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.

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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.

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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: