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Thanks to a donation by Martin Bohle (IAPG Board of Expert), the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics will support the participation of 2 young geoscientists from low-income countries at the RFG 2018 Conference, by covering the Abstract Processing Fee (50,00 Canadian Dollars), if they will submit an abstract in the IAPG sessions RS13, RS10, RS9 on Geoethics.

Read here how to apply for

RFG 2018 - Resourcing Future Generations 


Premier Conference on Energy, Minerals, Water, the Earth


Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)

Vancouver Convention Center

16-21 June 2018

Download the final programme of the RFG 2018 Conference

IAPG has organized or supports 6 sessions on different issues of geoethics under the Theme "Resources and Society" that include 11 keynote speeches, 28 oral presentations, 10 poster presentations (49 contributions in total). These are:

Session RS13

Geoethics and Environmental and Social Responsibility: Doing the Right Thing to Develop Resources for Future Generations


Scheduled on 19 June 2018, part I 8:30-10:00, part II 10:30-11:45, part III 13:30-15:00, room 119


Part I - Peter T. Bobrowsky (Geological Survey of Canada - Natural Resources Canada) and Silvia Peppoloni (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy)

Part II - David W. Mogk (Montana State University, USA) and Giuseppe Di Capua (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy)

Part III - Ruth Allington (GWP Consultants LLP, IUGS-TGGGP, UK) and Jan Boon (FaciliTech International and Environment and Social Responsibility Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Canada)


Session description

Meeting the resource needs of future generations is one of the greatest challenges facing global society – one in which geoscientists and engineers have a vital role to play. Adequate supplies of energy, minerals, safe food and water must be maintained, and health and education assured for all; moreover, developing countries rightly expect to achieve similar growth in their citizens’ standards of living as those experienced by developed economies in the 20th Century. These aspirations, and the industrial development which underpins them, will create unprecedented global demand for energy and natural resources, including clean technologies such as battery powered vehicles, with corresponding impacts on both the environment and the social dynamics of societies. The scientific and technical skills of geoscientists and engineers are essential to address the complex challenges of sustainably meeting our ‘georesource’ needs. Their decisions and activities have significant (geo)ethical, environmental and social implications dealing as they do with reconciling human and economic development with environmental protection, along with safeguarding the social and economic interests of future generations. Geoethics is the research and reflection on the values which underpin appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system. Geoethics provides a framework from which to define ethical professional behaviours in both geosciences and engineering, and to determine how these should be put into practice. During the past decades, an impressive body of knowledge in ethics, environment and social responsibility has been developed. This session will address how to incorporate this body of knowledge into the general education of geoscientists and engineers in order to better prepare them to face the issues, and to develop much-needed leadership in this area.

The conveners will invite authors to submit papers on practical and theoretical aspects of geoethics, and environmental and social responsibility, as described above, and on real examples via case studies. Papers will specifically address how these perspectives can be brought to bear on the challenges of sustainably meeting future demand for georesources, including energy, groundwater and mineral commodities. This session will be jointly organized by the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics (, and by the Environmental and Social Responsibility Society of the CIM - Canadian Institute of Mining ( This session is supported and endorsed by the EFG - European Federation of Geologists (

Oral presentations:

Part I

  • 8:30-9:00: #1983 Responsible sourcing of minerals: putting values into the value chain (by Nic Bilham and Frances Wall) KEYNOTE

  • 9:00-9:30: #2489 The Ethical Responsibility of Mining to Contribute to Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (by Gavin M. Mudd) KEYNOTE

  • 9:30-10:00: #1030 Sociology for mineral exploration (by Jan Boon) KEYNOTE

Part II

  • 10:30-10:45: #2484 The Social License to Operate in Contexts of Vulnerability: An Analysis of the Samarco Case (by Jacques Demajorovic and Juliana Campos lopes)

  • 10:45-11:00: #2021 Silos and glass domes: common deterrents of international cooperation (by Vitor Ramos Correia, Steve Henley, Marko Komac, Christopher Keane, Isabel Fernandez)

  • 11:00-11:15: #1862 Exogeoconservation: Protecting Geological Heritage on Celestial Bodies (by Jack J Matthews and Sean McMahon)

  • 11:15-11:30 - #1566 Clays That Transform Lives: The Ceramic Design Project at Serra Da Capivara Park and Its Importance on Sustainable Development (Max Furrier and Itelmar Oliveira)

  • 11:30-11:45 - #1379 Testing the predictive accuracy of environmental risk assessment methods in mining (by Lucas Gilsbach, Philip Schuette, Gudrun Franken)


Part III

  • 13:30-13:45: #2078 Lessons from the PDAC-AME Health and Safety Survey for the Professional Geoscientist (by William Mercer)

  • 13:45-14:00: #1300 The emerging niche for ethical small-scale mining (by Kathryn Ruth Moore, Dylan McFarlane, Dana Finch, Dominic Roberts)

  • 14:00-14:15: #1182 Geoethics in mining: the White Paper on Responsible Mining (by Giuseppe Di Capua, Nikolaos Arvanitidis, Jan Boon, Pekka A. Nurmi)

  • 14:15-14:30: #1073 Factors of Influence for the Awarding of the Social License to Operate in the Brazilian Mining Sector (by Ana Lúcia Frezzatti Santiago, Jacques Demajorovic, Antonio Aledo)

  • 14:30-14:45: #1025 Geoethics for actors in wicked socio-environmental systems (by Martin Bohle)

  • 14:45-15:00: #1016 Transformation: From Fossil Fuels to the Future (by Edith Newton Wilson)


Session RS8 

Geoethics and the Responsible Conduct of Scientists

Scheduled on 20 June 2018, 8:30-10:00, room 119


Cindy Palinkas (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, USA) and Susan Kieffer (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)

Session description:

This session is focused on the ethical behaviors of scientists that are based on trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, justice and exercise of power.  Interpersonal relations impact the ability of all scientists to work in a safe, inclusive, and productive environment.  Contributions are invited that explore the principles, case studies, strategies, and resolution of issues that relate to professional conduct in areas such as supervisor-worker, faculty-student, editor-author, individual-team interactions, and client-contractor relations, and situational ethics such as coercion to engage unethical conduct of research, sexual harassment, bullying, and other coercive or abusive behaviors. The session is endorsed and sponsored by the IAPG - International Association for the Promotion of Geoethics and the U.S. National Committee for Geological Sciences.

Oral presentations:

  • 08:30-9:00: #1900 Geoethics and Professionalism: The Responsible Conduct of Scientists (by David W. Mogk) KEYNOTE

  • 09:00-9:15: #2279 Promoting and regulating the responsible conduct of geoscientists – the role of codes and standards (by Ruth Allington, Ed Swindell, Oliver J. Bonham)

  • 09:15-9:30: #1311 Ethics, Conduct and Practice – a short discussion (by Oliver J. Bonham)

  • 09:30-9:45: #2195 Best practices for the use of location-based data in crisis situations (by Jonathan Drake and Jessica Wyndham)

  • 09:45-10:00: #1966 Situating geoscience from the inside and out: geoethical contributions from the discipline of Geography (by Marc Tadaki, David Reid, Leonora King, Lucy MacKenzie)

Session RS9

Geoethics in georisks management for a safer and more resilient society

Scheduled on 20 June 2018, 10:30-11:45, room 119


Vincent Cronin (Geosciences Department, Baylor University, USA) and Giuseppe Di Capua (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy)

Session description:

Human societies depend on essential resources like energy, water and minerals and at the same time are exposed and forced to coexist with related natural/man-induced hazardous phenomena, that pose a risk for human life, economic activities and artistic and historical heritage. In particular, anthropogenic activities associated with locating, extracting, using and managing resources (water, minerals, oil/gas, energy), fracking, geothermal exploitation, and any kind of geoengineering interventions for the search and use of natural resources, can increase hazard of areas already unstable, trigger or accelerate hazardous events, or induce new risks in areas previously safe. There is an increasing debate about the role of geoscientists into society, uncertainties in risks evaluation, data management, risk communication. Moreover, there is a harmful friction in the relationships between scientists/professionals-decision makers-industry-population, and different ideas and positions in the public debate on geo-resources need and use are becoming irreconcilable, often driven by incomplete or incorrect information spread by media or circulating in Internet.
Among the issues Geoethics deals with, ethical and social aspects of decisions concerning the risk management and mitigation are of utmost relevance. These issues include the search of a good coordination among the different actors involved in the risk scenarios (such as scientists, decision-makers, industry, media, citizens), and the development of strategies aimed at improving the safety and the resilience of society, in a short and long term perspective, at local and global scale, by considering the different social and cultural contexts and the existing political and economic realities. The geoethical approach to georisks management allows to combine ethical, social and cultural values with technical and economic considerations, and to increase the awareness of geoscience community and society as a whole about the importance of developing effective actions of prevention.
Geoscientists and Engineers, in all their different roles and fields of activity (professional, academic, research, public and private), have scientific and technical knowledge capable of addressing the societal needs of safety. This implies their responsibility to act in an ethical way, turning this knowledge into ethical action, by taking into account the common good and the public use. So, they can play a key role in building effective relationships with private and public stakeholders involved in the disaster risk reduction, paying attention to provide balanced information about risks and address inevitable uncertainties in geohazards assessment, warning, and forecasting.
The Conveners invite Authors to submit abstracts on the above and related ethical issues, including case studies, by sharing their views and experiences: in studying and managing geohazards and georisks in the geo-resources field, as well as in designing and implementing risk mitigation actions, in suggesting models, methods and ideas to influence the decision-makers in risk reduction programs, in transferring information about risks to society.
This session is organized by the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics (

Oral presentations:

  • 10:30-10:45: #1810 Considering hazards both inside and outside the property lines (by Vincent S. Cronin)

  • 10:45-11:00: #2417 Advances in Geoethical Practice: the role of standards in geohazard studies (by Peter T. Bobrowsky, Silvia Peppoloni, Giuseppe Di Capua, David Huntley)

  • 11:00-11:30: #1013 Geoethical consensus building through independent risk assessments (by Cesar Henri Oboni and Franco Oboni) KEYNOTE

  • 11:30-11:45: #1312 Oklahoma Earthquakes: Reviewing Almost A Decade of Induced Seismicity (by Edith Newton Wilson)

Session RS10 

Geoethics in geoscience education, communication and citizen science: experiences, approaches, and concepts

Scheduled on 20 June 2018, part I 13:30-15:00, part II 15:30-17:00, room 119


Part I - Nic Bilham (Geological Society of London, UK) and Iain S. Stewart (Sustainable Earth Institute, University of Plymouth, UK)

Part II - Silvia Peppoloni (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy) and Martin Bohle (European Commission, Directorate General - Research and Innovation, Belgium)

Session description:

The geosciences provide functional knowledge and insights into Earth systems and their interactions with society, and therefore have the potential to be a significant force for public good.  Geoscientists, other professionals and citizens interweave knowledge and insights from geoscience and other sources in different ways, in various professional and societal contexts. Beyond dedicated professional use, there are wider application cases. These include, for example, understanding the global societal challenges of the present time, reflecting on how we are to win and use natural resources (energy, minerals, water) sustainably, protecting oneself and others from natural hazards and anthropogenic environmental risks, and appreciating and conserving geological heritage as an element of the bond between human communities and their environments.

Given the enormous potential for the geosciences to be a public good, it is essential that geoscience insights are shared and effectively made available to the public for the benefit and progress of society. Geoscientists have the intellectual resources to be of service to the public, and are capable of contributing to addressing a range of important societal problems. Indeed, they have an ethical responsibility to do so, and to grow public awareness and knowledge of the geoscience relevant to their lives. Furthermore, through their knowledge and experience, geoscientists can transmit values, goals and tools which should contribute to our efforts to live sustainably on our planet, not least in ensuring that our current and future resource needs can be met in ways which are environmentally and socially acceptable. Providing expertise and the means to share and use it effectively is part of the tacit social contract between geoscientists and the public. What are boundaries of these responsibilities? And what problems do they present?

Effective geoscience communication and education are fundamental to the geoethical perspective, understood as acts of responsibility of the professional geoscience community towards society. It is also vital that the exchange of knowledge, ideas and values is a two-way process and that citizens can make a significant and meaningful contribution to the scientific enterprise.

Conveners invite authors to share their research, experiences and insights on geoscience education, communication and citizen science, particularly with reference to natural resources and related topics. Theoretical and practical contributions are welcome, including the presentation of case studies highlighting positive achievements or deficiencies, in order to improve strategies for the exchange of geological knowledge and ideas.

The session is organized by the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics ( and the GSL - Geological Society of London (

Oral presentations:

Part I

  • 13:30-14:00: #1294  Framing geoethics: definitions, methods, tools (by Silvia Peppoloni) KEYNOTE

  • 14:00-14:15: #1039  Geoethics Proper and geo-Humanities (by Martin Bohle, Nic Bilham, Giuseppe Di Capua, Silvia Peppoloni, Eduardo Marone)

  • 14:15-14:30: #2320 Geosciences in a religious setting? History of geosciences as tool for interdisciplinary dialogue and geoethics (by Martina Kölbl-Ebert)

  • 14:30-14:45: #1699 Geology for Global Development – Mobilising and Reshaping the Geology Community to Help Deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (by Joel C. Gill)

  • 14:45-15:00: #2236 Broadening an international focus on access and inclusion: The new IAGD Chapter in the UK (by Jacqueline Houghton, Alison Stokes, Christopher Atchison)

Part II

  • 15:30-16:00: #1297 Communicating Seismic Risk: the geoethical challenges of community-centred, participatory approaches (by Iain S. Stewart, Johanna Ickert, Robin Lacassin) KEYNOTE

  • 16:00-16:30: #1812 Geoethics as a common thread that binds a geoscience department together (by Vincent S. Cronin) KEYNOTE

  • 16:30-17:00: #1550 Addressing the Ethics Skills Gap through a Co-Curricular Approach (by Christopher Keane and Pranoti Asher) KEYNOTE

Session RS12 

Forensic Geology: Ethics, Communication, Regulation and Opportunities 


Scheduled on 21 June 2018, part I 8:30-9:45, part II 10:30-12:00, room 119


Rosa Maria Di Maggio and Lorna Dawson

Session description:

Recently forensic geology has experienced global expansion and development, which has been facilitated by the success of the IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology, established in 2006.  With the increased applications of geoscience methods, and highly skilled geoscientists, in investigations leading to civil or criminal proceedings, ethical issues can begin to arise.  We aim to explore a range of ethical issues relating to forensic geology, including how geoscience expert evidence can be effectively communicated to investigating officers, law courts, non geological forensic specialists and the public.  How best to deal with media interest will also be considered.  Opportunities in forensic geology relate to the sampling and analysis of Earth materials; decision making and communicating geoscience data and information, which are commonly incomplete; and new methods of Earth observation and data collection.  Topics which we expect to be included are: ethical issues of geoscience data and expert opinion communication; assessing the strengths and limitations of geoscience data in forensic investigations; sampling strategies and geostatistics; ground search resources; application of geoscience databases; accreditation and regulation in forensic geology; alignment with forensic science; case studies, including the illegal trade in geological commodities and international wildlife crime.  In addition, the issue of dealing with sensitive human issues and handling human remains and sensitive data will also be discussed.

This session is proposed by the International Union of Geological Sciences - Initiative on Forensic Geology (IUGS-IFG) in collaboration with the IAPG - International Association for the Promotion of Geoethics.

Oral presentations:

Part I

  • 08:30-9:00: #2173 Ethical considerations in interpreting and communicating geoscience evidence (by Lorna Anne Dawson, David Parratt, Derek Auchie) KEYNOTE

  • 09:00-9:15: #1520 Murder or fatal accident? Ethic and professionalism managing forensic geology evidence (by Rosa Maria Di Maggio and Pier Matteo Barone)

  • 09:15-9:30: #1488 Forensic Geology in Brazil: police ethics and academic development (by Fábio Augusto da Silva Salvador)

  • 09:30-9:45: #1813 The forensic geosciences potential in the lesson learned approach, which increases the collective security and decreases fatalities in disasters (by Margarita Zango Pascual)

Part II

  • 10:30-11:00: #1335 Current and future opportunities for developing the use of Geographical Information Science to inform Forensic Search Strategies (by Jennifer McKinley) KEYNOTE

  • 11:00-11:15: #1624 The use of natural isotope signatures in geographical authentication casework; academic practice versus legal standards (by Jurian Hoogewerff and Wolfram Meier-Augestein)

  • 11:15-11:30: #1406 Urban Soil and the Ethics of Disclosure (by Elisa Bergslien)

  • 11:30-11:45: #1006 Working with Non-optimal Soil Evidence in Casework: An Example from a Homicide Case in Southern California, USA (by Marianne Stam)

  • 11:45-12:00: 15 minute discussion and Questions & Answers with IAPG representatives

Poster Session "Geoethics"

Resources and Society II


17 June, from 17:00 to 20:00; 18 June, from 11:00 to 17:00; 19 June, from 11:00 to 17:00; 20 June, from 10:00 to 14:00


18 June, from 16:00 to 17:00; 19 June, from 16:00 to 17:00

Trade Show floor (Exhibit Hall A)

  • Immobilization of Heavy Metals in Acid Mine Drainage: An Environmental Engineering Remediation in DR Congo with geoethical implications (by Patrick Bacirhonde and Kitae Baek)

  • Enhancing Mineral Exploration Health and Safety through the PDAC-AMEBC Annual Survey (by William Mercer)

  • Embedding Geoethics in Canadian Provincial Geohazard Programs: Recommendations for Standards, Principles and Terminology (by Shona  van Zijll de Jong)

  • Geoethics at Queens University: Reconciliation through Indigenous Geoscience Education (by Shona  van Zijll de Jong and Matthew Leybourne)

  • Cross-Institutional, International Programs for Young Leaders for Geology and Sustainable Development (by Matthew Teh and Joel C. Gill)

  • The importance of teaching writing skills (Massimo Arattano and Albertina Gatti)

  • IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: let’s take stock of the situation (by Silvia Peppoloni, Giuseppe Di Capua, Peter T. Bobrowsky, Susan Kieffer, Stefano Tinti)

  • Developing an ethical framework for Environmental and Earth System Research Infrastructures in Europe (by Silvia Peppoloni, Giuseppe Di Capua, Florian Haslinger)

  • “What do you know about ethics in geosciences?” A questionnaire for European Environmental and Earth System Research Infrastructures (by Giuseppe Di Capua, Silvia Peppoloni, Florian Haslinger)

  • Intersections of Law and Geoethics: Delivering Canadian Geoscience for Hazard Risk Education (by Shona van Zijll de Jong)

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