A recent poll at Science wanted to evaluate whether people would be willing to reduce their frequent travelling to meetings in favor of the environment. This poll was generated as a consequence of a letter by I. C. Burke urging scientists to examine the environmental consequences of their own frequent travel.
This was that poll:
On 10 December 2010, we asked you to consider the environmental benefits of reduced travel and then choose the option that best reflects your answer to this question: Would you participate in an annual meeting remotely (via video teleconferencing or other technology)?
Yes: Participating remotely would be about as valuable as attending in person.
Yes: It would lose some value, but the trade-off would be acceptable given the environmental benefits.
No: It would lose some value, and the trade-off would be unacceptable despite the environmental benefits.
No: Participating remotely would be about as valuable as not attending at all.
You can access the poll results here.
I considered one of the reactions to this poll interesting.
“Until we come up with holographic teleconferencing with the ability to eat virtual lunch together in smaller groups, there will always be a need for large gatherings from time to time.”
—John Burke Burnett