As PhD students and staff members at the University of Glasgow we receive an excessive and distracting amount of emails.
Most of these emails contain communication regarding seminars and events that do not interest us, and are on topics far detached from our areas of academic and personal interest. Some examples of emails we receive on a regular basis are:
- Adam Smith Business School Economics Seminar,
- Adam Smith Business School Wards seminar,
- Glasgow Talks...,
- Health and Environmental Economics Seminar,
- Practitioner Seminar,
- Scottish Centre for China Research,
- Scottish Centre for War Studies,
- Startup Grind
We also regularly receive emails about workshops, calls for papers, international student message, career service, internship hub, funding opportunities, myGlasgow news, surveys, and other talks.
Clearly only some of these are of interest to us.
The amount of daily emails is also very distracting.
We receive so many emails about talks and seminars that the organisers need to send us a reminder about their talks, which again increases the amount of emails we receive on a regular basis. This is clearly inefficient.
We are also aware of the environmental implication of this amount of emails being sent out on a daily basis.
20-25 unnecessary emails have a carbon dioxide (CO2) emission of 80 to 100 grams. This is similar to the impact of driving 1km in a new car. (source: http://carbonliteracy.com/the-carbon-cost-of-an-email
While we recognise that emails are far from being the major source of CO2 pollution, we also know that every little bit helps. This pollution could easily be avoided.
We strongly believe that email communication at the UofG can be made more efficient and effective.
We have 3 propositions on how this can be achieved:
1- SUBSCRIPTIONS: instead of automatically getting emails about all types of events and seminars, PhD students and staff should be able to sign up to a mailing list. They would then only be notified about events that they are interested in.
2- COMPREHENSIVE EVENT LIST ONLINE: create a page that collects all events being put up by the College of Social Science, and keep it updated. Here people can subscribe to the seminar series they are interested in.
3- ONE EMAIL, sent out by the University on a Friday afternoon, with a brief overview of all the events for the following week (date, title, location). Event organisers should be giving all info to the University, and only the University can communicate it to the interested audiences. No reminders. No cross-posting. This one email could include new funding availability, deadlines, workshop info, and internships too.