week before the conference registration deadline, 22 researchers have registeQred for the bus. These are from Umeå and partner universities in Luleå, Tromsö, Rovaniemi and Uleåborg – and are in many cases established researchers within their institutions.

But there is space for more. Peter Sköld, head of Arcum and responsible for the trip, hopes that more researchers from Umeå University takes the opportunity to register for the bus.

- Beyond the fact that we researchers need to help each other to find more sustainable ways of travelling to our conferences, I also see the trip as an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues from our partner universities, he says.

This partnership is the Arctic Five, a collaborative project on a management level between the universites of Umeå, Luleå, Tromsö, Rovaniemi and Uleåborg. Although researchers from Umeå hold priority to the bus, the principle of “first come, first served” will be taken if the bus becomes fully booked.

REGRETFULLY THE TRIP HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS OUTBREAK. WE'RE WORKING ON ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR THE ICASS X CONFERENCE.