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  • Antonio Polo Sanchez,
  • Christian Schaffalitzky
Antonio Polo Sanchez
Université Clermont-Auvergne; Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Salamanca, Université Clermont-Auvergne; Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Salamanca

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Christian Schaffalitzky
Eurasia Mining plc, Eurasia Mining plc
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Nowadays, geology has a big “social” problem. Starting in the field of education where the science of geology is less well taught, so that society knows less about geology and its important role in daily life. For example, we can see on the news lots of people suffering because of natural phenomenon such as volcanic eruptions (e.g. Fuego in Guatemala, Kilauea in Hawaii), landslides or building collapses (e.g. Morandi Bridge in Genova, Italy), which could have been minimised or even prevented if society were better aware of the pivotal role that the geosciences can provide for such problems. However, we still cannot solve this problem, until we have not solved our “internal problems”. First of all, Geology has further to evolve, in the manner that Physics did from Classical Physics of Newton to Quantum Physics. Modern geology has only started using Plate Tectonics theory, but needs more time to evolve and find its “quantum theory”. Our science has been “distracted” by the rest of “earth sciences” which is less interested in pure geological research to improve learning. Consequently our community understands our science very well, but we have not been able to improve key factors, such as predictability or more precise modelling. The more we are specialised, the less we know about the other geological disciplines. If we want to contribute to this evolution, all disciplines must work together. As many say “the best geologists have seen the most rocks”. Secondly, geology is suffering from the subtle degradation of science education, allowing poor science to be accepted as true by the media. No-one wants to see the policing of science but it is a daily occurrence that emotional issues take precedence over data-driven facts. We have a role to ensure that our own scientific opinions are clear and not subject to the whims of fashionable though Once this has been solved, we should be able to transmit more effectively the key role of geosciences in daily life. An obvious start is transmitting geology to those that love the countryside such as artists, walkers, mountain climbers or landscapers, those who appreciate nature and already have wide perspectives on their environment. Geology can help to improve those qualities. If we also use our research to help the economic and social development of an area, we will have advanced our role in optimising the tasks. Combining geological knowledge with other disciplines of science, e.g. the International Medical Geology Association (IMGA), a good example of applying our expertise to enhance mutually beneficial solutions. During our cooperation, we had the opportunity to get to know about H2020, an EU Programme destined to improve scientific research and share knowledge between scientists. This project, as well as IMGA, are examples of structures in which geosciences are applicable in sustainable development. Attending Geoscience and Society Summit will allow us to explain in detail all these ideas.