Sunday, September 30, 2018

Considerations upon the goals

of the new "Geoethical Promise"

by Sandra Piacente
Sandra Piacente

Former professor of environmental geology and cultural geomorphology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), she is author of books and over 100 scientific papers on geomorphology, resources and natural risks, geoeducation, didactics of sciences and appraisal of geological heritage. Currently her interests are oriented to the ethical aspects of geological research 

As many of you already know, the new Italian graduates in Geological Sciences and Technologies and Earth Sciences of Modena-Reggio Emilia and Milan universities received a parchment containing the "Geoethical Promise" during the summer session of the Master degrees. The new graduates officially pronounced this promise, with great emotion.
I think it is important to express some thoughts and considerations, that might help in making this success even more effective and significant. This result was achieved under the positive influence and great satisfaction resulting from one of the most symbolic goals prefixed by the former Commission on Geoethics of the Italian Federation of Earth Sciences (Matteucci R., Gosso G., Peppoloni S., Piacente S., Wasowski J., 2014 – The Geoethical Promise: a Proposal. Episodes, vol. 37, n. 3, pp. 190-191; Piacente S. 2014 – La Geoetica. In: Panizza M., Piacente S., "Geomorfologia Culturale", pp. 318-322, Pitagora Ed., Bologna).
The officialization of this symbolic act is full of meaning for those who believe in the ethical and social value of our profession of geologists and in the cultural and educational strength of geosciences. This is without doubt an important step towards the improvement of studies and research in the wide field of knowledge of the dynamics of our planet, especially as regards the topics of risks and natural resources.
This implies a full awareness of the social role and authoritativeness of the geologist's role. Indeed, this specialist should be the first one to acknowledge his/her role and pose him/herself as a protagonist on the debates concerning the responsibilities on the problems regarding the Earth's dynamics. In order for this to occur, it is necessary to operate before the final phase of declaration of the master degree in Geological Sciences. Therefore, the "Geoethical Promise" should be the result of a preparatory phase developed along the whole course of the studies, in order to understand fully its importance, and cultural and social implications. In the opposite case, there is the risk of presenting to the new graduates only a nice piece of paper. This might gratify them at first, but it would be just one of the many declarations of good will that they could receive during their professional life or teaching and research activities.
Through his/her own research and abilities, each teacher must find the right words and methods in order to disseminate the ethical importance that should permeate the work of future geoscientists. This is true especially in an epoch like ours, characterised by widespread environmental degradation resulting from a lack of generalised responsibility towards the conservation, safety and improvement of all the assets of our Planet. Consequently, a new and urgent responsibility is needed, affecting the structure of the whole degree course. Therefore, not only «the commitment which involves the new graduate», but first of all the irremissible values present in each course. This can be achieved with a common look towards both the past, considered as an inalienable pillar to refer to (even in a critical sense), and the future, which will be more demanding but in any case different and more responsible.
This is also a way to reaffirm trust towards science and its unifying power, in order to attain a cultural thought more inclined to comparison and cooperation.
The aims are to promote a new educational and cultural institutional context to be achieved also by means of a constant and more open debate, involving the diverse souls of our disciplines. This requires the overcoming of some intellectual laziness, often caused by institutional commitments and duties – although not justifiable – which sacrifice and obscure the great ethical resource inborn in the heritage of geological knowledge.

The "Geoethical Promise":

Translation of the "Geoethical Promise" in 35 languages:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Chris King awarded
with the Geoethics Medal 2018

We are pleased to inform that the Geoethics Medal 2018 of the IAPG has been awarded to Chris King "for his valuable contribution in promoting Earth Sciences in society by introducing innovative methods and tools to teaching, aiming at the proactive involvement of end-users based on developing their critical thinking and observational scientific approaches.
Chris King teaches (geo)scientific methods and geological knowledge in an easy, attractive and passionate way, through which he offers clear and careful explanations of geological observations without trivializing the content whilst always paying great attention to the quality of the scientific discourse. 
His efforts in promoting geoeducation are much more than a mission to disseminate Earth Sciences knowledge among students and the general public: Chris King is an excellent example of a geologist who feels and practices his geological activity as a geoethical duty towards society."  

Chris King, BSc Honours in Geology from the University of Bristol, energetically promotes geological knowledge worldwide among students and the general public, strongly contributing to raising global awareness of the importance of geoeducation and the dissemination of geoscientific methods and information within society. His career began as geologist working in industry (he was a diamond prospector for De Beers for five years, in South Africa, Swaziland and Australia). He then became a school teacher and a university professor (he became Professor of Earth Science Education at Keele University in 2006 and retired in December 2015).

Chris King has contributed (and is continuing tirelessly) to developing excellent geoeducation activities, among them Earthlearningidea, an admirable innovative project on Earth-related teaching-ideas, that he instigated in 2007. This has changed the way that the teaching of geoscience knowledge is seen globally.

As Chair of the Commission on Geoscience Education (COGE) of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), Chair of the Committee on Education of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), Adviser  and past-Chair of the Council of the International Geoscience Education Organisation (IGEO), Chair of the Earth Science Education Forum (England and Wales), Past-Chair of the Earth Science Teachers' Association (ESTA) and current Chair of the ESTA Secondary Committee, he has achieved an internationally-renowned role as geoeducator in the geoscience community.

As keynote speaker at the International Geological Congress (Cape Town, 2016; Brisbane, 2012) and in many other international conferences held in Austria (2017, 2004), Bangladesh (2009), Canada (2016, 2007, 2003), Italy (2008), Japan (2002), Norway (2008), Nigeria (2016), Russia (2011), South Africa (2016, 2010, 2004), Spain (2010) and Taiwan (2001), he has promoted his teaching methods and activities to a global audience. He is an example of geologist keen to enable his colleagues to educate their students more effectively and to transfer geological knowledge to society. Nearly 300 of the activities developed by Chris and his colleagues have been published and are freely downloadable from the internet, primarily for use in the developing world, but widely used in the developed world as well; they have been translated into Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Norwegian, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Japanese, Polish, Slovakian and Catalan.

His commitment to geoeducation was rewarded by Honorary Life Membership of the Earth Science Teachers’ Association (ESTA) in 1994. Moreover, in 2003 he was awarded the Geological Society’s ‘Distinguished Service Award’ and, in 2011, the Geologists’ Association’s ‘Halstead Medal’, for ‘work of outstanding merit, deemed to further the objects of the Association and to promote Geology'.

From his career, is clear that Chris King’s efforts in geoeducation have had the goal of serving society: he has used his geological knowledge in his profession of geoscience educator and communicator as part of his fundamental geoethical duty towards the public and in particular, to our younger generations.

Congratulations Chris King!


Geoethics Medal:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

IAPG-Nepal has a new co-coordinator

We are pleased to inform that IAPG-Nepal has now 2 co-coordinators, covering different geoscience topics.

Ranjan Kumar Dahal, Associate Professor of Engineering Geology at the Central Department of Geology, Geodisaster Research Center, Tribhuvan University, has been appointed co-coordinator of IAPG-Nepal and will chair the section along with Shree Prasad Vista, who has managed the section till now.

Shree Prasad Vista is coordinator of Soil Science and Ecological sector of IAPG-Nepal, while Ranjan Kumar Dahal is coordinator of the Engineering Geology sector of the section. 

The Nepalese Society of Engineering Geologists (NSEG), Nepalese branch of the IAEG (that has an agreement for cooperation with IAPG) has offered to host officially the secretariat of IAPG-Nepal. 


More info about Ranjan Kumar Dahal (PhD, PostDoc, M.ASCE)

Ranjan Kumar Dahal
Ranjan Kumar Dahal is an Associate Professor of Engineering Geology at Central Department of Geology, Geodisaster Research Center, Tribhuvan University. He graduated from Tribhuvan University, Nepal with Masters of Science (M.Sc.) in Geology and also holds a Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Engineering from Kagawa University, Japan. He worked in Ehime University, Japan as a JSPS Postdoc researcher primarily focusing on geological hazards, landslide hazard evaluation, engineering geological investigation of roads, tunnels and dams. In his professional capacity, Dr. Dahal currently serves Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University as Coordinator of MSc in Engineering Geology program since March 2016. He has published more than 60 technical/scientific papers in peer-reviewed international and national journals. He is also author of a seminal book on Himalayan geology and has co-authored three books in his discipline. He was awarded the Young Scientist Award of Nepal in 2009 by the Nepal Academy for Science and Technology (NAST) to commemorate his scientific and academic achievements. In 2010, he was appointed a Fellow Academician in NAST by Prime Minister of Nepal. Dr. Dahal serves Kagawa University (Japan) as visiting professor, and Ehime University (Japan) as visiting associate professor addendum to his post at Tribhuvan University. Dr. Dahal possesses international experience in multitude of research projects, training courses and consulting projects related to geohazard risk assessment from Japan, Taiwan, and India.
As Management Director of International Consortium of Geodisaster Reduction (ICGdR), Dr. Dahal works in close coordination with geohazard experts of Japan, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, USA and European countries for the geodisaster reduction. Dr. Dahal fulfills editorial responsibilities in several international and national journals, such as the Springer Open Journal of Geoenvironmental Disasters as Associate-Editor-in-Chief, the International Journal of Landslide and Environment (IJLE) also as an Associate-Editor-in-Chief, Nepal Journal of Science and Technology (NJST) as an Associate-Editor-in-Chief, and as an editor for the Bulletin of Engineering Geology and Environment. He is also associated with Himalaya Conservation Group (HCG) as Chief Technical Adviser in advocating research based policy making concepts in Nepal. He was assigned as special expert for the Sunkoshi Landslide Dam rescue and response program of Government of Nepal in 2013 and he helped Nepal Army to open a landslide dam in a manageable way. In the aftermath of 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, Government of Nepal nominated him as a member in the National Reconstruction Consultant. Backed by long expertise and exposure in national as well as international geohazard research, he is serving Nepal for appropriate mitigation practice for landslides, rockfalls and an array of geohazards. Dr. Dahal has pioneered rock fall hazard mitigation practice in Nepal by collaborating with his Austrian colleagues. 
Dr. Dahal is Coordinator and representing IGC Co-host Nepal (Nepal Academy of Science and Technology) in the organizing committee of the International Geological Congress 2020, New Delhi (India).
More details about Dr. Dahal are available at:


List of the 30 IAPG National Sections:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Geoethics & Groudwater
Management Congress
1st Announcement 

The first announcement of the Geoethics & Groudwater Management Congress (GEOETH&GWM’19), that will be held in Porto (Portugal), from 21 to 25 October 2019 is out.

GEOETH&GWM’19 convenes groundwater specialists, scholars and professionals, as well as educators, students, and early career colleagues in the first specialized world forum for discussing theory and practice, sharing values, knowledge, research, educational projects, best practices and strategies aiming at the responsible integrated management of groundwater resources for a resilient and sustainable future.

Major themes of the GEOETH&GWM’19:

1) Fundamentals of Hydrogeoethics: Cultures, principles and geoethical values in the philosophy of groundwater resources, legal frameworks, policies, management models, professional practices and citizen action.

2) Lessons for a resilient and sustainable future with Hydrogeoethics: Case studies of geoethics in groundwater science-engineering, profession and management.

3) Scientific and humanistic components of Hydrogeoethics: Education and professional training of geoethics in groundwater management.

IAH - International Association of Hydrogeologists and IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics delegated the task to organize this Congress to the Executive Council of the Portuguese Chapter of IAH (AIH-GP).

Manuel João Florentino Gomes Abrunhosa, chair of the GEOETH&GWM’19 Organizing Committee, is member of the IAPG Board of Expert for Geoethics in Groundwater Management.

Download the first announcement of the GEOETH&GWM’19:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: