Geoethics: ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience knowledge, education, research and practice
|Convener: Silvia Peppoloni | Co-Conveners: Nic Bilham , Martin Bohle , Giuseppe Di Capua , Eduardo Marone|
Recent years have seen a great growth of interest in geoethics among geoscientists. They have become more involved in discussions of the values which underpin appropriate behaviors and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system. All branches of geosciences have ethical, social and cultural implications. Therefore, there is an evident need to develop an ethical framework for geoscience research and practices that can help geoscientists confronting ethical dilemmas and make them more aware of their responsibility in conducting their activities.
Geoethical principles apply to geoscientists’ work across four equally important domains: the self, colleagues, society and the natural environment. Thus, the spectrum of geoethics topics is very broad. It includes issues of research integrity and professional deontology, data production and management, conflicts of interest, publishing ethics, the role of geoscientists in sustainable development, exploration and use of geo-resources and soil while meeting high standards of environmental protection, the defense of society against natural risks, and the impact of human activities and pollution on human health and the climate. It also encompasses the ethical implications of science communication and geo-education for society, and of geoheritage and geoparks as tools to raise public awareness of the importance of geoscience and the Earth system to our lives. Addressing harassment and discrimination in the geosciences, including on grounds of gender, ethnicity or disability, is also a geoethical matter; 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 have a fundamental part to play in addressing many of the most urgent problems affecting our planet and its population. Their technical knowledge and expert advice are vital for informed decision-making, and to ensure that education at all levels equips the citizens of the 21st century to participate in public debate about these challenges. Geoscientists with greater awareness of their ethical responsibilities towards themselves, colleagues, society and the environment will be better able to put their knowledge at the service of society, to communicate it effectively, and to grow public trust in science.
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 (http://www.geoethics.org).