Who We Are
The Network of Early-Career Sustainable Scientists and Engineers (NESSE) is a global movement of academic researchers and young professionals at the beginning of their careers working on or interested in solutions to today’s most pressing sustainability challenges.
We envision a prosperous and sustainable future for all, facilitated by collaborative and sustainable approaches to science.
To inspire and mobilize a new generation of interdisciplinary scientists and engineers who strive to achieve a more sustainable future.
Our Strategic Priorities
Our six strategic priorities are to:
- Build Community
Connect scientists and engineers across disciplines to share resources and forge collaborations.
- Enable Sustainable Research
Promote greener, cross-disciplinary research practices.
- Shape Education
Support the incorporation of sustainable science and engineering into graduate and undergraduate curricula.
- Share Ideas
Communicate inspiring sustainable science and engineering stories to researchers and professionals, as well as the general public.
- Train Leaders
Foster the development of confident and able leaders for sustainable science communities.
- Promote Advocacy
Educate and encourage sustainable scientists and engineers to engage with decision-makers.
Find out more about our values and the work we are doing on our strategic priorities such as: supporting the development of sustainable science groups, sharing stories from around the world of sustainable science, and much more.
The network developed out of the American Chemical Society Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy in 2013. Jennie Dodson, our founding Chair, initiated the idea of building a platform to create a community of next generation sustainable scientists connected globally. With the enthusiasm of the people present at the summer school, NESSE was set-up by a group of PhD and post-doctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds in North America and Europe. The organisation was registered as a not-for-profit organisation in the US in February 2014 and launched at the ACS Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in June 2014.
Who are early-career scientists?
We envision this to be a self-selecting group, but specifically including graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and people in the first 10 years of their professional career. To ensure the continuation of the network it is vital to constantly engage new young people with the network and to make sure that the organisation of the network is passed on to people who are at the early stages of their careers. However, people who are at a later stage in their careers are encouraged to act as mentors and advisors within the network.
Why early career scientists?
Scientists are a vital part of the solutions needed to more effectively meet global human needs whilst providing sustainable access to the world’s resources for current and future generations. Early-career scientists are often directly responsible for developing and implementing novel solutions through their research projects, discovering new ideas and projects, and training and teaching undergraduate and graduate students. Therefore, they have the potential to hugely impact the development and implementation of sustainable practices within science and technology. However, there are very few resources aimed specifically at this group to give them the knowledge to implement sustainable solutions in their work, to network and communicate with other people, and to gain peer support for tackling obstacles.
This network aims to remedy this gap by creating easy and accessible communication methods to enable these scientists to get solutions to problems from the network and to develop the skills, knowledge, and connections they need for their work.
What is a sustainable scientist?
This network has developed out of a green chemistry and engineering event, however, we recognize that people often work across and with other disciplines; therefore, the network is open to all scientists, both natural and social, working on or with an interest in issues to tackle today’s sustainability challenges – sustainable scientists. This includes chemists, biologists, physicists, ecologist, economists, psychologists, engineers and more working on challenges such as energy, urbanisation, climate change, food security and clean water.
Why an interdisciplinary network?
Today’s environmental and social challenges cannot be tackled in isolation and therefore it is vital that we have more and better ways to connect scientists working in different disciplines. However, it is also vital that we have a broader holistic vision about how solutions to these challenges interconnect with other disciplines such as economics, climate science, agronomics, ecology, policy, and health sciences. We aim to be a network to not only connect sustainable scientists, but also to increase our knowledge and awareness about other broader discussions and issues within the area of sustainability, and how we can interact with and influence them.