ARCTIC FUTURES 2050: Science to Inform Decisions

Conference Overview


The rapid changes taking place in the Arctic call for immediate policy responses well informed by science. Today’s policy decisions concerning the Arctic will have substantial long term and global consequences.


Strong and iterative collaborations—in which Arctic scientists and decision makers inform one another—will help ensure that research adequately anticipates policy and management needs.


Understanding and responding to the changing Arctic requires the combined efforts of scientists from many disciplines, Indigenous knowledge holders, resource managers, and others operating in the Arctic. These diverse actors need to convey their understanding clearly, succinctly, and at appropriate times to decision makers including policy makers at all levels of government, natural resource managers, as well as military, industrial, and other operators in the Arctic.


A novel conference of Arctic scientists and decision makers jointly exploring the science needed to inform decisions concerning the Arctic in the coming decades. The collaborative exploration will ask what:

  • we currently know (and don’t know) about the changing Arctic and why it matters?
  • challenges confront decision-makers in the rapidly changing Arctic?
  • basic research (e.g., process studies) is needed to inform responses to Arctic change?
  • applied research (e.g., impact studies) is needed to inform responses to change?
  • tools can facilitate informing decision making with science?
  • opportunities exist for partnerships between decision makers and scientists?


National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC


4-6 September 2019


  • Proceedings co-authored by scientists and decision makers
  • More effective and iterative collaborations among scientists and decision makers