Bruce Beck's memories while he was in the Resources and Environment Project from 1977-1982 as printed in the Options Magazine, Summer 1992.

Picture_658.jpg © IIASA

My five years at IIASA were a defining experience. I had some scientific prejudices knocked our of me and my academic horizons immeasurably expanded. The institute became my natural intellectual home and I dearly would have wished to carry this home with me.

For a long time I shared an office with someone I assumed to be a senior Soviet. I was fascinated that our office was a focal point for other Soviets in the institute: What messages were being conveyed in this language I could not understand? Perhaps it was merely that the Americans were going to be nailed at softball on Friday. I would love to know now.

We were still sharing our office when President Carter's military mission failed to retrieve the US hostages in Iran. Our discussion of this was the nearest we came to true political dialogue.

I learned many interesting phrases, such as the "oil-to-brick ratio", of some of my colleagues.

The Research Plan was ever in need of words that would "concrelicise" yet be elastic. I suppose this meant that it would look specific for Council, when in fact we would juggle with whomsoever would be there next year. Being specific in the plan was always difficult.

Above all, I recall sitting in my office, looking out the window and saying to myself, "The grass is greenest here".


View on purple sunset over the Brazilian rainforest in the Amazon region

05 August 2022

Carlos Nobre elected as a foreign member of the Royal Society

Brazilian climatologist and former IIASA Council Member for Brazil, Carlos Nobre, has been elected as a foreign member of the Royal Society. He is the first Brazilian scientist to join the world’s oldest scientific society since the 1800s.
Asian couple using digital tablet to take picture of rice field

28 July 2022

Tapping the potential of citizen science to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals

A new policy brief from the EU-funded Crowd4SDG project offers guidelines for National Statistical Offices on how to unleash the potential of citizen science in monitoring progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
blue and yellow background with VIenna STatement on Science Diplomacy

20 July 2022

Advocating for a global commitment to science diplomacy

The Vienna Statement on Science Diplomacy, a document advocating for a renewed global commitment to international scientific cooperation to help countries build stronger relations for the benefit of all of humanity, has been endorsed by more than one hundred eminent personalities from the academic and policymaking community.