Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Geoscientists as social and political actors

by Silvia Peppoloni
(IAPG Secretary General)

Keynote at the Union Symposium 1 (US1)
EGU 2020: Sharing Geoscience Online

4 May 2020 (16:15-17:45 CEST)

Open to anyone and free of charge

Co-sponsored by

Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General) has been invited by Alberto Montanari (EGU President) to give a keynote speech at the Union Simposium 1 “Best practices for scientific integrity and scientific freedom in an age of pandemics - and beyond”, that will be held at the EGU 2020: Sharing Geoscience Online on 4 May, from 16:15 to 17:45 (CEST).
Convenership: Alberto Montanari, Robin Bell, Hodaka Kawahata, J. Douglas Walker. The other confirmed speakers are: Jonathan Bamber, Chris McEntee, Claudia Jesus-Rydin, Jorge A. Huete-Perez.

The title of Silvia’s talk is “Geoscientists as social and political actors”.

Here her abstract: 
Geoscientists are at the fare front of informing on and supporting society to face global anthropogenic changes, at all levels. This requires making excellent science, in the full awareness of one's role towards society. Research integrity and professionalism are the bedrock on which the individual geoscientist can develop a deep sense of responsibility and build a functional science-society relationship, being conscious of the ethical obligations that this implies. It is precisely within the dyad individual-society that the utmost ethical and social value of the activity of geoscientists is achieved, as in this context they assume at the same time the dual role of moral subjects and social actors, and consequently can realize the meaning of being active and responsible subjects in the service of the human beings. In order to achieve this goal, each geoscientist should individually strengthen the perception of being: (a) a moral subject, therefore an agent consciously responsible for the own conduct and the ethical and social implications of own actions; (b) a social and political subject, who actively contributes to the construction of the idea of society, to the vision of its future, to its cultural and economic development, including the creation of a knowledge society based on the democratic value of shared responsibility. Within the ethical framework of reference in which geoscientists are called to act, there is an indispensable prerequisite, that makes possible the responsible action and allows behaving ethically: individual freedom. A cohesive, motivated, and responsible international geoscience community can assure a safe operating space to geoscientists and encourage them to follow best practices and ethical behaviours while conducting their activities, to qualify their work and recognize the value of a responsible action to counter abuses, intimidations and political pressures. This cannot simply be entrusted to codes of ethics and/or conduct, but demands an intense ethical training for the geoscientists, that shows them the numerous circumstances and difficulties that each one might be called upon to face during the scientific and professional career.

Download the Union Symposium 1 summary:

Join the online session Mon, 04 May, 16:15–17:45 (free of charge):

Read the list of keynote speeches and abstracts:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

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