Thursday, December 1, 2016

A report on the IAPG sessions on Geoethics at the 35th IGC

Geoethics has got an important space in the programme of the last 35th IGC - International Geological Congress in Cape Town (South Africa), thanks to several events organized by IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 6 oral sessions, 1 poster session and 1 panel session ( 27 speakers with different skills and expertise, coming from 17 countries in 5 continents, have discussed both theoretical aspects and case-studies of geoethics, covering a wide spectrum of geoethical issues: theoretical and educational aspects of geoethics (Silvia Peppoloni, David Mogk, John Geissman and Shree Prasad Vista), ethical implications in mining (Edmund Nickless, Pekka Nurmi, Madhumita Das), in geohazards (Eldon Gath and George Stone), in geoheritage and environmental protection (Margaret Brocx); relationships between geoscientists and decision makers (Mark Priddle), ethical activities in geoscience organizations (Christine McEntee and Heather Houlton), frauds in paleontology (Artur Sà), ethical aspects in data management (Michiel Van der Meuluen and Serge Van Vessel), geoscience communication (Iain Stewart, Martin Bohle, Nick Bilham) and local population involvement (Daniel Lebel), global initiatives on sustainability and risk reduction (Joel Gill), geosciences to serve society (Jean-Robert Mweze, Nic Bilham, Ezzoura Errami, Marie Fleming and Koen Verbruggen). 5 keynote speakers (Silvia Peppoloni, Christine McEntee, Iain Stewart, David Mogk, Edmund Nickless) and 5 panelists (Nic Bilham, Ruth Allington, Silvia Peppoloni, David Mogkm Heater Houlton) have outlined "What’s the point of geoethics", highlighting key-issues and giving a framework of reference for the future development of geoethics. A large audience  has accompanied all the 3 day-sessions, with a fruitful involvement into the discussion.
The great success of the discussion on geoethics in Cape Town is the result of a cooperative work leaded by IAPG together with IUGS-Task Group on Global Geoscience Professionalism (TG-GGP), Geological Society of London (GSL), European Federation of Geologists (EFG), EuroGeoSurveys (EGS), and contributions of representatives of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), American Geophysical Union (AGU), Natural Resources Canada (NRC), African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG), Geological Survey of Finland (GSF), Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GSN), Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI).
The interest of geoscientists in geoethical aspects has exploded and today geoethics has a visibility that it has never had before. In the last 4 years IAPG has worked to give scientific dignity to Geoethics, building  a clear conceptual substratum, that constitutes a strong base for the future development of ethical issues, at disposal of the geoscience community. This result represents a point of arrival after the foundation of the IAPG (in 2012 at the 34th IGC), and at the same time a starting point for a new phase of geoethics and the Association. In her keynote, Silvia Peppoloni announced the publication of the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" by IAPG, that takes stock of the situation on geoethics, giving essential points of reference. 
IAPG thanks all those have contributed to the success of the symposium on geoethics.
A photogallery of this event is in preparation.