GDB4 | Scientific Neocolonialism: tools and mechanisms to advocate and amplify the voices, knowledge and recognition of local knowledge in geoscience research


Following on from the success of the 2022 EGU EDI Union Symposium 'Scientific Neocolonialism: What is it and why should you care?', the EGU would like to expand the conversation surrounding this important topic. In particular, the aim of this Great Debate is to hear from people that have experienced neocolonialism in science, acknowledge the issues, explore solutions that our scientific community and the EGU can implement to raise awareness, and discuss examples to eliminate neocolonialism from our geoscience ecosystem. In particular, we will continue conversations on the following questions:
- Why is it vital that local communities participate in geoscientific research?
- Which barriers are preventing inclusion of local communities within the geoscience research ecosystem (this will include personal testimonials from geoscientists from under-represented countries)?
- What are the tools and mechanisms to advocate and amplify the voices and recognition of local knowledge in geoscience research?
- How can research funding help geoscientists construct meaningful and fair scientific exchange with local communities where international science is conducted?
- How can institutions help geoscientists to conduct science including local communities?

Public information:

We are very excited to welcome the following contributors to this Great Debate: 

  • Dr Helen Glaves, outgoing EGU President, British Geological Survey data scientist.
  • Dr Rebecca Haacker, Director National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Education & Outreach, Program Director for Integrated Activities, Geosciences Directorate, National Science Foundation.
  • Ms Wendy Khumalo, Palaeoclimatology PhD candidate, The National Laboratory of Age Determination, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  • Dr Tim Rawling, Chief Executive Officer, AuScope Limited, committee member Geoscience Indigenous Collaboration and Engagement Specialist Group.
  • Dr Anouk Beniest, Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Bring your questions, opinions and voices to come and debate scientific neo-colonialism in geosciences!

Convener: Robyn Pickering | Co-conveners: Anouk Beniest, Barbara Ervens, Giuliana Panieri, Loyuá Costa
Thu, 27 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)
Room E1
Thu, 10:45
The oral presentations are given in a hybrid format supported by a Zoom meeting featuring on-site and virtual presentations. The button to access the Zoom meeting appears just before the time block starts.


  • Helen Glaves, British Geological Survey, United Kingdom
  • Rebecca Haacker
  • Wendy Khumalo
  • Tim Rawling, AuScope Limited, Australia
  • Anouk Beniest, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands