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EGU news Declaration of the Significance of Geoscience Expertise to Meet Global Societal Challenges

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European Geosciences Union

Declaration of the Significance of Geoscience Expertise to Meet Global Societal Challenges

4 May 2020


Humanity today faces many societal challenges whose escalating scope, interconnection and urgency could jeopardize achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our ability to anticipate and meet both current challenges and future issues depends in large part upon facilitating innovative science and technology as the most effective means to comprehend the origins of these challenges and to establish successful strategies for mitigating and addressing them.

The international geoscience community possesses much of the specialised knowledge, skills and expertise necessary to provide the essential resources and healthy environments that humanity needs to thrive. The world’s geoscience expertise helps to ensure reliable supplies of mineral, energy and ecological resources; satisfy human and environmental requirements for clean water, clean air and fertile soils; manage wastes to protect the environment; bolster public health; and build societal resilience to the short- and long-term effects of a range of natural and anthropogenic hazards.


In recognition of the significance of international cooperation in science, technology and innovation, and particularly within the Earth, planetary and space science community, the European Geosciences Union, the American Geophysical Union, the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, the Geological Society of America, the Japan Geoscience Union and The Geological Society of London declare our commitment to work together to support and promote all forms of geoscience research.

As signatory societies, we recognise our shared responsibility to:

  1. Devise strategies to protect and sustainably develop vital resources for present and future generations;
  2. Utilise scientific research results to increase societal resilience to single, multiple and potentially interrelated threats, support global wellbeing, and help humanity prevent, better prepare for, and recover from local, regional and global crises;
  3. Impartially analyse risks associated with natural and anthropogenic hazards, including individual and cascading perils, and support comprehensive, forward-thinking solutions that directly address these issues;
  4. Promote widespread access to scientific methods, research and associated outputs;
  5. Encourage ethical conduct by adopting high standards, fostering ethically responsible attitudes and supporting equitable, diverse, inclusive and transparent funding mechanisms;
  6. Advocate for scientific freedom and develop best practices for promoting scientific integrity;
  7. Diversify science and recognise the voices and perspectives of researchers from underrepresented groups, including the global south and early career researchers;
  8. Recognise and develop the professional and educational skills required to engage various audiences with geoscience concepts, both in public and political spheres;
  9. Effectively communicate scientific methods and research results to improve public trust in science, engage policymakers, and effect policies that implement and advance the science that supports global wellbeing; and
  10. Promote the multi-disciplinary dimensions of geoscience, knowing its impact is strengthened by the intersections between subdisciplines and plays an active role in addressing key societal issues.

We hereby affirm our commitment to apply geoscience research to discovering and implementing solutions that will help realise a sustainable and just future for humanity, our shared planet and its vital ecosystems.

Signed in solidarity,

Alberto Montanari, President
European Geosciences Union

Robin Bell, President
American Geophysical Union

David Higgitt, President
Asia Oceania Geosciences Society

Donald Siegel, President
Geological Society of America

Hodaka Kawahata, President
Japan Geoscience Union

Nicholas Rogers, President
The Geological Society of London

Sharon Tahirkheli, Interim Executive Director
American Geosciences Institute

Jan Behrmann, President
DVGeo – Dachverband der Geowissenschaften

Zdeněk Venera, President
EuroGeoSurveys, The Geological Surveys of Europe

Jeannot Trampert, Chairperson
GEO*8 |European Alliance for Earth Sciences

Gregory Wessel, President
Geology in the Public Interest

Manfred Strecker, President
GeoUnion Alfred-Wegener-Stiftung

Heidrun Kopp, President
German Geophysical Society DGG

Reinhard Hüttl, Chairman of the Board and Scientific Executive Director
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Silvia Peppoloni, Secretary General
International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Roberto Greco, Chair
International Geoscience Education Organization

Kathy Whaler, President
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics

Takashi Kosaki, President
International Union of Soil Sciences

Stefano Cesco, President
Italian Society of Agricultural Chemistry

Paola Adamo, President
Italian Soil Science Society

Bruce MacFadden, President
Paleontological Society

Ole Wendroth, President
Soil Science Society of America

Anne Husebekk, Rector
UiT The Arctic University of Norway


EGU welcomes additional signatures from other societies, institutions and groups who would like to endorse this declaration. Please contact for additional information.


Terri Cook
Head of Media, Communications and Outreach
European Geosciences Union
Munich, Germany
X @EuroGeosciences


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Declaration 27 July 2020.pdf
Declaration 27 July 2020.pdf (PDF document, 500.6 KB)