Sunday, July 14, 2019


DG RTD Lunchtime conference on geoethics


Martin Bohle
Martin Bohle (IAPG Board of Experts) gives a Lunchtime Talk on geoethics at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Union in Brussels (Belgium) on 18 July 2019. His talk is entitled "Exploring Societal Frameworks of the Geosciences"

Mainly using examples, the presentation illustrates the following line of thoughts:

Geosciences help to build human niches of twinned natural and cultural landscapes. Bundled by global supply chains, human activities (engineering, production, consumption) restlessly alter them (Ellis et al. 2016, Dong et al. 2017, Rosol et al. 2017). Taking a systems perspective, the human niche is a network of complex-adaptive social-ecological systems. Often, such systems entangle human agents in operations that involve uncertainty, counter-intuitive system behaviour, irreversible path-dependency and multi-facet values and interests (Kowarsch et al. 2016, Preiser et al. 2018). A mutually accepted common cultural substrate would nurture favourably skills of actors and operational circumstances. Geoethical thinking explores how to develop such a substrate. Geoethics has emerged as a virtue ethics for responsibly acting geoscientists. Subsequently, it evolved into an ‘epistemic moral hybrid’ (Potthast 2015) that supports professionals and citizens when interacting with the Earth system (Bohle et al. 2019). Reliable operational guidance (a ‘geoethical rationale’) emerges when geoethics is combined with Kohlberg’s hierarchy of moral adequacy (Kohlberg 1981) and Jonas’s imperative of responsibility (Jonas 1984). It advises to be ‘actor-centric, virtue-ethics focused, responsibility focused, knowledge-based, all-actor-inclusive, and universal rights-based’. Such a ‘geoethical rationale’ help ‘to navigate the human niche’.

Bohle, M. (Ed.), Peppoloni, S., Di Capua, G., Bilham, N., Marone, E., Preiser, R. (2019). Exploring Geoethics - Ethical Implications, Societal Contexts, and Professional Obligations of the Geosciences. Cham: Springer International Publishing, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12010-8.

Donges, J.F., Lucht, W., Müller-Hansen, F., & Steffen, W. (2017). The technosphere in Earth System analysis: A coevolutionary perspective. The Anthropocene Review, 4(1), 23–33, https://doi.org/10.1177/2053019616676608.

Ellis, E.C., Richerson, P.J., Mesoudi, A., Svenning, J.-C., Odling-Smee, J., & Burnside, W.R. (2016). Evolving the human niche. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(31), E4436–E4436, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1609425113.

Jonas, H. (1984). The Imperative of Responsibility. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kohlberg, L. (1981). Essays in Moral Development and the Idea of Justice. San Francisco: Harber & Row.

Kowarsch, M., Garard, J., Riousset, P., Lenzi, D., Dorsch, M. J., Knopf, B., … Edenhofer, O. (2016). Scientific assessments to facilitate deliberative policy learning. Palgrave Communications, 2, 16092, https://doi.org/10.1057/palcomms.2016.92. 

Potthast, T. (2015). Toward an Inclusive Geoethics - Commonalities of Ethics in Technology, Science, Business, and Environment. In Geoethics (pp. 49–56). Elsevier, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-799935-7.00005-8.

Preiser, R., Biggs, R., De Vos, A., & Folke, C. (2018). Social-ecological systems as complex adaptive systems: organizing principles for advancing research methods and approaches. Ecology and Society, 23(4), art. 46, https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10558-230446.


Rosol, C., Nelson, S., & Renn, J. (2017). Introduction: In the machine room of the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene Review, 4(1), 2–8. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053019617701165.


Other IAPG events on geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org/events

______________________________________________

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Saturday, July 6, 2019

3rd Workshop of the
Erasmus+ project GOAL


IAPG attends the 3rd workshop of the European project Erasmus+ GOAL "Geoethics Outcomes and Awareness Learning", that is held in Vienna (Austria), from 8 to 13 July 2019.
IAPG, partner of the project GOAL, is represented by Giuseppe Di Capua (IAPG Treasurer).
The workshop is organized by the Austrian team of the project and is focused on "Geoethics and Water".

More info on the project GOAL: https://goal-erasmus.eu/

Other projects in which IAPG is involved:
http://www.geoethics.org/participation-in-projects


______________________________________________

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Friday, July 5, 2019


IAPG-Iran has a new coordinator


Nima Nezafati is the new coordinator of IAPG-Iran. Nima is Assistant Professor of Economic Geology (and Archaeometry) at the Department of Earth Sciences of the Islamic Azad University, Tehran (Iran).

Nima replaces our two former co-coordinators, Vahid Ahadnejad (Geology Department, Payame Noor University, Tehran) and Sedigheh Seifilaleh (in the past, University of Tehran, Institute of Geophysics).

Nima has a BSc in Geology, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran; MSc in Economic Geology, Research Institute for Earth Sciences (affiliated to the Geological Survey of Iran), Tehran, Iran; PhD in Mineralogy (Economic Geology and Archaeometry) at University of Tübingen, Germany; postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Heidelberg, Institute of Earth Sciences and the Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum-Archäometrie (Mannheim), Germany; postdoctoral research fellow at the German Mining Museum and the Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany.

Currently, he is Head of Department of Earth Sciences at the "Science and Research Branch" of the Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

Congratulations to Nima and a great thanks to Vahid and Sedigheh who established the section and contributed to increase the number of IAPG members in Iran.

List of 30 IAPG national sections: http://www.geoethics.org/sections

______________________________________________

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Monday, July 1, 2019


Declaration of Antananarivo
on geological heritage and
its conservation in Africa


Signed by:
Nicolas Charles. PanAfGeo
Djimadoum Nambatingar, OAGS - Organization of African Geological Surveys
Enrique Diaz-Martinez, ProGEO - European Association for the Conservation of Geological Heritage
Ezzoura Errami, AAWG - African Association of Women in Geosciences and AGN - African Geoparks Network

Antananarivo (Madagascar), 8 June 2019

Under the patronage of the PanAfGeo Project "Geoscientific Knowledge and Skills in African Geological Surveys" and after previous consensus among the participants of the Geological Surveys of Africa present at the training of Work Package 6 on "Geological Heritage" which took place from June 3 to 8, 2019 in Antananarivo (Madagascar), we, the representatives of PanAfGeo, OAGS, ProGEO, AAWG and AGN, wish to express through this declaration certain statements and recommendations concerning geological heritage and its conservation in Africa.....

Download here: http://www.geoethics.org/resources

______________________________________________

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Friday, June 14, 2019


SpringerBriefs in Geoethics


IAPG is launching a new important editorial project on geoethics.

SpringerBriefs in Geoethics envisions a series of short publications that aim to discuss ethical, social, and cultural implications of geosciences knowledge, education, research, practice and communication. 

The intention is to present concise summaries of cutting-edge theoretical aspects, research, practical applications, case-studies across a wide spectrum.

SpringerBriefs in Geoethics are seen as complementing monographs and journal articles, or developing innovative perspectives with compact volumes of 50 to 125 pages, covering a wide range of contents comprising:

  • philosophy of geosciences and history of geosciences thinking;
  • research integrity and professionalism in geosciences;
  • working climate issues and related aspects; geoethics in georisks and disaster risk reduction;
  • responsible georesources management;
  • ethical and social aspects in geoeducation and geosciences communication;
  • geoethics applied to different geoscience fields including economic geology, paleontology, forensic geology and medical geology;
  • ethical and societal relevance of geoheritage and geodiversity;
  • sociological aspects in geosciences and geosciences-society-policy interface;
  • geosciences for sustainable and responsible development;
  • geoethical implications in global and local changes of socio-ecological systems;
  • ethics in geoengineering;
  • ethical issues in climate change and ocean science studies;
  • ethical implications in geosciences data life cycle and big data;
  • ethical and social matters in the international geoscience cooperation.

Typical topics might include:

  • Presentations of core concepts.
  • Timely reports on state-of-the art.
  • A bridge between new research results, as published in journal  articles, and a contextual literature review.
  • Innovative and original perspectives.
  • A snapshot of a hot or emerging topic.
  • In-depth case studies or examples.

Both solicited and unsolicited volumes are considered for publication in the SpringerBriefs in Geoethics. Potential authors are warmly invited to complete and submit the Briefs Author Proposal form. All projects will be submitted to the editor-in-chief for the consideration of the editorial review by the editorial board.

SpringerBriefs are characterized by expedited production schedules with the aim for publication 8 to 12 weeks after acceptance and fast, global electronic dissemination through the online platform SpringerLink.
The standard concise author(s) contracts guarantee that:

  1. an individual ISBN is assigned to each volume;
  2. each volume is copyrighted in the name of the authors;
  3. authors and IAPG retains the right to post the pre-publication version on their respective websites.

Editorial Board
The SpringerBriefs in Geoethics is initiated and supervised by Silvia Peppoloni (editor-in-chief) and an editorial board formed by Nic Bilham, Peter T. Bobrowsky, Vincent S. Cronin, Giuseppe Di Capua, Rika Preiser, Artur Agostinho de Abreu e Sá, Iain Stewart.

The SpringerBriefs in Geoethics is sponsored by IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics.

The SpringerBriefs in Geoethics page in the IAPG website:
http://www.geoethics.org/springerbriefs-geoethics


______________________________________________

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Monday, May 27, 2019

IAPG symposium on geoethics at the 36th IGC:

Geoethics: Ethical, Social and 
Cultural Aspects in Geosciences


The 36th IGC - International Geological Congress will be held in Delhi (India) from 2 to 8 March 2020.

IAPG is organizing the Symposium 1.7,  entitled "Geoethics: Ethical, Social and Cultural Aspects in Geosciences" and chaired by Silvia Peppoloni (silvia.peppoloni@ingv.it) (Italy), Nic Bilham (UK), Peter T. Bobrowsky (Canada), Martin Bohle (Belgium), Vincent S. Cronin (USA), Giuseppe Di Capua (Italy), within the Theme 1 "Geoscience for Society".

Description of the Symposium 1.7 by IAPG:

All branches of geosciences have ethical, social and cultural implications. Geoethics aims to provide a common framework for these concerns, and to discuss on the appropriate behaviors and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system.

The spectrum of topics this symposium aims to deal with includes:

i) ethical and social problems related to management of land, coasts and open oceans,
ii) socio-environmentally sustainable supplies of energy and geo-resources, 
iii) pollution and its impact, 
iv) resilience of society related to natural-anthropogenic hazards, and risk mitigation strategies, 
v) geoscience communication and education, 
vi) culture and value of geodiversity, geoheritage, geoparks, 
vii) role of geosciences in socio-economic development regardless of countries' wealth while respecting cultures, traditions and local development paths, and in promoting peace, sustainable development and intercultural exchange. 

Acknowledging the role of Geoscientists at the service of society, this symposium, proposed by IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics (http://www.geoethics.org), aims to develop ethical and social discussion on following topics, including case-studies: 

a) Geoethics in natural-anthropogenic risk management, 
b) Ethical aspects of geoscience education and communication,
c) Geoethics for responsible use of geo-resources, 
d) Research integrity and professional deontology in geosciences, 
e) Geoethics in addressing global societal challenges.

The abstract submission is open (deadline: 31 August 2019):
http://www.36igc.org/abstract-submission

Registration to the 36th IGC (super early bird registration by 31 July 2019):
https://in.eregnow.com/ticketing/register/default/36IGC?ccy=USD


_____________________________________________
IAPG for the 36th IGC 2020:
http://www.geoethics.org/36thigc

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

IAPG session on geoethics at the EGU 2019:
Susanne Schneider-voss and
the Ethics Platform of the BOKU University


Susanne Schneider-voss (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria) speaks about the poster on the Ethics Platform of the BOKU University in Vienna, presented in Vienna at the EGU General Assembly 2019, during the IAPG session on Geoethics (http://www.geoethics.org/egu2019):

EGU2019-14037: Values: discuss, reflect upon, live (by Susanne Schneider-voss, Markus Fiebig, Günter Langergraber, and Sebastian Handl)

Read more about this poster at:
https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2019/EGU2019-14037.pdf

Video of Susanne's interview in the IAPG YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI-KnIjqK00




_____________________________________________
IAPG YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/iapgeoethics

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Monday, May 20, 2019


Seminar
"Geoethics and Geological Culture"

by
Silvia Peppoloni

University "Roma Tre"
Largo San Leonardo Murialdo 1
Rome (Italy)

24 May 2019
10:00 - 12:00
Aula E


Silvia Peppoloni
Silvia Peppoloni (Secretary General della IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics e Coordinatore della Sezione di Geoetica e Cultura Geologica della Società Geologica Italiana) holds the seminar entitled "Geoethics and Geological Culture" at the University "Roma Tre" (Rome, Italy).

This event is included in the list of seminars "Geology for the Working Environment" for university students in Geological Sciences. The seminars are organized by the University "Roma Tre" in cooperation with the Professional Association of Geologists of Lazio.

Website of the University "Roma Tre":
https://www.scienze.uniroma3.it/news/posts/2006


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org 

Friday, May 17, 2019

a new paper just published (free access):

The ‘Anthropocene Proposal’:
A Possible Quandary and A Work-Around

(by Martin Bohle and Nic Bilham)


Abstract
The debates about naming the unfolding times of anthropogenic global change the ‘Anthropocene’ are ultimately debates about the ‘human condition’. The proposal to amend the geological time scale by adding an ‘Anthropocene’ epoch (that is, the ‘Anthropocene proposal’ in its strict sense) is both an intra-geoscience debate about scientific sense-making and a debate about the societal context of the geosciences. This essay juxtaposes these debates, starting from three postulates: first, that the scientific methods of geological chronostratigraphy are applied rigorously; second, that anthropogenic global change is happening; and third, that the ‘Anthropocene proposal’ may be rejected if it does not meet the conditions required for its approval based on the rigorous application of the scientific methods of geological chronostratigraphy. These postulates are analysed through the lenses of the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics and the normative statements of the ‘geoethical promise’. It is found that an ethical quandary would arise if the ‘Anthropocene proposal’ were to be rejected. Consequently, and given the societal contexts of the geosciences, it is explored whether distinguishing between the geological past (as demarcated according to current chronostratigraphic methodology) and contemporary geological–historical times (characterised somewhat differently) could offer a work-around to tackle the quandary.

Keywords
Anthropocene; societal geosciences; geoethical promise; ethical dilemma; geological time scale

How to cite
Bohle M. and Bilham N. (2019). The ‘Anthropocene Proposal’: A Possible Quandary and A Work-Around. Quaternary, 2, 19; doi:10.3390/quat2020019.

Download this paper
https://www.mdpi.com/2571-550X/2/2/19


Publications on geoethics
http://www.geoethics.org/publications

_____________________________________________
IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics 
http://www.geoethics.org

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

IAPG session on geoethics at the EGU 2019:
Vitor Correia and the project INTERMIN


Vitor Correia (EFG - European Federation of Geologists) speaks about the poster by the INTERMIN project, presented in Vienna at the EGU General Assembly 2019, during the IAPG session on Geoethics (http://www.geoethics.org/egu2019):

EGU2019-6822: Social skills: the cornerstone of the 21st Century mining sector. The International Network of Raw Materials Training Centers project (INTERMIN) (by Jelena Vidovic, Vitor Correa, Luis Jorda, Manuel Regueiro, Boris Malyuk, and Philipp Hartlieb)

Read more about this poster at:
https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2019/EGU2019-6822.pdf

Video of Vitor's interview in the IAPG YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L3A5Smq9c8

INTERMIN project website:
https://interminproject.org/






_____________________________________________
IAPG YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/iapgeoethics

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Conference on Geoethics in Munich
9 May 2019


Martin Bohle
Martin Bohle (IAPG Board of Experts) takes a conference in Munich (Germany) entitled (in German): "Geoethics Verantwortung übernehmen als Geowissenschaftler*in?", organized by the Working Group on Environmental Geosciences of the Münchner GeoZentrum.

The conference takes place on 9 May 2019 at Hörsaal C 006, Luisenstr. 37, Munich.


For information: ag.umweltgeo@gmail.com

Download the leaflet:
http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/5195a5_7ab096def92f4aef8e30031e9cc5fe40.pdf


_____________________________________________
IAPG events on geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org/events

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Interviews at the IAPG session on geoethics
at the EGU 2019


With this post we start to publish some short interviews we took at the last EGU General Assembly 2019 in Vienna, during the IAPG session on Geoethics (http://www.geoethics.org/egu2019).

In this first video, Nic Bilham (IAPG Continental Coordinator for Europe) comments on the IAPG session.

Video of Nic's interview in the IAPG YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0TjjBnPz40





_____________________________________________
IAPG YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/iapgeoethics

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Friday, April 26, 2019


"...our future on this planet needs an assumption of responsibility by all..."
(an interview to Silvia Peppoloni by AGU)


AGU - American Geophysical Union interviewed Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General) for Earth Day celebrated on 22 April 2019 and AGU's Centennial.

The interview has been published in the section "Paths through Science" of the AGU website and "StoryCorps Archive". 

The full audio interview is available at:
https://archive.storycorps.org/interviews/our-future-on-this-planet-needs-an-assumption-of-responsibility-by-all/

Here below, you can read the interview: 

AGU: Tell me your earliest memory of being interested in science

Silvia: In general, since I was a child, I had a fairly rational approach to things, driven by a great curiosity to understand how the world worked, an attitude that pushed me to ask myself the causes that were behind the phenomena.

I can tell you a funny memory that dates back to when I was about six years old. I was playing with the water that flowed from the tap and I just couldn’t understand where the water came from and where it ended up once it entered the drain hole. At the same time, I was perfectly aware that I did not have the ability to understand at that moment, but I was sure that over the years I would have acquired that competence. So, I thought of taking some water from the tap and closing it tightly in a glass bottle. Then I put a label on it where I wrote day, month and year. And finally, I swore solemnly not to open that little bottle until I was capable of analyzing its content and maybe to understand its origin.  The funny thing is that I still have that bottle, I never opened it and even today, when I recall that episode, I can’t help but laugh at me. But definitely, I recognize in that little girl something that still characterizes me, that is a great curiosity, the tendency of posing myself in front of a phenomenon in a way that can be defined “scientific”, to get to the truth of things.

AGU: Explain the steps you took to have a career path in academia or research? Please include your education

Silvia: At the beginning of my studies, when I was a teenager, I was fascinated by humanities: philosophy, art, the classical ancient world, and the beauty of the Italian language were my main interests. Moreover, from the age of eight, I devoted myself to the study of the piano. Thus, I opted for the secondary school, which in Italy is called “classical high school”, centered on disciplines such as Latin, Greek, history, art and philosophy …. But at the same time, I could not escape from the great amazement (and even fear) that natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, aroused in me. So, at the end of secondary school, when the time came to choose a course of study at the university. I chose to study Earth sciences. Although disciplines such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry were definitely penalized in the humanities school, it was very easily for me to recover my gaps with respect to the students coming from the scientific school. Indeed, sometimes, when I had to solve a mathematical equation, it seemed to me that my brain used the same logical strategies that it used to translate a Greek or Latin text.

Today, years later, I recognize that a humanities background represents an additional resource for anyone, even for those who want to dedicate their lives to scientific studies. My experience at the university was very positive: professors were capable of transferring to me the love for the study of natural dynamics and processes of the Earth, the wonder for the evolution of life, but also the rigor of the scientific method and the importance of developing rigorous technical tools to investigate and understand how the planet works. My degree and my PhD were focused on the study of geomorphological processes, on geological landscape forms, on river dynamics and morphotectonics.

But, over time, I felt the need to give more concrete outputs to my knowledge. Slowly, I became convinced that geoscience knowledge goes beyond the simple intellectual satisfaction and love for science. The specific knowledge and skills that I was building for my career, could have clear repercussions on society and the environment. Thus, I turned my interest to studies on geological hazards and risks and to their immediate applications, such as seismic microzonation, and in general, the study of the geological vulnerability of inhabited centers. These have been and are my research fields at the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, where I have worked since 1999. During my work, I became increasingly aware that the geoscience activity involves great responsibilities and the duty of using our knowledge to best serve public good. These are the reasons that led me to develop geoethics, which today represents my main scientific activity. I felt the urgent need for an ethical and social reflection on geosciences practice and research. Finally, only a few years ago,  I added to my career the activity of the geoscience dissemination, through the cooperation with Italian newspapers and the publication of books that meet interests, needs and concerns of the general public.

AGU: What were some challenges or obstacles you had to overcome to pursue your career choices?

Silvia: I think that sometimes the greatest obstacles to career are built by us, whenever we have no confidence in ourselves, every time we give in to a difficulty, every time we exclude a possible path considering it too difficult for us. But undoubtedly, there are external circumstances that can hinder a person’s career path. As far as I am concerned, the biggest obstacle I encountered was basically caused by the envy of a group of colleagues, who perceived the efforts and interests I put in my scientific activity as a threat, an unwelcome interference in what they probably considered their own field of action. In particular, one of those colleagues, a senior scientist, instead of dealing with me in a professionally correct way, started to defame my reputation worldwide. And this continued for years, in the complete silence and sometimes with the connivance of his closer followers. My fault was having started to develop my own ideas in that field they probably believed to be their exclusive sphere of competence. At that time, 10 years ago, I was at the beginning of my career and they were senior scientists. And today, years later, I realize that can be difficult for a young scientist to contrast similar pressures and intimidations.

In my case, an excessive respect for the old age of this person prevented me to denounce his absurd behavior in front of the scientific community, although every day I received dozens of emails with insults and threats and my life was becoming a hell. The support of many colleagues, who took my side, helped me to go ahead, to not let myself be intimidated. For those who are insecure by character, obstacles can completely block actions. I think that any obstacle can become a mountain if determination and self-confidence are missing. On the contrary, many difficulties can be overcome if we strongly believe that what we are doing is right. And fortunately, on our career path we meet many open, honest colleagues, ready to share that path. Opening up to others is fundamental in the work of a researcher: sharing ideas and results, promoting scientific debate and comparing honestly our point of view with different visions, is the best way to grow and improve ourselves.

AGU: What skills and knowledge, technical or non-technical, do you use in your work?

Silvia: In general, when I approach a new job, I try to use all my knowledge and skills, not only scientific, but also organizational and managerial knowledge, with the aim to plan the phases in which to articulate that activity and assign tasks, focusing on subject of study, methods, objectives to be achieved. In particular, I try to make use of my past experiences, accompanied by a good dose of common sense. The beginning of an activity is the moment in which all our knowledge can help us, even the knowledge apparently further from the specific field of our competences. Going forward in the activity, obviously I need to apply more strictly scientific methods and tools, specific for that research subject, both technical and theoretical, that are appropriate to develop new knowledge and results. Anyway, every time it seems to me that all the things that I have learned over the years, none excluded, are useful for achieving the goal, even those lying in some forgotten part of my brain.

AGU: Describe the most exciting part of your research or teaching

Silvia: Undoubtedly the most exciting part of my scientific activity is represented by the phase in which my team and I must confront ourselves with others, the phase in which we open ourselves to the scientific debate. Once the results of a study are known, they are ready to be shared with the scientific community through the publication. At this point, you can have positive or negative feedback, which in any case remain valuable and indispensable opportunities for scientific improvement: in the first case they are cause of great satisfaction, in the second one they are surely an opportunity for a scientific growth. In fact, a criticism leads us to re-examine and verify our reasons, to support them if we confirm their correctness or to review them if we have made mistakes. That’s the best moment of my scientific research activity, the moment in which I have to go beyond my possible rigidities.

AGU: Describe the most discouraging part of your research or teaching and how do you overcome this limitation

Silvia: In my experience, the most discouraging moment of the research is when the interlocutors, with whom I compare my work, are not willing to listen my point of view, showing a non-constructive attitude or even an attitude of total closure. When I’m not free to express my idea, or worse when external pressures are exercised on me, such as to prevent me from acting frankly, that is the moment of greater frustration. How to behave in these circumstances? It is difficult to remain open and well-disposed, but I believe that striving to find a dialogue is always the solution that in the long term can re-activate reciprocity.

AGU: What is something you wish you had known earlier in your career?

Silvia: I would have wished to meet someone who would tell me how to optimize my time and efforts, which activities did not deserve my energies and which ones could open important opportunities for me. A mentor, capable of transferring a long-term vision, is an indispensable figure for a young scientist who wishes to undertake research, especially in a field such as geosciences, which combine theoretical and practical aspects and need continuous updating.

AGU: What advice do you have for students considering a career in the Earth and space sciences?

Silvia: I'm convinced that science needs above all credible people and that our future on this planet needs an assumption of responsibility by all, without exception, scientists included. So, my advice for students who are approaching a career in Earth and space sciences is to always be true, to be the first to believe in what they are doing, to always ask themselves about their duties and responsibilities, and to be capable of combining their ideals with the concreteness of our wonderful and beloved geosciences.


Paths through Science:
https://careers.agu.org/profiles/silvia-peppoloni/

StoryCorps Archive:
https://archive.storycorps.org/search/interviews/?q=agu



______________________

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics