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Past achievements and future challenges for the Geosciences (co-sponsored by AGU)
Convener: Jonathan Bamber 
Tue, 10 Apr, 09:00–12:00

The geosciences are more critical to the well being and prosperity of the human race than ever. At a time when the tension between resource exploitation and sustainable growth is at its most acute and the need for energy, water, food and climate security are paramount, the geosciences will play a central role in guiding future development and growth. In 2018, the American Geophysical Union, will also begin celebrating their centenary during a period of exciting opportunities but also considerable uncertainty and challenges for the discipline. This session looks back at past achievements in the geosciences, how they have shaped the modern world and civilisation and considers the opportunities and challenges that the discipline will face in the future. What are the transformative projects, ideas and technologies that are emerging and what are the funding opportunities within Europe that might support these ideas? This session aims to explore these topics with key thinkers and leaders across the discipline.

Public information: The geosciences have played a central role in the prosperity and well-being of humankind. They will also play a central role in solving some of the deepest challenges that face us in the coming decades. Six international leaders across the discipline and from the funding agencies and research centres on both sides of the Atlantic will consider past achievements and future challenges that the geoscience community must address.

Katrien Maes, Deputy Secretary-General of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) has worked both in the US and Europe and joined LERU in 2004 covering a range of topics from research funding, doctoral education and research integrity. She will discuss “European research policy: current outlook and future perspectives for universities."

John Ludden CBE is the chief executive of the British Geological Survey. He is a past president of EGU and served as Director for Earth Sciences in the CNRS, France. His research has been in geochemistry of the solid Earth. John will discuss “Earth System Science: Extreme Earth and Future Emerging Technology (FET), a flagship funding instrument of the EC”

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon is the President of the European Research Council. He is a mathematician by training and was Director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS) from 1994 till 2013. He has been intimately involved in European science funding and organisation for many years. Jean-Pierre will discuss the contribution of the ERC to geosciences in its first ten years and will consider the steps in preparation for FP9.

Barbara Romanowicz is a global seismologist currently sharing her time between the College de France in Paris and the University of California at Berkeley. She is also a member of the scientific council of the ERC. Her research focuses primarily on developing seismological imaging techniques for application to the deep Earth. She will discuss the challenges related to seismic tomography, in maintaining long-term high-quality data acquisition and archival for the research community, and the need for instrumenting the ocean floor.

Susan Trumbore directs the Department of Biogeochemical Processes at the Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany and has a part-time appointment as Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California. Her main research contribution is the application of radiocarbon to study the dynamics of carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Susan will discuss the dramatic growth of biogesciences within the discipline over the past two decades and the need to include the role of biota in many of the grand challenges in geosciences.

Mike Freilich is an oceanographer who, for the past 11 years, has directed NASA’s Earth Science Division. In this post, he led all of NASA’s Earth-focused flight mission, research, applications, and technology development activities. He has held leadership positions in many interagency and international coordinating groups related to Earth Observation, and seeks to apply the knowledge and the unique measurements from satellites to provide benefit to all humans. He will discuss “Satellites and Science in Service to Society – Accomplishments and Challenges.”