Flying...? UMCG researchers cycle to conference in Prague

'What time does you flight depart?' A common question among colleagues who have to travel a lot for work. Sometimes there is no other way and a journey has to be made by plane, but often there are alternatives. Researchers from the UMCG are drawing attention to this by cycling to Prague: a journey of almost 800 kilometers that they will cover in four days.
From left to right: Suzanne Voorrips (physician-researcher), Nils Bömer (assistant professor), Joost Beusekamp (AIOS) and Bart van Essen (physician-researcher).

From left to right: Suzanne Voorrips (physician-researcher), Nils Bömer (assistant professor), Joost Beusekamp (AIOS) and Bart van Essen (physician-researcher).

Seven young researchers at the UMCG think things should be different. 'Many doctors and scientists like us travel around the world by plane to attend conferences,' says assistant professor Nils Bömer. 'Too often and too easily the plane is chosen.' To raise awareness of more environmentally friendly options, Bömer and three of his colleagues are therefore cycling to Prague, where a major scientific conference on heart failure will take place on Saturday 20 May.

A sportive challenge

Almost 800 kilometres in four days. That is the challenge they are taking on. On Tuesday 16 May, they leave from the UMCG, to arrive in Prague on Friday after four stages of almost 200 kilometers a day. To be well prepared for the challenge, they train several times a week. Three other colleagues will follow them and provide all supplies along the way.

Compensate other participants' CO2 footprints

'Besides raising awareness, we also want to contribute to making the conference climate-neutral,' says physician-researcher Marlene Vijver, one of the colleagues who will assist the cyclists along the way. 'That is why we are collecting money to compensate the CO2 footprint of every conference visitor who does come by plane. We have calculated that we need to raise 30,000 euros to do so. We will donate that to FairClimateFund, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting climate change and promoting sustainable development.'

All support is welcome

Would you like to support the researchers in their mission? You can do so by donating

Sportive support is also welcome. If you would like to cycle along on the first day and/or help raise money, please contact Marlene Vijver to discuss options: [email protected]

Do you want to follow their journey? Follow the researchers on Instagram: @sustainably2esc.