Wednesday, January 27, 2021

IAPG Annual Report 2020 for the IUGS

We have released the IAPG Annual Report 2020 for the IUGS - International Union of Geological Science. This report contains the chief products of the IAPG since its foundation, chief accomplishments 2020 and plans 2021.

Free download of the pdf version (click here)


Other IAPG Annual Reports:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Nuclear weapons banned from today:
welcome to the era of responsibility
(but also of uncertainty)

by Silvia Peppoloni*

This article was published in ReWriters Magazine, in Italian and English:

* Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome (Italy); Secretary General of the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics; Councillor of the IUGS - International Union of Geological Sciences; Member of the Nominating Committee of the CIPSH - International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences. Email:

Silvia Peppoloni
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, announces that humanity is in front of "an important step towards a world free from nuclear weapons", after the fiftieth ratification, at the end of last October, of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The international agreement of 2017 was initially approved by more than 120 nations, but the signatories do not include the major nuclear powers on the planet, including their allies. Therefore, the United States, Russia, China, India, France, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, as well as Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey are not among the signatory countries of the agreement and therefore are not subject to the sanctions imposed on the signatories of the treaty in case of non-compliance with its clauses. In fact, nothing changes in the global geopolitical status quo, which is based on deterrence through the construction and maintenance of the most fearsome military arsenals of all time. Few States, and among them some with dictatorial regimes of uncertain political and economic stability, responsible for a constant violation of the most basic human rights, keep the entire planet in a balance of fear, on the edge of a nuclear apocalypse.

Russia’s 2020 declassification of the video recording of a nuclear experiment with a hydrogen bomb (the so-called "Tsar Bomb") conducted in 1961, at the time of the Soviet Union, sketches a possible future. The video shows the mushroom cloud of the largest explosion ever produced by the human hands, with a power equal to 3000 times that of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in the Second World War and which reached 61 km in height.

However, this treaty nonetheless represents an ethical turning point in the life of the international community. First, the agreement is the result of a major international mobilization led by ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons), Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2017, and promoted through the slogan "Ban the Bomb", which demonstrates once again how the bottom-up mobilization (for example the Italian campaign "Senzatomica") is able to concretely affect the immediate and long-term prospects of the States. And this is always a sign of hope and encouragement for everyone to take action for the good of themselves and others, including future generations.

Secondly, the treaty highlights that a part of the world has decided to legally bind itself with a pact to deter the use of nuclear weapons, which also implies the prohibition of stationing these explosive devices on its sovereign territories, despite any agreements of military cooperation with existing nuclear powers. Indeed, it is established that ratifying countries must “never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”. It is evident that the signing of this agreement is possible when the national ruling classes assume, even with all the limits of human coherence, a higher political responsibility and a more conscious decision-making autonomy, freeing themselves from the logic of power and domination exercised by more powerful nations.

Finally, there is no doubt that adherence to this treaty will affect the national policies of the signatory States, supporting the citizens who are part of it in forming their own sensitivity towards the issues of disarmament, the abolition of the use of force and the abandonment of violent prevarication in the relations between States.

In any case, there remains scepticism regarding the fact that the world can move faster towards a reduction of the permanent state of tension between the various economic-military blocs, since it does not seem that the major nuclear powers on the planet have included the adhesion to the treaty in their political horizon. The reasons are obvious and not just ideological: giving up one’s nuclear arsenal would represent a weakening towards competitors and, paradoxically, could lead to an increase in instability and regional tensions in critical areas of the planet.

Therefore, the risk of a nuclear war always remains possible, as indicated in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2021, both as a result of an accident that triggers a rapid and automatic retaliation, and for the triggering of an escalation fuelled by a regional conflict that escapes the control of the belligerents. Of course, we are no longer in the ’60s, when in the United States there were even “tales”, but not too much fairy, about the use of atomic devices to quickly carry out long excavations in the ground, accelerating the construction of infrastructures in the Mojave desert in California (Project Carryall).

In any case, the United Nations has set a point of arrival for everyone. The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons is a signal of peace and cooperation between all volentes, of the same value and perspective as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which although its limitations, criticisms and weaknesses in its widespread and constant implementation, continues to constitute a stellar point for the ethical and legal development of States.

But as history teaches, nothing is forever. There are historical phases of acceleration of the processes that determine effective social progress, other ones in which the achievements of civilization are questioned, deconstructed, overshadowed, sometimes even totally erased like footprints on the sand.

Certainly, one can agree with Daisaku Ikeda: no nuclear disarmament will be achieved if it is not accompanied by the inner disarmament of every human being. It can also be argued along with Pope Francis that even the mere possession, in addition to the use, of nuclear weapons is a crime against the human being and his/her dignity, and against any possibility of the future, and that peace cannot be achieved through the threat of total annihilation, but with the main international legal instruments of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

However, never take it for granted that the world has changed its way towards the better, as well as towards the worse. Uncertainty is the trait that connotes contemporaneity, but it is also a great discovery for each individual, the discovery of being able to influence the directions to take with one’s choices. And perhaps from this responsibility, the best creative qualities of the human being will be able to find historical accomplishment.


Other articles published in the IAPG Blog:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Friday, January 22, 2021

Web seminar: "Geoethics and Georesources" at the Aachen University (Germany)

(11 February 2021, 18:00-19:30 CET) 

The web seminar is organized by the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG)-student chapter at RWTH Aachen (Germany) and the International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG).

Registration to this event (free):


David W. Mogk
18:00-18:30 CET
Geoethics: from geoscience professional development to responsible citizenship

(by David Mogk, Montana State University, USA; IAPG Board of Experts for Geo-education and Teaching Geoethics)

Geoethics is an essential foundation for professional development of all geoscientists. The scope of Geoethics includes consideration of personal, professional, societal and planetary domains. Geoethics deals with the responsible conduct of science and the responsible conduct of scientists. This introduction will consider the virtues of appropriate use of power, trust, respect responsibility and justice as these impact the ways in which we must work together to create a safe, inclusive and productive geoscience profession, and to apply our science in service to society.

Nic Bilham
18:30-19:00 CET
Geoethics as a framework for responsible production and consumption of mineral resources: roles for geoscientists, stakeholders and citizens

(by Nic Bilham, Camborne School of Mines, United Kingdom; IAPG Continental Coordinator for Europe)

Addressing the global challenges expressed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals will depend on a vast range of mined raw materials.  It is vital that we find, extract, manage and use these in a responsible way, minimising environmental and social harm, and sharing the benefits we derive from them equitably.  In this talk, I explore how geoethics can be mobilised as a framework for all those with a part to play in this shared mission, including geoscientists, other professionals in the mining sector and across mineral value chains, politicians and citizens.

Questions & Answers


Other events on geoethics:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Talk on Geoethics in Myanmar

(1 February 2021, 08:30 CET) 

Giuseppe Di Capua
Giuseppe Di Capua (IAPG Treasurer) gives a talk on geoethics at the University of Myitkyina Research Hub (Myanmar) for the Research Methodology Training Course, entitled "Introduction to Geoethics".


Other events on geoethics:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

TMMOB-JMO and IAPG signed an Agreement for Cooperation 

The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) - Chamber of Geological Engineers (JMO) - Jeoloji Mühendisleri Odası and IAPG (International Association for Promoting Geoethics) signed an Agreement for Cooperation on 12 January 2021. The agreement expresses a mutual desire to cooperate on a range of themes in the field of geoethics. It helps to assure a continued IAPG and TMMOB-JMO cooperation and coordination on issues of common interests in Turkey, in particular, the following:

- Theoretical aspects of geoethics;
- Analyses of geoethical problems and dilemmas, also through case-studies;
- Co-organization of scientific events on geoethics;
- Production of relevant publications.

Both organizations will establish a liaison to ensure good information flow and cooperation. 

IAPG and TMMOB-JMO agree to act on geoethics:

1) To promote joint initiatives and events in Turkey on themes of common interest through their webpages, social networks, and publications;
2) To foster cooperation in projects and activities on themes of common interest;
3) When appropriate, to involve respectively TMMOB-JMO and IAPG in their publications and in scientific meetings/congresses on ethics and geoethics in geosciences organized by TMMOB-JMO and IAPG, and in projects.

Finally, IAPG and TMMOB-JMO agree to publish their logos and links to homepages in their respective websites.

TMMOB-JMO agrees to support the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" (that contains the Geoethical Promise, an Hippocratic-like oath for geoscientists, and agrees to be included in the list of 27 supporting organizations of the statement.

TMMOB-JMO ( was established as a public professional organization in 1974 by statute which is defined in the constitution of the Republic of Turkey. The TMMOB-JMO counts on more than 19,000 Geological and Hydrogeological Engineers and as official organization has to watch over the respect of ethical practices in the profession. Its head-office is in Ankara.

IAPG has 7 affiliations, 25 agreements for cooperation, 4 partnerships:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Video of the Lecture by John Geissman

The video recording of the Lecture by John Geissman (University of Texas at Dallas; IAPG Geoethics Medal 2020), held on 4 January 2021, is available in the webpage of the University of Potsdam (Germany) and the IAPG YouTube channel.

The title of the Lecture is: Geoethics - Integrity and Ethics in Science in Higher Education

See here:



YouTube Channel of the IAPG:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Thursday, January 14, 2021

World Logic Day

14 January 2021

Today (14 January, the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics ( celebrates the World Logic Day 2021.

Silvia Peppoloni writes for the International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG):
"... Geoethics promotes an interaction between humans & nature, in which logic is the support to develop critical thinking..."

Letter by IAPG to support the World Logic Day 2021:

Website of the World Logic Day:

#WorldLogicDay #WLD21 #geoethics #geoética


Other events in the IAPG calendar:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Talk on Geoethics in Germany

(3 February 2021, 11:00 CET) 

Martin Bohle
Martin Bohle
 (IAPG Board of Experts) gives a talk on geoethics at the at the University of Heidelberg (Geokolloquium), entitled "Geoethics – for Society, Geosciences and Geoscientists".

Join the talk here (free access):


Other events on geoethics:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Session EOS4.2 on Geoethics
at the EGU 2021

The call for abstracts is open
(deadline has been extended: 20 January 2021, 13:00 CET) 

Dear colleagues,

we invite you to consider submitting an abstract in the session EOS4.2 "Geoethics: Geosciences serving Society" at the next vEGU21 (virtual event). 

You can read the session session description below or at this link:

Here the link to submit your abstract (extended deadline: 20 January 2021, 13:00 CET):

You find instruction on how to submit an abstract here:

If you need further information on this session, please don't hesitate to contact:

Please, share information about the session EOS4.2 on geoethics with colleagues who could be interested.

Thank you

Silvia Peppoloni and Giuseppe DI Capua
(Conveners of the session EOS4.2)

Session EOS4.2 description:

Geoscience expertise is essential for the functioning of modern societies. All branches of geosciences have cultural, social and ethical implications. Hence, geoscientists face ethical issues in their professional and civic activities. Geoethics aims to provide a common framework for these concerns and to nourish a discussion on the fundamental values which underpin appropriate behaviors and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system.

The spectrum of topics geoethics deals with includes:
  • philosophical and historical aspects of geoscience, their contemporary relevance and their role in informing methods for effective and ethical decision-making;
  • geoscience professionalism and deontology, research integrity and ensuring respectful working spaces, including issues related to harassment and discrimination, gender and disability in geosciences;
  • ethical and social problems related to the management of land, air and water including environmental change, pollution and their impacts;
  • socio-environmentally sustainable supply of georesources (including energy, minerals and water), recognising the importance of effective regulation and policy-making, social acceptance, and understanding and promoting best practice;
  • resilience of society related to natural and anthropogenic hazards, risk management and mitigation strategies;
  • ethical aspects of geoscience education and communication as well as culture and value of geodiversity, geoconservation, geoheritage, geoparks and geotourism;
  • role of geosciences in achieving socio-economic development that respects cultures, traditions and local development paths, regardless of countries' wealth, and in promoting peace, responsible and sustainable development and intercultural exchange.
Geoscientists' knowledge and expertise are essential to address many of the most urgent global problems, to inform decision-making, and to guide education at all levels. The purpose is to equip citizens to discuss, shape and implement solutions to local, regional and global socio-environmental problems. Geoscientists who are aware of their ethical responsibilities will be able to put their knowledge at the service of society and to foster public trust in geosciences. This session, co-sponsored by the International Association for Promoting Geoethics (, aims to develop ethical and social perspectives on the above topics, including case studies.


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics