Geoethics in the face of global anthropogenic changes: how do we intersect different knowledge domains? 

How can geosciences serve society in addressing global anthropogenic changes, such as climate change, hazards and risks, natural resources exploitation? Which is the societal role geoscientists play within society? How much ethics is important in geosciences?
These are only some of the fundamental questions that modern geoscientists, aware of the ethical implications of their profession, should ask themselves.
As any scientist, geoscientists have responsibilities in developing excellent science and international cooperation, as well as in communicating scientific knowledge to different stakeholders. Specifically, geoscientists have great responsibility in creating methods and technologies for assuring people’s safety and a responsible use of planet Earth as entity and of its georesources, to guarantee public welfare and sustainable life conditions for present and future generations.
The complexity of the world and problems affecting it requires interdisciplinary approaches and cooperation, capable of synthesizing a range of knowledge, methods, tools. This is one of the goals of promoting geoethical thinking.
The purpose of this session is to create an opportunity for thinking and discussing about ethical, societal and social implications of global problems investing issues at the intersection between geosciences, humanities, and social sciences, with the objective of framing global anthropogenic changes as the crisis of the 21st century.
Conveners invite colleagues to confront on these topics from their professional perspectives, by presenting concepts, investigations, experiences, methods, problems, practices, case studies on ethical, societal and social perspectives to address global warming, exploitation of natural resources, risk reduction, conservation of geoheritage, science communication and education, to provide food for thought and create connections between different disciplinary fields, with the aim to build a genuine interdisciplinary community.
This session celebrates 10 years since the foundation of the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics (https://www.geoethics.org), and is co-sponsored by AGU - American Geophysical Union, CIPSH - International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences, and IUGS - International Union of Geological Sciences.

Co-sponsored by IAPG and AGU
Convener: Silvia Peppoloni | Co-conveners: Giuseppe Di Capua, John Ludden, Luiz Oosterbeek, Pimnutcha PromduangsriECSECS, Billy Williams
| Tue, 24 May, 13:20–16:34 (CEST)
Room 1.14

Session assets

Session materials

Presentations: Tue, 24 May | Room 1.14

Chairpersons: Eduardo Marone, Pimnutcha Promduangsri
Virtual presentation
Giuseppe Di Capua and Silvia Peppoloni

Environmental problems and the ways in which humanity must ensure its well-being on planet Earth are fundamental issues for today's ethics. Ethics must be rethought in the light of the modern ecological crisis to give answers that hold together environmental, economic and social issues. Geoethics, which has been defined as “research and reflection on the values that underpin appropriate behaviors and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system” (Peppoloni et al. 2019: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12010-8_2), can implement an ecological humanism, integrating some principles of human ethics (dignity, freedom and responsibility) with the necessary duties that each human being must have towards the Earth system (Peppoloni and Di Capua 2021: https://doi.org /10.3390/su131810024). So, human progress is at the same time an economic, social, cultural, political development process which is carried out in compliance with human rights and the delicate ecosystemic balances of which the human being is an integral part.

In the vision of geoethics, the human being becomes aware of its action as a modifying agent of the environment, but also of its non-centrality within the natural ecosystem. In this sense, ecological humanism allows to overcome the contrasts present in the different positions of environmental ethics regarding the human-nature connection (weak and strong anthropocentrism, biocentrism, ecocentrism with its geocentric extension). These positions, despite the progressive attempt to overcome the rigidities present in each of them, however taken individually do not seem to respond to human complexity and overcome the dichotomy between the human being and nature, and in fact are creating obstacles on the operational level, which if not solved, risk slowing down the search for solutions to anthropogenic global problems.

We argue that human beings living in the Anthropocene must recompose in their naturalness the different visions that have been provided on the human-nature nexus.

This recomposition has to consider that the human being is:

  • intrinsically and perceptively anthropocentric, as it cannot escape its specific nature, the forms of its way of thinking, the biological, emotional, spiritual, and rational complexity through which it constructs its vision of the world on the basis of its species peculiarities;
  • dynamically anthropogenic, since it builds its ecological niche to create its own operational space, which it modifies if necessary to try to improve one's living conditions.

And in the geoethical perspective, the human being must evolve to become also:

  • relationally biocentric (in the recognition of the value of life of any living being) and ecocentric (in the attitude of respect towards the Earth system in its entirety);
  • geocentric in its identity (when it develops a sense of supranational belonging to a terrestrial citizenship and takes care of its dwelling place).

Therefore, geoethics seeks to go beyond the oppositions and to make a synthesis, by saving the best intuitions of the categories of environmental ethics and using them to develop a new vision of human being, through which implementing an operational logic that can drive the human progress.

How to cite: Di Capua, G. and Peppoloni, S.: Geoethics to redefine the human-Earth system nexus, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1747, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1747, 2022.

Virtual presentation
John Ludden

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) www.iugs60.org  is the global champion for what is variously referred to as Earth sciences, Solid Earth Science or Geological Sciences. It is part of the International Science Council (ISC) https://council.science/ and works with several related ISC Unions and UNESCO.  Our Earth is faced with mounting challenges related to the climate crisis, which are largely due to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. The geological sciences have in past decades paved the way in understanding how to locate these fuels for industry to extract and society to use. The geological sciences also underpin mineral extraction, provision of building materials, groundwater, quality of soils and many other issues all of which are essential for human life on Earth.

The transition is underway and geoscientists will lead on several issues, most of which will raise ethical issues: subsurface energy systems in terms of ground stability, seismicity, extent of the resource the safety of the process; mining and the need for critical metals to satisfy new energy technologies – this includes more mining locally and ethically, thus affecting global mining regions and ethically, but also mining in extreme conditions e.g., on the seafloor or the moon; intensive farming and food production and the impacts on water supply and soil quality; the continued need for gold to underpin cryptocurrency; the need for sustainable investment and the move away from oil and gas investments.

There are many more examples and all require a reasoned approach involving a delicate interplay of engineering, business, scientists including social and economic experts, and the public. The geological sciences will continue to be the part of the Earth systems science domains that drive economic growth.  International Unions and meetings such as EGU are fora in which these debates can happen, however all too often they fail to bring together all the stakeholder in the debate.

We as geoscientists need to create the space to engage with the wider communities in the next industrial revolution.



How to cite: Ludden, J.: Geoscience for the next decade: how can geoscientists engage with communities in creating the next industrial revolution?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2998, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2998, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Billy Williams, Eric Davidson, Margaret Fraiser, Raj Pandya, and Brooks Hanson

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), a scientific society of >60,000 members worldwide, has established a set of scientific integrity and professional ethics guidelines for the actions of its members, the governance of the union in its internal activities, and the operations and participation in its publications and scientific meetings.  The actions around the AGU Ethics policy have in recent years focused on establishing and reinforcing professional conduct standards, including professional conduct during field research.  However, the recently updated AGU Strategic plan has a strong focus on applied transdisciplinary science; growing respect for Indigenous data, cultural heritages, and Knowledges; and emphasis on geoscientists’ responsibility to support traditionally underserved communities with respect to environmental justice, issues of equity and inclusion, and the impact of global anthropogenic change. Additional emerging ethics issues for the geosciences include a need to establish ethical AI frameworks for effective decision-making without misuse of data, and a need for ethical guidance around testing proposed climate intervention technologies.


These combined foci have heightened AGU’s attention to global Geoethics and have led to a re-examination of the partnerships necessary to deliver important education and impacts on such pressing issues. This presentation will highlight a few of the Geoethics issues currently being addressed by the AGU Ethics and Equity Center, including results to date and actions underway to secure and support the necessary broad partnerships. 

How to cite: Williams, B., Davidson, E., Fraiser, M., Pandya, R., and Hanson, B.: Geoethics Issues for the 21st Century: Perspectives from the AGU Ethics and Equity Center - A Call for Education and Action      , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6385, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6385, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Simon Schneider

If the geosciences demand to be taken more seriously and to play a greater role in political and societal decision-making, they must take on great responsibility.

If we are to act ethically, we must define values against which decisions about ethical behavior can be made. These values are often summarized as shared geoethical values (see Peppoloni & di Capua, 2017).

These values can be found on  

  • an Ethical dimension: for example, honesty, integrity, awareness, accuracy, collaboration, inclusiveness, civility, and fairness,
  • a Social dimension: addressing the grand challenges (sustainability, prevention, education),
  • a Cultural dimension: values such as geological diversity, diversity of geological-geographical landscapes or geological heritage.

Although these values are well founded and can be considered shared values, we need to be aware that they represent a strongly academic (Western) perspective and to some extent disregard other knowledge systems, such as indigenous or traditional ecological knowledge, as well as stressful socioeconomic contexts.

This creates fundamentally new challenges, for example, when the evaluation criteria of different sustainability goals are not compatible with local or regional socio-cultural values. Even different prioritizations can lead to difficulties here, which have an impact not only on research and development but even more so on recommendations for action resulting from the research. Examples of this can be found in the context of the current global Grand Challenges. The increasing demand for highly specialized raw materials, emerging conflicts over resources such as drinking water or soil, or the developments regarding coastal protection caused by climate change are some examples.

With this presentation we want to raise awareness of socio-cultural differences. In order to act geoethically, we need to consider the sociocultural context. Therefore, we want to initiate a discussion on whether and how a contextual model can be integrated into the concept of geoethics. This contextual model (in analogy with Neuliep's Contextual Model of Science Communication, 2021) seems to be able to solve the problems that arise when the geosciences claim the important role in global decision making mentioned above.

How to cite: Schneider, S.: Geoethics – an new approach to include awareness for sociocultural context , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1697, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1697, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Martin Bohle and Eduardo Marone

Geoethics’ programmatic essence is “research and reflection on the values which underpin appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system” [1] (p.30). Although values, behaviours and practices are mainly geographically local, culturally constrained, and individual-specific, they are also subject to hegemonic traditions. Regarding the latter, European cultures [2, 3] merged engineering, economy, and sciences, including early studies of Earth [4, 5]. Subsequently, they shaped societal practices on a planetary scale [6–8]. Geoethics is also formed through these socio-historical features. As a result, geoethical practices are caught in the dialectic of local versus hegemonic traditions, like any European tradition of thought and practices. Therefore exchanges with these and other traditions are desirable for mutual learning.

As literature studies show, the interaction of geoethics and other schools of thought and practices is limited, although with some valuable exceptions, e.g. [9]. Recently a publication [10], written mainly by political sciences and humanities scholars, broadens the exchanges. Although this collection of essays may mark a shift, regular interactions of geoethics with other traditions of thought and practices is much desirable. Frequent interactions between various schools of thought permit scrutinizing thinking and strengthening geoethics.

Illustrating which kind of interaction might be beneficial: In The Idea of Justice [11], the Indian Economist and Philosopher Armatya Sen investigated the Rawlsian theory of justice as fairness,  showing (also) why ethically just choices “taken in a specific social and cultural setting, that respect the ethical norms of this setting, may appear unethical elsewhere” (p.30) [1]. Hence, Armatya Sen's study supports an essential insight that geoethics promotes as a central tenet.

  • [1] Peppoloni S, Bilham N, Di Capua G (2019) Contemporary Geoethics Within the Geosciences. In: Exploring Geoethics. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 25–70
  • [2] Reinhard W (2016) Die Unterwerfung der Welt - Globalgeschichte der Europäischen Expansion 1415-2015. Verlag C.H. Beck oHG, München
  • [3] Mokyr J (2016) A Culture of Growth - The Origins of the Modern Economy. Princeton University Press, Princeton
  • [4] Hall DH (1976) History of the Earth Sciences during the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions with Special Emphasis on the Physical Geosciences. Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Amsterdam
  • [5] Meiske M (2021) Die Geburt des Geoengineerings : Großbauprojekte in der Frühphase des Anthropozäns. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen
  • [6] Head MJ, Steffen W, Fagerlind D, et al. (2021) The Great Acceleration is real and provides a quantitative basis for the proposed Anthropocene Series/Epoch. Episodes 1–18. https://doi.org/10.18814/epiiugs/2021/021031
  • [7] Dyer-Witheford N (2018) Struggles in the Planet Factory: Class Composition and Global Warming. In: Interrogating the Anthropocene. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 75–103
  • [8] Rosol C, Nelson S, Renn J (2017) Introduction: In the machine room of the Anthropocene. Anthr Rev 4:2–8. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053019617701165
  • [9] Potthast T (2015) Toward an Inclusive Geoethics—Commonalities of Ethics in Technology, Science, Business, and Environment. In: Peppoloni MW (ed) Geoethics. Elsevier, pp 49–56
  • [10] Bohle M, Marone E (2021) Geo-societal Narratives - Contextualsing Geosciences. Springer International Publishing, Cham
  • [11] Sen A (2010) The idea of Justice. Penguin Books, London, UK


How to cite: Bohle, M. and Marone, E.: Geoethics, emerging from splendid segregation?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-664, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-664, 2022.

On-site presentation
Eduardo Marone and Martin Bohle

In the early 2000s, the reproducibility crisis began to ‘shake’ the scientific community1 and continues nowadays2. The scientific method (SM) relies on the empirical confirmation of hypotheses3. Reproducibility of results is at the core of the SM, although it is possible, stricto sensu, only in some configurations4. Many phenomena studied in Earth Sciences cannot be empirically replicated. Thus, Earth Sciences face an intrinsic ‘reproducibility crisis’. How to confront this dilemma? In 2018, an Editorial in Science5 suggested that “…improving reproducibility will require…the best possible practices.” What are these best possible practices? Some clues can be found in Bunge’s work. He proposed that SM’s classical correspondence thesis of truth (CTT) can be replaced by the synthetic thesis of truth (STT)6. STT requires considering a hypothesis corroborated by empirical confirmation and consistency with the bulk of existing background knowledge (systemicity)7. STT relies on multiple empirical and theoretical approaches: a scientific test is adequate to the extent that it is neither purely empirical nor viewed in isolation. Pattern consistency (empirical control) and an understanding of causal relations (rational and empirical control) make confirmed hypotheses more reliable. The history of sciences shows this approach was followed on multiple occasions8, for example, to develop the theory of special and general relativity. The STT combines empirical evidence, stochasticity (combining deterministic and probabilistic approaches), heuristic approaches, mental experiments, computer modelling, among other rational instruments. When the Covid-19 crisis hit, several successful practices were based on this approach9. Considering epistemology, the knowledge-building process of the STT approach is an excellent practice to overcome the reproducibility crisis on Earth Sciences. The intersection of different knowledge domains is a two-way road and implies a knowledge overlap among different epistemic domains. Epistemology is the domain of philosophy of sciences that is fundamental for developing geoethics considering how the reproducibility crisis on Earth Sciences can be handled.  

1.       Ioannidis, J. P. A. (2005a). Why most published research findings are false. PLoS Medicine, 2 (art. e124). 

2.       Saltelli, A., Funtowicz, S. (2017). What is science’s crisis really about? Futures, Volume 91, 2017, Pages 5-11, ISSN 0016-3287, 

3.       Staddon, John (2017). Scientific Method: How Science Works, Fails to Work or Pretends to Work. Taylor and Francis.

4.       Baker, Monya (2016). 1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility. Nature. Springer Nature. 533 (7604): 452–454. 

5.       Berg, J. (2018) Progress on reproducibility. SCIENCE 5 Jan 2018 Vol 359, Issue 6371 p. 9 

6.       Bunge, M. (2012). The correspondence theory of truth. Semiotica, 188: 65-75. 

7.       Marone, L., Lopez de Casenave, J., & González del Solar, R. (2019). The synthetic thesis of truth helps mitigate the reproducibility crisis and is an inspiration for predictive ecology. Revista De Humanidades De Valparaíso, (14), 363–376. 

8.       Renn, J. (2020). The Evolution of Knowledge - Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene. Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press.

9.       Marone, E., and Bohle, M. (2020). Geoethics for Nudging Human Practices in Times of Pandemics. Sustainability 12, 7271. 

How to cite: Marone, E. and Bohle, M.: About reproducibility. The advantages of the synthetic thesis of truth., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9010, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9010, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Silvia Peppoloni and Giuseppe Di Capua

Geoheritage and geodiversity visually and symbolically express the link between the physical and biological environment and cultural world. In the geoethical vision, their protection is fundamental, since they are irreplaceable components of a non-renewable social and natural "capital" (Peppoloni et al. 2019: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12010-8_2). They become points of reference to redefine the intimate connection between human beings and Earth, thus assuming a value meaning to be placed at the basis of a new way of experiencing the territory. Initiatives such as geoparks or geotourism represent their concrete implementation, as activities capable of enhancing the environment and its geological landscape. Furthermore, their learning and enjoyment also foster a broader understanding of the significance of geosciences and their importance for the functioning of societies, as well as promoting interactions with local human communities, and the expansion of one’s spiritual and aesthetical dimension while living the interaction with nature.

Newsome and Dowling (2010: https://doi.org/10.23912/978-1-906884-09-3-21) define geotourism as follows: “a form of natural area tourism that specifically focuses on geology and landscape. It promotes tourism to geosites and the conservation of geodiversity and an understanding of Earth sciences through appreciation and learning. This is achieved through independent visits to geological features, use of geo-trails, and viewpoints, guided tours, geo-activities and patronage of geo-visitor centres”.

Responsible geotourism enhances sites and landscapes of geological significance, assuring their protection and the sustainable development of surrounding areas. Moreover, the use of those sites by citizens can increase their awareness and understanding of key issues to be faced by society, such as the sustainable use of geo-resources, the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change effects, and the reduction of risks related to natural and anthropogenic phenomena. Geotourism, therefore, also represents the common ground on which geosciences and social sciences can interact, offering undoubted advantages. It makes multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work and cross-boundaries national and international collaboration visual and tangible; it produces an increase in public awareness and scientific knowledge; it improves the quality of life of the local population by creating incentives for economic development; finally, it drives society to behave and act more responsibly towards geodiversity and biodiversity.

This paper frames geotourism within geoethical thought, emphasising its formative contribution for the human being living in the Anthropocene. In the vision of geoethics, geotourism helps to understand that Earth is a system, that reality can be reduced to its constituent parts only for rational convenience, but its deep meaning can only be grasped through the relationships that bind the parts to the whole. In the same way, the human being is an individual immersed in a continuum in transformation and the relationships that bind the individual to the whole are the essence of its specificity.

How to cite: Peppoloni, S. and Di Capua, G.: The significance of geotourism through the lens of geoethics, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1756, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1756, 2022.

Virtual presentation
George Kontostavlos, Emmanuel Vassilakis, Maria Triantafyllou, and Aliki Konsolaki

The complexity of show caves and the problems arising through human interaction with them, require interdisciplinary approaches capable of synthesizing a range of parameters such as knowledge, methods and provided tools to promote geo-ethical thinking and geoscientists contribution for sustainable management. Show caves are tourist/commercial caves which have been accessible to the public with artificial lighting, shaped paths, guided tours, open hours and they are considered as heritage sites. The concept of heritage is a complex idea, controversial and culturally constructed, depending on the personal and collective background and experiences of the members of a society. Heritage is often artificially divided into natural and cultural, but regarding the “show caves” as entities, the boundaries are indistinguishable. Moreover, show caves suffer successive degradation for several interconnected reasons. This work analyzes proposals for compilation of protocols and general management that may involve educational institutes, management agencies, policy makers and stakeholders based on remotely monitored parameters and scientific data collection, for feeding assessment and evaluation tools. The main scope is to arouse a wider dialogue of the interested parts with the aim to form the basis for the creation of a European legislation for protecting these sensitive but also complex environments through geo-conservation and geo-ethics approaches.

How to cite: Kontostavlos, G., Vassilakis, E., Triantafyllou, M., and Konsolaki, A.: Showcaves: A modern geo-conservation approach utilizing geo-ethics and heritage management principles through sustainable monitoring technology, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10296, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-10296, 2022.

On-site presentation
Sabine Undorf, Karoliina Pulkkinen, Per Wikman Svahn, and Frida Bender

Science provides society with information that helps solve the ethical, societal and social implications of climate change, the most urgent and far-reaching global problem of our time. Owing to the complexity of the problems that arise, they are not solved with knowledge or one responsible goodwill alone, but often require value judgements, for example, decisions on the relative importance of different stakeholders. Interdisciplinary scholarship, first of all, philosophy of science, argues that some of these and other value judgements can already play a role in the scientific process that both produces such information and that develops more foundational scientific tools, methods, and results underlying it.

Here, it is argued that it is time for the scientific community itself to become more aware of, acknowledge, and discuss the role of values, to enable their effective management and thus make science observe its responsibility to society even better.The state of the debate in climate science as represented by the latest assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is summarised. Examples from the recent philosophical literature are given that illustrate value influence beyond that acknowledged in the report. Key messages are suggestedto the scientific community as to how the topic of values could be progressed, including strategies such as transparency and diversity, cross-disciplinary cooperation and education besides, and aiding, the fostering of awareness by individual scientists in their research.

As an attempt to advance and illustrate this awareness and acknowledgement of values from a scientist perspective, a case study is further presented. There, value judgements are identified that are relevant to multi-model based assessments such as those performed until recently for climate sensitivity and still in use for various other climate metrics. The whole series of assessment steps is considered, from choosing the research question over model building, deriving the metric of interest, and combining model results to publishing and communicating the findings. It is discussed that neither sensitivity studies nor the use of multiple, other lines of evidence instead of model estimates provide a way to avoid value judgements, hence not diminishing the need for reflection on values. While especially timely now in climate science, the question of value acknowledgement and management more generally applies to any science, including other areas of geosciences that are similarly addressing questions of high societal relevance.

How to cite: Undorf, S., Pulkkinen, K., Wikman Svahn, P., and Bender, F.: The role of values in climate science, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12732, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12732, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Dominic Hildebrandt

The geological record of earth history is a fragile document, which enables us to extract information on past planetary processes, e.g. natural hazard events or fluctuations of the earth's climate, which are increasingly used as the basis for future regulatory frameworks in modern societies. However, due to an intense interference of humans with the earth surface in the Anthropocene, this unique document of earth history is endangered. It is crucial to consider that the geological record is not continuous and primarily incomplete, although the exact extent is still elusive. Human activities such as mining and construction works heavily alter, disturb or even entirely destroy parts of the earth history. Also, inadequate sampling strategies of earth scientists can contribute to a loss of earth-historical information at key sites for understanding the earth's past. Most societies are well aware of the conservation of the human history indicated by standardized archaeological surveys. At the same time, such procedures are hardly formalized for earth history archives, revealing an anthropocentric narrowing of the perception of pasts. Humans are seen as a major geological agent during the Anthropocene – but how does the destructive facet of anthropogenic activities compare to natural destructive processes throughout the earth history and what are implications for the protection of geo-archives? I argue that anthropogenic disturbance is distinctively different from natural processes regarding the rates and the final fate of manipulated earth materials. Pushing the spatio-temporal assessment of the completeness of the geological record, e.g. by hiatus mapping, would help to identify a baseline for the protection of earth history records during the Anthropocene. Promoting Geoethics, in particular the sustainable knowledge exchange with society to create awareness for planetary history as a basis for a responsible handling of nature, is a key for an effective protection of earth history records. In particular, understanding psychological aspects of landscapes and the environment plays a vital role. Therefore, post-normal science approaches and the consideration of extended spheres of knowledge bear a great potential for future perspectives.

How to cite: Hildebrandt, D.: Fragile earth history ­– geological, societal and ethical perspectives on the planetary memory, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12724, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12724, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Cielo Sharkus, Jennifer Givens, Sheila Saia, James Knighton, and Christian Guzman

The compounding effects of climate change are inextricably linked to social vulnerabilities, poverty, race, and systemic injustices. The intersection between climate change and risk manifests as geospatial environmental hazards such as flooding, which have been projected to increase over the next 30 years in the continental United states. These climate-driven increases suggest that even modest increases in flood hazards have the potential to impact traditionally marginalized communities vulnerable to flooding. Compositional characteristics such as social status and identity have been shown to be linked to increased mortality, and slower economic and physical recovery after flooding (e.g., Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Ida). These patterns demonstrate that higher clustering of minorities and low socioeconomic status people face unequal social consequences of climate-related disasters. While continental-scale flood models have shown heightened hazard susceptibility, multiple dimensions of social characteristics—including spatial and temporal scales of social class and status—are needed to understand the granular differences between zip codes. To examine the relationship between spatial and temporal social and geographic scales, we compared the spatial clustering from 2010 to 2019 for two different indices of social vulnerability: Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environment Justice Index (EJ) of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affair. Between 2010 and 2019 in Massachusetts, we evaluate whether greater flood protections exist in urban communities (average 2019 population: 244,422) vs rural communities (average population: 8,310) and if flood risks change over time for minority populations. The results of this study demonstrate that current hydrologic extremes are disproportionately contained within block groups of vulnerable populations (e.g., 40.5% of vulnerable block groups intersect with the 500-year flood area and 20.7% for the 100-year flood area for Lawrence for example) and that social vulnerability to flood risk is increasing in rural areas with higher amounts of EJ block groups, while decreasing in urban areas with diversifying EJ block groups. Furthermore, the increased detail provided in EJI census block group scale (as compared to SVI census tract scale) demonstrated distinct zones that would require increased disaster management planning and prioritization.

How to cite: Sharkus, C., Givens, J., Saia, S., Knighton, J., and Guzman, C.: Spatial and Temporal Variation of Hydrological Risk in Rural and Urban Environmental Justice Communities, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6241, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6241, 2022.

Presentation form not yet defined
Alicia Correa, Jorge Forero, Mark Mulligan, and Daniele Codato

Global change has economic, environmental, and social impacts on water, energy, and food resources that threaten the ways of living of several communities across the globe. Moreover, the identification of those impacts at the local level constitutes a fundamental step in the process of designing and implementing proposals for the sustainable management of natural resources. The definition of what sustainability means is another key step in that direction. Within theoretical debates, three concepts have been identified: weak, strong, and super-strong sustainability. The first proposes to understand nature as “natural capital”, which should be treated as any other factor of production and can be exchanged with other forms of capital. The second highlights the existence of “critical natural capitals” that need to be conserved no matter the economic cost. The third, finally, introduces cultural, religious, historical, and ethical considerations, proposing the concept of “natural heritage” as an alternative to “natural capital”.

We propose an analytical framework that integrates those different approaches to sustainability, combining spatial data analysis and participatory dialog with actors from local communities. With this methodology, we aim to identify strategies towards the sustainable management of water, energy, and food resources, in the Pacific-Andes-Amazon altitudinal transects of two transboundary catchments of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil (Mira-Mataje - 11,791km2, and Putumayo - 125,563km2). We used remotely-sensed and globally available datasets alongside the spatially distributed assessment model Co$tingNature, to evaluate the natural capital. Then we quantified the interactions between natural capital, protected areas, and indigenous territories to identify critical areas for protection. Finally, we included the knowledge from leaders of Indigenous (Cofán, Awá, and Kamenzat), Mestizo-peasant, and Afro-descendant communities distributed along the altitudinal transects, regarding their natural heritage, and their perception of the challenges for its sustainable management.

We found a significant overlapping between critical natural capital and ancestral territories of ethnic communities and recognized some key anthropic intensive activities that challenge the conservation of those areas. We also identified the significant role that culture plays in the local communities’ efforts both to defend their territory and to find sustainable practices oriented towards the securing of collective welfare and the conservation of the environmental integrity of their natural heritage.

How to cite: Correa, A., Forero, J., Mulligan, M., and Codato, D.: Towards a “multi-level” sustainability analysis in Pacific-Andes-Amazon transboundary catchments., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8539, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-8539, 2022.

Coffee break
Chairpersons: Eduardo Marone, Pimnutcha Promduangsri
Virtual presentation
Michèle Marti, Florian Haslinger, Peppoloni Silvia, Di Capua Giuseppe, Helen Glaves, and Irina Dallo

Climate change, volcanic eruptions, pandemics, financial crises, or large earthquakes; the problems societies must deal with nowadays are often complex and multifaceted. In a data-driven world, providing access to comprehensive, multidisciplinary data repositories to tackle such wicked problems is indispensable. Frameworks allowing such data access are therefore of particular importance. EPOS, the European research infrastructure for the solid Earth domain, is such a framework. It is a multidisciplinary, distributed research infrastructure that facilitates the integrated use of data, data products and services, and facilities from the European solid Earth science community. Although the importance of this undertaking is obvious, its implementation bears many challenges. We focus in our contribution at the most pressing issues from when data, products, and services are made accessible, to access principles, ethical issues related to its collection and use as well as with respect to their promotion.

How to cite: Marti, M., Haslinger, F., Silvia, P., Giuseppe, D. C., Glaves, H., and Dallo, I.: Addressing the challenges of making data, products, and services accessible: an EPOS perspective, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13119, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-13119, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Elena Egidio, Andrea Gerbaudo, Manuela Lasagna, Francesca Lozar, and Marco Davide Tonon

During the last decades, especially the last one, the importance of geoethics has been highlighted by the major consciousness about the role of geoscience, and  geoscientists, on environmental and social challenges that the world has to face.This awareness has been raised in accordance with the 17 sustainable development goals of the UNESCO 2030 Agenda. This document led to the wider popularity of the concept of education for sustainability (EfS) as an evolution of what was formerly known as environmental education (EE) or education for sustainable development (ESD). The main purpose of EfS is to promote an inter and trans-disciplinary knowledge, capable of framing the complexity of the current crisis.In one of the last publications about geoethics (Di Capua, Peppoloni 2019) the authors encourage geoscientists to be aware of the geological community role and to reflect on the ethical responsibility that this implies. Moving from this call for engagement, this study focuses on the Italian situation.Does the Italian Earth Sciences community have enough knowledge and a real shared interest on sustainability, in order to shift to a geoethical perspective? This study shows the results of a survey conducted between the participants of BeGeo21, the first Italian national congress dedicated to young geoscientists (MSc and PhD), held in Napoli in October 2021. The data analysis shows that the majority of respondents has scarce knowledge about sustainability and the 17 SDGs and only a few had the possibility to attend courses and seminars about these topics in their department. Nonetheless, the importance of the sustainability, and thus geoethic, point of view for the future of Geosciences is well recognized and there’s a wide request for our higher education institutions to increase the number of activities connected to EfS.


How to cite: Egidio, E., Gerbaudo, A., Lasagna, M., Lozar, F., and Tonon, M. D.: Are we ready for an ecological transition? A survey between young geoscientists in Italy, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5485, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5485, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Efthymios Georgousis, Maria Savelidi, Socrates Savelides, Spyros Mosios, Maximos-Vasileios Holokolos, and Hara Drinia

The inclusion of geoethics in the curricula contributes to young people's reflection on personal and social values and responsibilities, in order to raise awareness and develop appropriate behavior regarding the interaction of human activities with the Earth system (Georgousis et al., 2021; 2022). In modern societies, educational policy is implemented with the curricula being the mainspring. Recently, the new educational curricula that reflect the directions of educational policy in Greece for the next decade were prepared and announced. These curricula have received and are subject to various criticisms from scientific reviews of academic committees and educational institutions. In the midst of these, the question of whether they incorporate values of the natural world related to Geology and geoethical thought was developed, namely whether in an indirect and direct way they contribute to the sensitization and empowerment of students to the values of geoethics and consequently to the formation of environmentally and socially aware citizens. In order to answer this concern, research questions were posed regarding the presence of conceptual patterns, which refer to obvious or latent meanings for the promotion of geoethical values through the educational process. The methodology followed is the qualitative strategics with the technique of sensitizing content analysis, aimed to explore the thematic units and the expected learning outcomes of the new curricula of compulsory education of the Greek educational system. The texts were examined with the paragraph as the thematic unit. The characterization of the quantity was based on linguistic scales of related studies, according to which the results were characterized, identified and documented as they were estimated by the authors of the study. Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) was used for the content analysis, specifically the quantification of the meaning patterns. Sixteen (16) new curricula were investigated. The investigation identifies a relatively small number of obvious conceptual patterns (codes) and a greater number of latent meanings in both social and natural sciences, revealing the limited potential for the development of geoethical thinking and geoethical values. Therefore, the lack of integration of geoethical values in the curricula of the next decade is noted, although recent researches document the lack of understanding of the geological heritage and the necessity for developing geoethical awareness of young people through the educational process.

How to cite: Georgousis, E., Savelidi, M., Savelides, S., Mosios, S., Holokolos, M.-V., and Drinia, H.: The inclusion of Geoethical Values in the Design of Educational Policy for the Next Decade: The Case of the Greek Educational System, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5915, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5915, 2022.

Presentation form not yet defined
David Crookall and Pariphat Promduangsri

Ethics are built on values.  Values underly ethics.  How are they related?  Can we talk about ethics without reference to values?  Do values necessarily imply ethics?  Do they form a unit, as in ‘ethical values’?  Are values and ethics driven by beliefs, or should values remain unchanged despite changing beliefs?  Those are some of the questions that people will ask when confronted with the idea of ethics in life and in the geosciences.  Values include honesty, compassion, nature, learning, quality, patience, truth, respect, individualism, creativity, wealth, justice, fame, humour, harmony, power, peace and beauty.  How are these related to ethics?  How are they related to geoethics?  Often an ethical dilemma stems from two or more underlying value conflicts, such as individual identity and social value.

It is not easy to understand the principles and dynamics of such relations.  Reading can of course help.  However, for newcomers to the area, as well as those already familiar with concepts and dilemmas, one way into this quagmire is by using a values clarification exercise or game (VCE or VCG).  A VCE can be a useful geoethics literacy tool to help people explore the complexities of the above relationships, to allow them to express their own ideas, to confront their ideas with those of others and to gain a rich understanding of the values that underly geoethics.

We have designed and used VCEs and VCGs in a variety of settings, such as:

  • A workshop for farmers in Costa Rica, organized by CIRAD and CATIE.
  • A session on sustainability in an international conference on simulation/games.
  • In an online conference organized by the Earth Action Hub, a global, online community dedicated to supporting one another in taking climate and environmental action.
  • An online workshop for the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMUNI) on the topic of blue economy values.

Our EGU Geoethics session will summarise our previous experience of this kind of methodology, indicating that it is relatively easy to implement, show some sample materials (such as values cards and debriefing forms) and outline a blueprint for such an exercise to be used for geoethics literacy.  We will also answer audience questions.

How to cite: Crookall, D. and Promduangsri, P.: Geoethics literacy: Values clarification as an initial step into geoethical issues, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2060, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2060, 2022.

Presentation form not yet defined
Giuliana D'Addezio, Neva Besker, Daniela Riposati, and Francesca Di Laura

An analysis of the perceived image of science, scientists and inventions was conducted over  drawings made in 2010 by children for a calendar competition promoted by INGV in Italian primary schools. A similar competition was proposed in 2020 with a related purpose of analyzing the image children have of the world of science, its potential and future perspective.

The title of the 2010 competition was "Scienziato anche io! La Scienza e gli scienziati visti dai bambini” - I'm a scientist too! Science and scientists from the children point of view-

Children were asked to realize a drawing regarding: 1) How do you imagine a scientist? How do you imagine the daily activities of a researcher? 2) What is the invention you consider the most important among all those you know? 3) What would you invent?

We collected 986 drawings, realized by 6 - 10 years old children  from 48 schools distributed throughout the Italian territory.

For the 2020 competition we proposed: “La Scienza in crescita, immaginare la scienza del Futuro” - Growing Science, let’s imagine the science of the Future!-

We asked children to develop the following topics: 1) How do you figure a scientist life? 2) How do you imagine the daily research activities in the future? 3) and what tools will research work with? 4) if you were a scientist what would you invent?

In this case, the collection of drawings took place mainly during the months in which Italian schools were forced to distance learning because of the Covid pandemic crisis. Despite the difficulties, 28 primary schools participated by sending 350 drawings.

Drawings were coded and values stored in data sheets. A similar classification scheme was designed in order to be able to synthetically describe these sets of images and analyze it.  A coarse-grained, quantitative analysis were conducted on both sets of data in order to test and tune the classification scheme, as well as to infer some considerations which may would be comparable with studies in literature.

Work we present and compare the results of the two datasets set apart by ten years, highlighting differences, similarities, convergences. Do boys and girls image a scientist in the same way? and what are their relationships with science and technology? Do stereotypical images of science and scientists persist, or something is changing? Is there a gap between children’s perceptions and scientists’ reality? and how can this gap be filled? Has something changed in ten years?

From the data, a generally positive picture of the work of scientists emerge as well as a great level of confidence in the potential of science, capable to respond to needs and problems of the humanity and of the environment in which we live.

What arises from children's drawings has ethical, societal and social implications on global problems investing issues at the intersection between science, humanities, and social sciences, and provides us a direct and unconventional approach to analyze how we convey our science - a strategic topic for a suitable future of the humanity - to the players of the world of tomorrow.

How to cite: D'Addezio, G., Besker, N., Riposati, D., and Di Laura, F.: A comparison between 2010 and 2020 primary school student drawings on science and  scientists: what ethical and social implication emerge for future generations?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11795, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11795, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Sandra Johnstone

The applications of geoscience knowledge to complex interdisciplinary socioenvironmental challenges, including climate change and sustainability, are broadly acknowledged. The ways we educate geoscience professionals to make ethical decisions in how geological knowledge is applied to these existential challenges can have profound impacts on the Earth system. Proponents of improving ethical applications of geoscience knowledge and ethical decision-making for geoscientists have identified post-secondary educational settings as essential sites of exposure to geoethical thinking. However, discussions of geoethical pedagogy may not address the ways geoscience knowledge production continues to further exacerbate these problems. Post-secondary geoscience educators, with little ethical or interdisciplinary training themselves, may be ill-equipped to navigate the potentially uncomfortable norm-challenging classroom conversations that can arise.

This research applies arts-integrated methodologies to analyze events from my professional roles a geologist and reflections from my current position as a post-secondary geoscience educator, working in a Canadian context. Results of this work offered counter-perspectives to some of the normalized narratives about professional roles of geoscientists, especially: 1) Geoscientists as environmental stewards, 2) Geoscientists as providers of raw materials essential to society, and 3) Geoscientists on a journey of scientific discovery. Questioning these stories proved to be uncomfortable, opening conversations in which both students and educators may feel implicated in ongoing harms. Proposals to improve geoethical education for post-secondary geoscience students may need to better account for the challenging experiences that arise for both students and teachers as difficult knowledge is engaged in the classroom.

Here, visual art is used as a tool to bring together perspectives across dissonant knowledge paradigms, and in the process to open up new questions about geoethical education. Though arts-integration is common in educational research, this methodology remains extremely rare for research focused on post-secondary technoscientific training. I contend that this novel application offers the opportunity to open up different conversations about both ethical applications of geoscience knowledge and the challenges of geoethical training.

How to cite: Johnstone, S.: Generating conversations on geoethical education through arts-integrated research, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6828, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6828, 2022.

Presentation form not yet defined
Julia Mindlin, Priyanka Yadav, Claudia Volosciuk, Valentina Rabanal, Faten Attig Bahar, Gerbrand Koren, Javed Ali, and Claude-Michel Nzotungicimpaye

For early career researchers (ECRs), it is of utmost importance to acquire various skills including the application of different methods under the umbrella of data science. However, curricula of scientific degrees do not necessarily always include all relevant methods in the field, and there are also new methodologies emerging. Besides organized training schools, self-organized learning groups are common in universities  for collaboratively acquiring new skills. Here, we present a concept that goes beyond in-person meetings and a prescribed curriculum to learn collaboratively, implemented for learning Machine Learning (ML) methods.

There is growing interest in ML methods applied to Earth system science. These tools are being incorporated rapidly in the curricula of many scientific degrees, however, there is a generation of ECRs who did not learn to apply or work with ML while obtaining their masters or doctorate degrees and are now interested in filling this hiatus. The Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) Community, a network of ECRs working in Earth system sciences, has organized a learning activity to bring together members of our community who want to apply these methods to their own data and scientific problems and have little or no knowledge on ML. 

The main goal of this activity was to provide ECRs of our community the opportunity and platform to engage in a guided and collaborative learning process via the participation in small learning groups. The activity was implemented fully virtual. Additionally, the purpose of working in groups was to allow group discussions on how to interpret the results in combination with traditional physics-based methods/knowledge

Each group had a  group leader which was in turn exchanging closely with other group leaders about the progress made and challenges encountered while keeping track of their group. The main challenges were working across time-zones, collaborative coding while learning, task distribution that ensured everyone learned from the activity. The activity not only proved to be useful for learning ML concepts, it was also a seedbed for projects which participants wish to continue working on. The skills and lessons learned from the organization included managing different time commitments among group members, working across time zones, learning-tasks distribution, ways to divide people into groups according to their research interests, advancing in knowledge coming from different backgrounds, writing a short proposal, literature review, providing a research project and reading material to stimulate an active learning mindset for students.  Here, we show what tools and learning strategies were most successful, results from the research projects and lessons learned that can be useful for other groups, networks or even teachers when designing such learning activities.  

How to cite: Mindlin, J., Yadav, P., Volosciuk, C., Rabanal, V., Attig Bahar, F., Koren, G., Ali, J., and Nzotungicimpaye, C.-M.: Fully virtual learning groups - pilot project on Machine Learning for early career researchers, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3713, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-3713, 2022.