BIOS was founded in 2015 by a group of researchers who felt that the connections between different environmental issues, such as climate change and the use of natural resources, were often missing from public discussion. The media, for example, often saw environmental issues as separate from the economy and politics, creating a need for multidisciplinary work weaving together the dimensions of natural and social sciences as well as humanities. The aim of the independent research unit, in addition to knowledge production, is to develop research-based societal dialogue with various stakeholders, especially journalists and decision-makers.
BIOS was launched with a pilot project in collaboration with the News and Public Affairs unit of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE): BIOS compiled a scientific knowledge base for journalists on seas, forests, food and climate change, amongst other things. At the same time, journalistic methods were developed to improve the communication of environmental issues. Since then BIOS has worked extensively with various partners and projects. Its scientific background document for the UN Global Sustainable Development Report 2019 attracted widespread international media attention. Since its early stages Helsinki Biennial has engaged in dialogue with BIOS. Currently, the unit consists of eight researchers: Jussi T. Eronen (b. 1978), Ville Lähde (b. 1972), Karoliina Lummaa (b. 1977), Paavo Järvensivu (b. 1982), Antti Majava (b. 1977), Tero Toivanen (b. 1980), Tere Vadén (b. 1969) and Emma Hakala (b. 1984).
Photos: Matti Pyykkö