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ERIC Number: EJ808632
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
The Current State of Sustainability in Bioscience Laboratories: A Statistical Examination of a UK Tertiary Institute
Wright, Hazel A.; Ironside, Joseph E.; Gwynn-Jones, Dylan
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v9 n3 p282-294 2008
Purpose: This study aims to identify the current barriers to sustainability in the bioscience laboratory setting and to determine which mechanisms are likely to increase sustainable behaviours in this specialised environment. Design/methodology/approach: The study gathers qualitative data from a sample of laboratory researchers presently conducting experimentation in the biological sciences. A questionnaire, regarding sustainability in the laboratory, was developed and distributed to all bioscience researchers at Aberystwyth University. Findings: Although the majority of respondents had favourable attitudes to sustainability, almost three-quarters (71 percent) stated that they were not conducting their research in the most sustainable way possible. The factors most likely to hinder sustainable behaviour were lack of support, lack of information and time constraints. However, monetary costs and benefits, closely followed by "other" costs and benefits, were most likely to encourage sustainable behaviour in the laboratory. Research limitations/implications: There is a need to extend the present research to other types of biological research, such as field-based studies. Different biological disciplines may have different consumable requirements and waste streams, thereby changing the barriers to sustainability observed. Practical implications: The findings have immediate practical implication for higher education institutions wishing to adopt researcher-approved mechanisms to reduce the environmental impact of biological laboratory research. Originality/value: This is the first study to design a sustainability questionnaire which is specific to research scientists and laboratory users. The paper is therefore of immense value to the numerous global higher education institutions with working laboratories which seek to minimise the environmental impact of research. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom