September 19-23, 2011

The session on Geoethics, held in Turin (Italy) within the GeoItalia Congress (September  19-23, 2011) and convened by Dr Silvia Peppoloni (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology), was a great success. The session started with a very interesting interview of the famous sociologist Prof. Franco Ferrarotti (University of Rome) about the social implications of geological research and practice, and continued with an introductory talk by Dr. Ian Lambert, Secretary General of the upcoming August 2012 in Brisbane (Australia) 34th International Geological Congress. In his speech Dr. Lambert talked about ethical aspects related to geo-resources management, suggesting to the audience cues of reflections.

After his inaugural address, presentation of papers began. There were 2 keynotes (in video), 4 invited lectures, 35 speakers in total (including not only geologists, but also philosophers, social scientists, geophysicists, seismologists, psychologists, naturalists, anthropologists, freelances, technicians of the Public Administration, etc.). Among others, the interview to Prof. Giulio Giorello (one of the most prominent Italian philosophers of science) aroused much interest. He praised the important contribution of Earth Sciences to major cultural changes occurred in history and gave ethical and epistemological references on which to base the research on Geosciences. He also talked about the precautionary principle, the uncertainty concept in the Earth Sciences field and the probability calculation as tool for the evaluation of natural risks, with a final reflection on the relationship between politicians and citizens and on attitudes towards technology. Other treated topics were: sustainability, geo-resources exploitation, geodiversity, natural hazards, property of the subsoil data, scientific dissemination, relationships among geoscientists, mass media and politics, evaluation criteria of geological researches, didactics in schools, cultural and social aspects in the territory management. The session hosted two important international speakers from the Russian Federation: Dr. Ludmila Ryzhova, Professor at the State Geological-Explorative University of Moscow, and Dr. Nataliya Nikitina, head of the Geoethical Section within the Russian Geological Society.

Dr. Silvia Peppolony

National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Rome)

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