More background on the theme of academic air travel. Wynes et al (2019) investigate whether curbing academic air travel is indeed career‑limiting:
We found no relationship between air travel emissions and metrics of academic productivity including hIa (h‑index adjusted for academic age and discipline). There was, however, a relationship between emissions and salary that remains significant even when controlling for seniority.
Oxford university professor Jonathan Wolff (2019), writing in The Guardian on the same issue, opined:
We must apply the three Rs to plane travel: replace if possible, reduce to the essential, and refine to make it worthwhile.
But for conferences or talks to students the point is not the keynote speech, but the keynote speaker — having them around to talk to more researchers or to students in the break, and to comment on other presentations. If you want just to see a senior academic on video, check out YouTube.
I’m not convinced that that kind of chatting cannot be done online, especially in the age of webinars and video conferencing. not to mention mailing lists and forums. For myself, I’ve meet significant people online, one example being the late James Kay through the
Just in case you need to benchmark your own aviation footprint, Neate (2019) reports, citing Gössling (2019):
Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and world’s second‑richest man, took 59 flights in 2017 travelling more than 200 000 miles, according to the study by academics at Lund University. The report estimated that Gates’ private jet travel, which he has described as his “guilty pleasure”, emitted about 1600 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That compares to a global average of less than five tonnes per person.
Gössling, Stefan (1 November 2019). “Celebrities, air travel, and social norms”. Annals of Tourism Research. 79: 102775. ISSN 0160-7383. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2019.102775. Paywalled.
Neate, Rupert (27 October 2019). “Super-rich fuelling growing demand for private jets, report finds”. The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. ISSN 0261-3077.
Wolff, Jonathan (29 October 2019). “What hypocrisy, I think guiltily, as I jet off to academic conferences far and wide”. The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. ISSN 0261-3077. Jonathan Wolff is Blavatnik professor of public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Wynes, Seth, Simon D Donner, Steuart Tannason, and Noni Nabors (20 July 2019). “Academic air travel has a limited influence on professional success”. Journal of Cleaner Production. 226: 959–967. ISSN 0959-6526. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.04.109. Paywalled.