Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Linda Gundersen awarded
with the Geoethics Medal 2019

We are pleased to inform that the Geoethics Medal 2019 of the IAPG has been awarded to Linda Gundersen, scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey, "for her unselfish work and scholarly contributions in leading the advancement in scientific integrity and professional ethics in the geosciences. Gundersen’s transformative work across governmental, academic, non-profit, and private institutions has made her one of the world’s leading authorities in “geoethical” scholarship, policy and practice. Linda Gundersen was one of the early leaders in proactively promoting what is now called geoethics. She created and was first Director of the USGS Office of Science Quality and Integrity, implementing bureau-wide programs in scientific integrity, ethics, publication, research excellence, post-doctoral fellows, youth internships, education, and Tribal relations. Since retiring in 2012 she has dedicated her time to promoting scientific integrity, ethics, and diversity in the geosciences, including leading and/or influencing major ethics policy revisions at the American Geophysical Union, the American Geosciences Institute, The Geological Society of America, and the U.S. National Academies of Sciences. Linda sets the example for highest standard of geoethics service, practice, and scholarly excellence."  

Linda Gundersen began her scientific career at the U.S. Geological Survey, where her geological training was notably combined with ethical approaches to achieve notable results benefiting society. Gundersen's early work in studying radionuclides helped redefined how radon was looked at. Her work also gave the science community a powerful tool to assess radon, leading to the creating of radon potential mapping. Publications such as her "Mapping the radon potential of the United States: Examples from the Appalachians", were used to set policy at the national and state level. This work helped lay the foundation for additional national geohealth assessments in the U.S., and provided positive public examples of applied geoethics. 

Gundersen's scientific leadership lead to further advancement to become the USGS Chief Scientist. In this role she led the implementation of community science databases. She also assembled and led a group of research scientists who were at the cutting edge of their fields and wrote "Geology for a Changing World 2010-2020." This strategic blueprint document further set the stage for basic principles for broader applied geoethics. Geology for a Changing World contains six goals that emphasize many of today's basic principles of "geoethical thinking." To quote from the executive summary of this prophetical 2006 document "These six goals focus on providing the geologic underpinning needed to wisely use our natural resources, understand and mitigate hazards and environmental change, and understand the relationship between humans and the environment." As seen in the above examples, Linda's scientific work consistently demonstrates a strong understanding and promotion scientific ethics and integrity in achieving scientific advancement to meet societal needs. Notably, Gundersen was the founding and inaugural head of the Office of Science Quality, and Integrity at USGS. Additionally, she has been widely recognized for her scientific leadership work through awards such as her election as Fellow of the Geological Society of America and a U.S. Department of Interior Meritorious Service Award for contributions to environmental geology, economic geology, program management and leadership.

Perhaps equally important, Linda has devoted the past decade of her life in being a notable and unrelenting positive force for change in promoting geoethics scholarship, policies, and practice across the scientific community. Linda co-authored or led the development of scientific integrity policies for USGS (2007), Department of Interior (2011), American Geosciences Institute (2015), and the American Geophysical Union (2012 and 2017). Her ethics leadership and influence is also exemplified by her work as editor and an author of the book "Scientific Integrity and Ethics in the Geosciences" (2017). More recently Linda served on the National Academies of Science Committee on the Impacts of Sexual Harassment in Academia whose report Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences, released in June 2018, further extending her influence and knowledge of scientific ethics to additional important issues for today's world that negatively impact our science. Linda has been repeatedly in action! Much of at least the initial development of AGU's ethics efforts were guided by Linda. Her then continued commitment helped develop AGU's current program over several years, which is now providing an influence across scientific societies and expanding further. She led the key task force that led ultimately to AGU's current ethics center and helped develop a wider positive conversation around ethics, diversity, and equity.

Linda's broad understanding of ethics, encompassing diversity to leading practices for data stewardship and more, greatly influenced the broader AGU effort around ethics, equity, open data practices, and culture change, as well as AGU's decision to include harassment and bullying as scientific misconduct. Over the years, she has always been available for and regularly provided advice and input, and has helped on several additional directed projects for AGU or reviewed practices at other institutions through AGU. Linda Gundersen's name is synonymous with advancing ethics education and practice in the geosciences.

Congratulations Linda Gundersen!


Geoethics Medal:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Very important news from the 36th IGC!

Organizers of the 36th IGC - International Geological Congress that will be held in Delhi (India) from 2 to 8 March 2020 released 4 important news:

1. The revised last date of abstract submission is now 15 October 2019

2. There is no abstract submission fee till 15 September 2019

3. Abstracts submitted between 16 September 2019 and 15 October 2019 will attract a fee of USD 20 or its INR equivalent for the Indians.

4. The deadline of Super Early Bird Registration is now extended to 31 August 2019

We take this opportunity to invite you to submit abstracts to the IAPG symposium 1.7 (http://www.geoethics.org/36thigc):

Geoethics: Ethical, Social and Cultural Aspects in Geosciences

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.

Submit your abstract (new deadline: 15 October 2019):

IAPG for the 36th IGC 2020:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Susan Kieffer elected to the WSAS

IAPG is glad to announce that Susan Kieffer (IAPG Vice-President) has been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS), a not-for-profit organization of about 300 members, "for furthering the fields of fluid dynamics as it pertains to volcanoes, geysers, rivers, and modelling the thermodynamic properties of minerals, as well as advancing the scientific understanding of meteorite impacts."

"WSAS directs member expertise toward solving some of the most vexing problems facing [the] state through connecting experts to state agencies and non-government organizations." 

The WSAS organizes multi-disciplinary roundtable discussions, workshops, and symposia to assess risks and define critical research gaps. Studies are peer reviewed and provide technically sound resources for informing the development of Washington state policy. 

Congratulations Susan!


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Tailings Dam Management
for the Twenty-First Century

What Mining Companies Need to Know
and Do to Thrive in Our Complex World

Dr. Franco Oboni and C.H. Oboni

Franco Oboni
This book discusses a comprehensive approach to address the need to improve the design of tailings dams, their management and the regulation of tailings management facilities to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the risk of such facilities failing. The book summary, ToC are available at https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030194468It includes specific sections discussing what the public seeks in terms of disclosure of risk exposures, geo-ethics and its design implications.

Cesar Oboni
The scope of the challenge is well documented in the report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and GRID Arendal entitled “Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident,” which was released in October 2017. 

The report identifies several areas where further improvements are required. In this context, the application of cutting-edge risk-assessment methodologies and risk-management practices can contribute to a significant reduction and eventual elimination of dam failures through Risk Informed Decision Making. 

Figure 1. Tailings flood downstream
of Samarco Tailings Dam, Brazil.
The book is based on over thirty years of world-wide consulting experience, relentless methodological research and development, prior books, courses, seminars delivered to corporate key stakeholders, public and governmental agencies, public hearings, expert witnessing in civil and criminal courts, and over fifty technical papers. Its purpose is to identify and describe those risk assessment approaches and risk management practices that must be implemented in order to develop a path forward to reach profitable and sustainable operations that will be corporately and societally acceptable from a risk standpoint. This will simultaneously cover the interests of the public, lenders, investors and insurers as well.

Figure 2. Graph showing one hundred years
of tailings dams failures around the world*.
Thus, the book discussion focuses on identifying and describing the risk-assessment approaches and risk-management practices that need to be implemented in order to develop a way forward to achieve socially acceptable levels of tailings dams’ risks. A complete case study, in the form of a dams’ portfolio risk prioritization geared towards risk mitigation explores the interaction between corporate and societal risk tolerance and how both must guide risk based decision-making.

The book is written for a wide audience concerned by tailings dams risks, from general public up to mining companies board of directors. The language is plain and mathematical concepts are introduced parsimoniously, on a strict need-to-reference basis.

source: https://www.riskope.com/2017/02/22/hundred-years-lessons-learned-tailings-dams-failures/

Other publications on topics of interest for Geoethics:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Geoethics and
responsible use of geo-resources

A video just released by the European Project GOAL

In this video Giuseppe Di Capua (geologist, technologist at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Treasurer of the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics) introduces the audience to the geoethical aspects related to responsible use of geo-resources.

The video is part of the Intellectual Outputs (IO1) of the European Erasmus+ project GOAL "Geoethics Outcomes and Awareness Learning" (https://goal-erasmus.eu/). IAPG is official partner of the project GOAL.

Here the link to the video: https://youtu.be/23nwwu79sSA

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

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:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 

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:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 

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: 

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: