Thursday, December 28, 2017

AT EGU 2018 AND RFG 2018

Thanks to a donation by Martin Bohle (IAPG Board of Experts), the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics will help to support the participation of 3 young geoscientists from low-income countries at the EGU General Assembly 2018 and RFG 2018 Conference, by covering the Abstract Processing Charge (40,00 Euros at EGU 2018 and 50,00 Canadian Dollars at RFG 2018 for each abstract). 
In particular, IAPG will assign:

- 1 grant for the session EOS4 on Geoethics at EGU 2018 (see the call for abstracts at:; 

- 2 grants for the sessions on geoethics RS13, RS10 or RS9 at the RFG 2018 (see the call for abstracts at:

Martin Bohle

A) Abstracts must be sent to Martin Bohle ( and Giuseppe Di Capua ( by 6 January 2016. Authors must indicate first name, last name, date of birth, country, affiliation, email address, and in which session the abstract should be submitted.

B) Giuseppe Di Capua, treasurer of the IAPG, will check the eligibility criteria (i): <=35 years at date of opening of EGU General Assembly 2018 (8/4/2018), and ii): affiliated to an institution/organization situated in a low-income country (see list of the World Bank

C) By 7 January 2018, Martin Bohle will rank the abstracts in view of two criteria:
i) scientific quality and ii) relevance; the two criteria have equal weight; in case of a tied situation a fair gender balance within the group selected awardees will be aimed at by Martin Bohle.

D) The list of applications and outcome of selection procedure will be published on the IAPG Website.

E) Abstracts will be submitted and paid directly by IAPG on behalf of authors.

We wait for your abstracts!

Thanks again to Martin Bohle for his generous sponsorship.

Please, kindly, share this announcement! Thank you.

Yankho Naomi Kalebe (Malawi) and Patrick Bacirhonde Maheshe (Democratic Republic of Congo).

Read more:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

IAPG wishes you all a new year of peace!

“… Geoethics widens the cultural horizon of geoscience knowledge and contributes to orient scientists and society in the choices for responsible behavior towards the planet …”

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Friday, December 22, 2017

Steps to improve awareness of geoethics in your department

by Vince Cronin, co-coordinator of IAPG-USA

Vince Cronin
I was offered the opportunity to address the 2017 Workshop for Heads and Chairs of Earth and Space Sciences Departments at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans last week (

I have posted the substance of my brief presentation about "steps to improve awareness of geoethics in your department" at page has a number of links to resources that you might find interesting or useful. 

I would be interested in having you read through the materials I have posted there, think about how you can help move this work forward, and then share your ideas, suggestions, and links to useful applied-ethics resources. You can post your contributions to IAPG ( directly or through its social media outlets (facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc.). This should be a shared effort to facilitate the ethical development of our geoscience community.

Facilitating the development of ethical geoscientists is the responsibility of all of us.

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

IAPG sessions on geoethics
at EGU 2018 and RFG 2018

The deadline for the abstract submission is approaching!

The calls for abstracts are open and IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics ( invites colleagues to contribute to the international discussion on geoethics by submitting abstracts in the IAPG sessions at RFG 2018 Conference and EGU 2018 General Assembly.


EGU 2018 General Assembly
(deadline for the abstract submission: 10 January 2018)

Vienna, 8-13 April 2018

Session EOS4: Geoethics: ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience knowledge, education, communication, research and practice
(full description at:


RFG 2018 - Resources for Future Generations Conference
(deadline for the abstract submission: 15 January 2018)

Vancouver, 16-21 June 2018

IAPG organizes or supports 5 sessions on geoethics (full description at:

- Session RS13: Geoethics and Environmental and Social Responsibility: Doing the Right Thing to Develop Resources for Future Generations

- Session RS10: Geoethics in geoscience education, communication and citizen science: experiences, approaches, and concepts

- Session RS9: Geoethics in georisks management for a safer and more resilient society

- Session RS8: Geoethics and the Responsible Conduct of Scientists

- Session RS12: Forensic Geology: Ethics, Communication, Regulation and Opportunities

Abstract submission at:

Join us in Vancouver and Vienna!!!

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Manuel Abrunhosa is the new member of the IAPG Board of Experts on Geoethics and Groundwater Management

The IAPG Board of Experts has a new member (Corresponding Citizen Scientist  - CCS): Manuel João Florentino Gomes Abrunhosa.

Graduated in Geology from the University of Porto (Portugal) in 1980, he obtained a Specialist degree in Hydrogeology from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in 1988.
Began his professional career as a Junior Geologist in 1977, even before graduating, in a private company, working, studying and continuing to give classes of assistance to the practical works of several disciplines of his Geology course, since 1974. After acquiring shares of a company of services of Applied Geology and Hydrogeology he managed since then, directed innumerable projects aimed to the private and public sector until 2009. Also in 1981, after public exams, became a Lecturer in the Course of Geology of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, having taught theoretical and practical classes, namely Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology, and Sedimentary Petrology, oriented pedagogic internships, and did research in hydrogeology of fractured media and in the optimization of groundwater exploitation in a thin coastal sandy aquifer. His interests included Geoarchaeology with collaborations in several research groups. Out of his academy he was invited to the foundation of the first academic course in Portugal on Environmental Health and Hygiene and of to the first Master in Environmental Marketing. He has extensive experience in Forensic Geology as an expert in lawsuits and pro bono support to heritage and environmental advocacy associations. Since 2006 he is an Independent Consultant Geologist. More recently he has been appointed as member of the Board of APEQ - Portuguese Association for the Study of the Quaternary (publisher of Estudos do Quaternário / Quaternary Studies) and the Portuguese Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. He is a member of several national and international scientific and professional associations. The ethics at the science production and practical applications of the Earth Sciences has always been a concern and a guideline for his activities, a challenge for a geologist who, being born from a school oriented to the exploitation of geological resources in what he calls back "Predatory Geology", has gradually changed his priorities to become a geoethics advocate as an environmental and social geologist.

IAPG Board of Experts:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

New paper:
Ethical Dilemmas in Geosciences.
We Can Ask, but, Can We Answer?

Marone E. and Peppoloni S. (2017). Ethical Dilemmas in Geosciences. We Can Ask, but, Can We Answer? Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 60, Fast Track 7, doi: 10.4401/ag-7445.

in: Peppoloni S., Di Capua G., Bobrowsky P.T., Cronin V. (eds). Geoethics at the heart of all geosciences. Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 60, Fast Track 7, 2017.

The choices of a geoscientist while carrying out his/her activity are always accompanied by ethical implications, because they can have a strong impact on the population, the natural environment, the economy, the landscape and the cultural resources of the affected area. It is not uncommon for a geoscientist to be faced with ethical dilemmas that are problems with a difficult solution, since options to solve such dilemmas will have negative consequences. How does one make a choice in these circumstances? What is the ethical duty of geoscientists and what has to be their professional attitude? In which cases do they have the duty to take action or the duty to not act (duty of omission)? A brief review of the concepts formulated by philosophers in reference to ethics can serve to provide some answers to the above questions and to understand how geoscientists can best serve society.

Free download:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The issue #4 - 2017 
of the IAPG Newsletter is out!

The issue #4 - 2017 of the Newsletter of the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics has been released on 5 December 2017.


- Call for abstracts on geoethics (RFG 2018, EGU 2018, Geoscience & Society Summit)
- Lectures (IAPG at AGU 2017 and WISE Event in Porto)
- National sections (Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Canada)
- Publications (papers for free download and new book)
- White Paper on Responsible Mining (just published)
- Geoethics Medal (rules for candidatures)
- From IAPG Blog (3 new articles)
- Donations (support the IAPG)

Download the IAPG Newsletter #4 - 2017 at:

Kindly, share this post. Thank you.

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

IAPG at AGU 2017 in New Orleans

Susan Kieffer
Susan Kieffer (IAPG Vice-President) gives an invited speech in the Union session U14A entitled "How Do We Ensure Research and Scientific Integrity? A Diverse Panel Discusses the Critical Components and Challenges of Crafting and Implementing Effective Scientific Integrity Policies." and convened by Elizabeth A Landau (AGU - American Geophysical Union), Kasey White (GSA - Geological Society of America), and Maeve A Boland (AGI - American Geosciences Institute). Her paper (code U14A-06), titled "The International Association for Promoting Geoethics: Mission, Organization, and Activities" is co-signed by Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General) and Giuseppe Di Capua (IAPG Treasurer). Susan will give her presentation on Monday, 11 December 2017 from 16:00 to 18:00, at New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - E2.

Programme of the Union Session U14A:

Other IAPG events:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Monday, December 4, 2017

IAPG in the WISE Multiplier Event in Porto

Giuseppe Di Capua (IAPG Treasurer) and Iain Stewart (IAPG Board of Experts on Geoscience Education and Communication), are invited to give speeches respectively on "Geoethics: Promoting Sustainability" and "Geocommunication and Sustainability" at the WISE Multiplier Event organized by Clara Vasconcelos (co-coordinator of IAPG-Portugal). WISE is an European Project: "Widening Interdisciplinary Sustainability Education" and Clara Vasconcelos is responsible for an overview report on “Ecosystem Services, Geoethics and Biodiversity”.
This event takes place at the University of Porto (Portugal) on 11 December 2017.

Giuseppe Di Capua
Iain Stewart
Clara Vasconcelos

More information:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Friday, December 1, 2017

News about IAPG-Canada

Dr. Jan Boon has been appointed as new coordinator of IAPG-Canada. He replaces Prof. Anne Marie Ryan, who IAPG thanks for her work as first coordinator of IAPG-Canada.
Currently IAPG-Canada has 40 members.

Jan Boon
Jan Boon has a Ph.D. in geochemistry. He retired in 2007 after a career that included teaching physical chemistry and research on tropical soils, oil sands research, and leadership of the Alberta Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada. Since then he obtained an M.A. degree in globalization and international development and a Ph.D. degree in sociology, with his studies focusing on social responsibility in mineral exploration and mining. Most of these studies were carried out in Latin America. 
He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Centre for Excellence in CSR (Canada), and has been a member of the CSR Committee and is a member of the International Affairs Committee of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. 
He currently is a member of the Environment and Social Responsibility Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining and of the Instituto de Ingenieros de Minas del Perú. 
Jan is member of the IAPG Task Group on Responsible Mining.

IAPG national sections:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

New paper:
Some Fundamental Issues in Geoethics

Abbott D.M. (2017). Some Fundamental Issues in Geoethics. Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 60, Fast Track 7, doi: 10.4401/ag-7407.

in: Peppoloni S., Di Capua G., Bobrowsky P.T., Cronin V. (eds). Geoethics at the heart of all geosciences. Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 60, Fast Track 7, 2017.

Ethics and morals concern themselves with distinguishing right from wrong, with actions, and with the volition involved. Dictionaries define “ethics” in terms of “morals” and “morals” in terms of “ethics,” so the terms are quite similar and circular. I define “morals” as informal statements and “ethics” as written statements adopted by some group. General morals apply to everyone while professional ethics generally apply only to members of a particular profession. Moral and ethical analysis requires careful and consistent discrimination of the relevant facts. It is important to remember that moral/ethical analysis does not resolve all questions because different people rank moral/ethical values differently. We must respectfully agree to disagree. Moral/ethical rules apply to all persons at all times. However, exceptions are allowed following careful analysis of the exception. For example, surgeons are allowed to cut people open, most of us are not allowed to do so. Moral/ethical aspirations are statements encouraging a particular activity but no demerits follow from choosing to follow one aspiration and not another. Continuing professional development (CPD) provides an example. Geoscience ethics codes all recommend CPD, which is aspirational. For those societies that require some minimum amount of CPD, an aspiration has become a rule. Honesty is the principal geoscience ethical rule. Some geoscience societies have disciplinary procedures, most do not; nor should they. Disciplinary procedures must allow for due process and appropriate confidentiality until resolved.

Free download:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Monday, November 27, 2017

New paper:
Furthering Ethical Requirements for Applied Earth Science

Bohle M. and Ellis E.C. (2017). Furthering Ethical Requirements for Applied Earth Science. Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 60, Fast Track 7, doi: 10.4401/ag-7401.

in: Peppoloni S., Di Capua G., Bobrowsky P.T., Cronin V. (eds). Geoethics at the heart of all geosciences. Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 60, Fast Track 7, 2017.

To face the challenges that anthropogenic global change poses to societal development, the ethical framework for Earth science needs to be robust and both accepted and personally adopted by geoscience professionals. Geoscience and engineering are increasingly called upon to inform societies about anticipated social and environmental outcomes based on scientific understanding. Some professions are regulated to maintain the quality of work, professional integrity, and the trust of the stakeholders. In less applied professions, the role of training in research integrity is important. An oath or promise would strengthen the ethical framework for applied Earth sciences going beyond the existing professional codes relating to research integrity, public regulations or professional charters that refer especially to engineering works.

Free download:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The IAPG section of the United Kingdom

Welcome to the IAPG section of the United Kingdom! 

The section will work under the responsibility of David Craig Ovadia, Former Director of the British Geological Survey’s International Division. Honorary Associate of the University of Dundee, Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law.

David Craig Ovadia
David is a British geologist with extensive experience in research, academia, geological surveys and the mining industry. He has graduate and post-graduate degrees in geology and physics from the Universities of Liverpool and Birmingham, and has studied management at the Cranfield Business School.
Following a number of years of post-doctoral research roles in various UK scientific institutions, during which he also held several university positions, he served as the Director of the British Geological Survey’s International Division until 2011. He was a Non-executive Director on the boards of the Rainbow Seed Fund and Spectrum General Partner Ltd, UK companies specialising in venture capital funding of science businesses, and later as Chairman of South East African Mining (SEAM) Ltd, a London registered company exploring for gold in Malawi. Since 2011 he has been the President and CEO of Avenco Ltd, a UK mineral exploration company, Chairman of International Geoscience Services Ltd and a Non-executive Director of London AIM listed mining investment companies Coburg plc and Blenheim Natural Resources plc.
He has worked on numerous geological and mining projects throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia, and has been advisor and exploitation manager to two recent EU projects. He has also acted as consultant to the World Bank on African geological data. He is the author of over 30 publications and was awarded the MBE for services to international science in the New Year Honours List of 2010. He is currently an Honorary Associate of the University of Dundee, Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law.

Other IAPG national sections:

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Geoethics at EGU 2018

(deadline: 10 January 2018)

IAPG organizes the session EOS4 entitled:

Geoethics: ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience knowledge, education, communication, research and practice

Silvia Peppoloni, Nic Bilham, Martin Bohle, Giuseppe Di Capua, Eduardo Marone

Session description:
Geoscientists of all disciplines face ethical issues when exercising their professions. All branches of geosciences have ethical, social and cultural implications. Geoethics intends to provide a common framework for these concerns, such as to discuss the values which underpin appropriate behaviors and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system. Building on recent efforts the geo-ethical frameworks for geoscience research and practices, which can help geoscientists confronting ethical dilemmas and make them more aware of their responsibility in conducting their activities, have to be developed constantly.
Geoethical principles apply to geoscientists' work across four equally important domains: the self, colleagues, society and the natural/cultural environments. Respectively, the spectrum of geoethics topics is very large. It includes, for example, issues of research integrity and professional deontology, conduct of research activities such as design of research questions, observation schemes, data gathering data analysis, simulation and scenario/theory building, interinstitutional matters such as conflicts of interests and publishing ethics, the role of geoscientists in sustainable development, exploration and use of geo-resources, water and soil while meeting high standards of environmental protection, the defense of the society against natural risks, and the impact of human activities (including pollution) on human wellbeing and Earth System Dynamics (e.g. climate, nitrogen fluxes). Furthermore, the spectrum includes interfaces with social sciences and humanities, for example when encompassing the ethical implications of science communication, public awareness of the importance of geosciences, geo-education for the citizen, of geoheritage and geoparks as tools to raise insights into the importance of Earth system to our lives and cultures. Finally the spectrum includes also addressing harassment and discrimination in the geosciences, including on grounds of gender, ethnicity or disability; so is the role of geosciences in the economic and social development of low-income countries while respecting local cultures and traditions, and in promoting peace and intercultural exchange. 
Geoscientists make fundamental contributions to address many of the most urgent problems that are affecting Earth and people. Technical knowledge and expert advice are vital for informed decision-making, education at all levels, and to equip the citizens to participate at the quest and implementation of solutions to these problems. Geoscientists with awareness of their ethical responsibilities towards themselves, colleagues, society and the environment will be able to put their knowledge at the service of society, to communicate it effectively, and to foster public trust in science-based solutions.
The conveners invite abstracts on both practical and theoretical aspects of geoethics, including case studies. The aim of the session is to develop ethical and social perspectives on the challenges arising from human interaction with natural systems, to complement technical approaches and solutions, and to help to define an ethical framework for geoscientists' research and practice in addressing these challenges.
The session is organized by the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics ( in cooperation with the Geological Society of London (

Other information about the IAPG sessions on geoethics in the past EGU General Assemblies (from 2012):

Abstract submission:

Roland Schlich travel support by EGU:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Monday, October 30, 2017

There is more to shared value than you might think

by Ian Thomson
Ian Thomson

Shinglespit Consultants Inc.

This article was originally published online in Resource Global Network (November-December 2015): 

When the subject turns to value and values, it may be necessary to exercise caution and seek more information. This is not something to trifle with. Value and values are subject to variable meaning and understanding. Just what are we getting into by opening a conversation on this topic?

First there is the problem that value and values can be both nouns and verbs. What's more, as nouns, these words have multiple meanings. They can refer to colour intensity, a linguistic unit, the duration of a sound note in music, and a numerical amount in algebra. Then there is the more familiar use of value and values as referring to something important, useful or held in high regard. However, there are at least three application of this meaning: value and values as the importance or usefulness of something; as an expression of material or monetary worth; and, not to be forgotten, as the principles or standards of behaviour to live by. Then there is the matter of perception and interpretation. What is valuable to one person may have no value to another. It can get complicated and become the source of tension and even conflict when individuals or groups have different opinions on value or values.

Social psychologist John Haidt in his fascinating book "The Righteous Mind" describes how shared values define three distinct groups within the United States, which happen to also describe the three dominant political movements in the country; liberal (Democrat), conservative (Republican) and libertarian (Tea Party). Haidt provides an intriguing analysis of the moral foundations to these groups, which also explains why they behave as tribal units fiercely proclaiming the superiority of their values and feeling deeply resentful when another group attempts to impose their values through laws and regulations. The polarization of politics and the political process in the United States becomes inevitable as the various tribes vie for dominance and the opportunity to apply their vision of what is right and just.

Fairness is a value that appears to be present in all cultures and societies. Children learn about fairness at an early age through playing games. They do not like to be cheated or have free riders that do not contribute. Haidt and his research partners have been able to show that, while everyone dislikes cheaters and free riders, perceptions of fairness differ systematically among the political tribes of the United States. According to Haidt:

  • Liberals have a concern for the disadvantaged with compassion and political and economic equality key elements of fairness. For liberals the most important value is care of the victims of oppression.
  • Conservatives do not emphasise fairness and further qualify it in terms of proportionality: 'you get back what you put in' and 'three strikes and you are out', which has a flavour of retribution that makes liberals uncomfortable.  For conservatives the most important value is to preserve the institutions and traditions that sustain a moral community.
  • Libertarians emphasise being self-sufficient and not a burden to others. Fairness is simply proportional with a particular distaste for free riders, who should be heavily sanctioned. For libertarians, the most important value is individual liberty.

From this analysis it is clear that individuals and groups can and do share values that, de facto, allow them to be part of the group. People involved in business share common values that are inherent to the business of doing business. Since economic activity is an essential aspect of modern society, administrators and politicians share many of the same values. As a consequence they see economic wellbeing measured by income and employment as the ultimate indicator of success. They are convinced that these values are of paramount importance and arrive at the moral imperative that they should be promoted ahead of any others. Which takes us to the issue of Shared Value as a business proposition.

As articulated on the Shared Value web site and in the publication 'Extracting with Purpose', there is great confidence that Shared Value can provide positive outcomes for both mining companies and communities. Shared Value is described as a management strategy focussed on companies creating measurable business value by identifying and addressing social problems that intersect with their business. Shared Value focusses on the creation of meaningful economic and social value – new benefits that exceed the costs for the business and society. However this confidence appears flawed and based on the assumption that the values of business are congruent with those of communities. Two statements put this in doubt. First, the Shared Value proponents assert that 'shared value is not about including stakeholders' values in corporate decisions'. Second, they also claim that a by-product of successful program implementation is a positive social license to operate.

The unilateral promotion of values creates unintended risks. As shown by the example from the United States, the unquestioned imposition of one groups' values on another will create tensions and can lead to conflict.  Communities are not businesses, they have different values.  While employment and incomes are important, they do not define the moral matrix of all communities. Many, notably indigenous communities and those in the developing world, prioritize social well-being, self-determination, and the centrality of cultural values and social institutions. Further, there is ample evidence that the strongest determinant for the social licence to operate is the quality of the relationship between the company and the community. It is emphatically not what is done by the company; it is how it is done. Communities value the quality of contacts with the company, being included in planning and decisions, and being able to define their own futures. The highest quality of social licence comes when companies and communities collaborate. A company that makes decisions in isolation and then imposes them on a community is asking for trouble.

Shared Value has potential provided it is tempered by rational application through recognition and reasonable alignment between the values of both company and community. This implies trade-offs, which in turn indicates the need for dialog between the parties to find the points of convergence that will deliver genuine 'shared value' and a social license to operate. Only by engaging with the community will companies find out which values are genuinely 'shared' and be able to identify the place and scale of action that will provide real success.

Other articles published in the IAPG Blog:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics