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Task Group on "Geoethics in Forensic Geology"


Appointed on 5th October 2018 jointly by IAPG and IFG - Initiative on Forensic Geology of the IUGS.



The goal of the Task Group is to draft a white paper on “Geoethics and Forensic Geology”, focused on the competence of scientists in forensic geology; best practice guidelines; clear duties of the expert; ethical aspects in forensic geology activities and ethical aspects in communicating evidence. When developing geoethics within forensic geology, the following practices are important: the use of appropriate methods and/or combination of complementary methods; localization and analysis of areas of interest; collection and recovery of evidence; examination and evaluation of data; construction and appropriate use of databases, background information, documentation, cartography and communicating forensic data, summarising evidence and consideration of uncertainty and bias. Honesty, integrity, respect, transparency, competence and reliability are vital for the forensic geoscientist to adhere to and uphold at all times the dignity of the many individuals involved. This Task Group aims to pave the way to ensure that people are empowered now and into the future – geoscientists, forensic geoscientists and society. Acting responsibly and adopting effective ethical codes is vitally important for a safe society.



Lorna Dawson (United Kingdom)

Professor Lorna Dawson, CBE, is a forensic soil scientist with more than twenty years of experience in the field of forensic soil science/geology. She is a registered expert with the UK National Crime Agency, and regularly works with police forces, lawyers and agencies in the UK and abroad, to deliver intelligence in search, and in providing trace evidence analysis, evaluation and evidence in court. She has published over 100 scientific publications, is a visiting professor in forensic science at Robert Gordon University and is Chair of the Geological Society, Forensic Geology Group and Treasurer of the IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology.


Rosa Maria Di Maggio (Italy)

She is a geologist with more than twenty years of experience in the field of forensic geology. She published several scientific publications and is author of the first Italian book on forensic geology. She is Adjunct Associate Lecturer at the School of Veterinary and Life Science of Murdoch University and member of the IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology, as Officer for Europe.

Silvia Peppoloni (Italy)

PhD researcher at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (Rome, Italy); Founding member of the IAPG and Coordinator of the Section on Geoethics and Geological Culture of the Italian Geological Society. Councillor of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) for 2018-2022. Member of the Ethical Advisory Board of ICOS ERIC - Integrated Carbon Observation System. Member of the Executive Council of the Italian Section of the IAEG - International Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment. 



Rosa Maria_Di Maggio.jpg
Lorna Dawson
(United Kingdom)
Rosa Maria Di Maggio
Silvia Peppoloni
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