Alice Vadrot receives an ERC Consolidator Grant

Platform member Alice Vadrot receives an ERC Consolidator Grant at the University of Vienna with her research project TwinPolitics, which is endowed with almost 2 million euros!

Digital twins for a sustainable future of the oceans

To address the urgency for action on climate change and biodiversity conservation, the European Commission is currently building a digital twin of the ocean (DTO). Digital twins are a method for analysing complex systems and developing "what-if" scenarios to accelerate the implementation of global sustainability goals. The EU DTO is part of a broader global and national effort to develop highly accurate digital models of the ocean for better policy making in the field of marine conservation.
The ERC project TwinPolitics investigates the development of digital twins as a (geo)political phenomenon that could permanently change the interface between science and politics. The focus here is on the question of whether, and if so, how digital twins can contribute to a fairer organisation of multilateral negotiations in the future. TwinPolitics will develop new methods to empirically investigate digital twins as socio-technical and political relationships and to model their emergence at the interface between science and politics. To this end, Alice Vadrot and her research group will combine methods from ethnography and computational social science and apply them to digital ocean twins in the EU, China and the USA. In order to identify which features of digital twins promote inclusion, diversity and equity, ethnographic data will be collected at different policy levels and from a variety of research sites. These will then be fed into socio-technical models. In a final step, the use of digital twins in multilateral negotiations will be tested using three examples: the International Seabed Authority, negotiations on a new UN plastics agreement and negotiations on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity.


About Alice Vadrot

Political scientist Alice Vadrot has been Associate Professor for International Relations and Environment at the Department of Political Science since February 2022. She completed her doctorate on the World Biodiversity Council in 2013 and returned to the University of Vienna in 2017 after a two-year research stay at Cambridge University as an Erwin Schrödinger Fellow of the Austrian Research Fund (FWF). Her focus is on researching the interface between science and politics in international environmental diplomacy and developing new methodological approaches to examining the role of knowledge in international negotiations. In 2018, the political scientist received an ERC Starting Grant for her project MARIPOLDATA (2018-2024), in which she and her research group are mapping negotiations on a new agreement to protect the high seas and the development of the scientific field of marine biodiversity. As part of the EU project MARCO-BOLO (2022-2026), she is investigating the need for data in biodiversity policy and nature conservation practice. Vadrot is a member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), the Mission Board of the EU Water Mission, the Management Board of the Environment and Climate Hub of the University of Vienna and the management team of the Austrian Biodiversity Council.
You can hear more about Alice Vadrot's research here in the Audimax podcast of the University of Vienna's science magazine Rudolphina (in German).

Further information
 (in German)

Warmest congratulations to our colleague Alice!