The Role of Digital Technologies in Responding to the Grand Challenges of the Natural Environment: The Windermere Accord

Patterns (N Y). 2021 Jan 8;2(1):100156. doi: 10.1016/j.patter.2020.100156.


Digital technology is having a major impact on many areas of society, and there is equal opportunity for impact on science. This is particularly true in the environmental sciences as we seek to understand the complexities of the natural environment under climate change. This perspective presents the outcomes of a summit in this area, a unique cross-disciplinary gathering bringing together environmental scientists, data scientists, computer scientists, social scientists, and representatives of the creative arts. The key output of this workshop is an agreed vision in the form of a framework and associated roadmap, captured in the Windermere Accord. This accord envisions a new kind of environmental science underpinned by unprecedented amounts of data, with technological advances leading to breakthroughs in taming uncertainty and complexity, and also supporting openness, transparency, and reproducibility in science. The perspective also includes a call to build an international community working in this important area.

Keywords: data science; digital environment; digital technologies; environmental science.

Publication types

  • Review