Truly Useful Tyndall

This publication is a series of personal reflections from several key Tyndall people about the execution, lessons learned and motivations of doing interdisciplinary and solutions-focused climate change research over the past five years.

It is not about our research highlights – all these you can find at our website and elsewhere – and it is neither a five year report nor an academic paper. Truly Useful is about the approaches that we have applied towards realising the Tyndall vision of excellence in interdisciplinary research that is meaningful to stakeholders and informing policymakers, engaging with and motivating society, and reducing our own impact on the environment.

Given that Tyndall has caught a wave of rising interest in climate change over the past five years (and I like to think it may have played a small part
here – Ed.), an alternative strategy in writing Truly Useful might have been to consider how Tyndall could have had more of an impact.

We could have asked has Tyndall done enough. What would need to have been different to have had a bigger impact? Hopefully we go some way to answering these questions, but here we are avoiding the creation of ‘what if?’ scenarios.

The international panel that reviewed the operation of Tyndall Phase 1 recommended that we document our institutional learning in some way, and we hope that Truly Useful helps with this. We intend it for people interested in the practicalities and challenges of what research can and cannot bring to better understanding and managing socio-scientific issues.

We hope that you find it both interesting and useful and that we, other interdisciplinary ventures in the UK and abroad, and the research investment community can listen to and act on our learning from the first five years of the Tyndall Centre adventure.