Thursday, August 8, 2013

A year ago...

On August 8, 2012, Silvia Peppoloni, Secretary General of the IAPG, announced the foundation of the International Association for Promoting Geoethics in her keynote speech, during the 34th International Geological Congress in Brisbane (Australia).

She emphasized the importance to recognize and promote the cultural, social and educational value of Earth Sciences, and to stimulate a critical attitude towards the ethical problems in the study and practice of Geosciences among scientists.

In this sense, she underlined the need to introduce a Hippocratic-like oath for young geoscientists (and proposed a formula as a member of the Italian Committee on Geoethics), with the aim of raising the awareness of the role they play in society, protecting the environment, in a perspective of sustainability of georesources, and acting to mitigate natural risks.

Finally, she addressed the scientific community, by posing the following questions in order to stimulate a progress in the field of Geoethics:
  1. How can we articulate the ethical criterion for geoscientists? 
  2. How can the freedom of research and actions be combined with the principles of sustainability? 
  3. Where should the line be drawn between preservation and economic development of the geosphere, especially in low-income countries? 
  4. How can the relationships between geoscientists, media, politicians and citizens be made more profitable, particularly in the defense against natural hazards? 
  5. What communication and educational strategies should be adopted to transfer the value of the geosciences to society? 

She concluded her speech with this reflection:
Before acting and understanding how to act, as Geoscientists we should recognize the value of our actions, to assure a real and long-lasting rootedness of practices, codes and regulations”.

After one year, the IAPG has grown. It has a large number of members in many countries, in all continents.

Recently, it has been recognized as an affiliated organization by the IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences).

Happy birthday to the IAPG and thanks to all those who are supporting it, in the awareness that we all need to seek answers and solutions to the geo-environmental challenges of our time.