On 29 November 2011, as it celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, Cemagref (National Centre of Agricultural Machinery, Agricultural Engineering, and Water and Forests) became Irstea (National Institute for Environmental and Agricultural Science and Research) and organised a grand forum for this occasion looking at the theme "What solutions can research bring to environmental issues?"
This session brought together over 900 people - researchers, general public, MPs and key figures from the world of economics - around a series of conferences held at the Lyon Conference Centre. The following pages give a short summary of the events and report on forum contributions.
Feeding 9 billion humans in 2050, dealing with climate change, guaranteeing everyone access to water, fighting pollution, anticipating risks caused by human or natural intervention, preserving biodiversity, managing urban expansion and integrating environmental needs into land management policies, guiding the economy towards sustainable development, adapting our political systems... Governments have rallied around these questions over the last ten years, they are echoed in the media and Joe Public is better informed.
Nevertheless, we know a whole lot less about how researchers from all disciplines, exact sciences and human sciences from now on all under one roof, carry out their work to observe these phenomena, analyse them, run appraisals, seek out and propose solutions.
This forum therefore aimed to demonstrate the research in progress, working on environmental matters for citizens, their MPs and their companies by bringing together politicians, entrepreneurs, members of civil society, 'intellectuals' and scientists.