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The Geological Society's Science Strategy

science strategy

Read the Society's Strategy and Delivery Plan agreed in April 2014

Science Committee

The Science Committee reports to the Science and External Relations Committee.


  • To develop a high quality and relevant programme of scientific meetings in London, around the UK and internationally.
  • To stimulate the advancement of geological knowledge and to facilitate communication among professional geoscientists in academia, industry and government, through meetings and publications.
  • To deliver the highest quality science output to the highest international standards through a series of Flagship events, identifying stimuli, monitoring and rewards, and to encourage the dissemination of the resulting knowledge.
  • To advise on ideas for future Special Publications/Thematic Sets, and encourage publications resultant on meetings in Geological Society published Journals, Special Publications and Memoirs.
  • To ensure that the scientific output of the Society remains entirely consistent with the Science Strategy.

Terms of reference

The Science Committee are responsible to SERC for the delivery of the Society's scientific meetings programme. In the past Science Committee has acted on proposals initiated by the Society's Fellows and other members of the geoscience community. Now the Science Committee has the opportunity to continue accepting proposals as well as addressing strategically important areas of geoscience in which it believes the Society's science programme merits active development. 

Society Flagship Meetings

The Society's Flagship meetings form the basis for underpinning and communicating the Science Strategy to both the Fellowship and external scientific/public audiences. Key meetings will take place at Burlington House. Topics will have particular scientific merit and will be of interest beyond a single geoscientific specialism. This might be demonstrated by the involvement of more than one Specialist Group or another scientific society, or by reference to wider public interest in the topic. Key annual meetings include:

  • William Smith Meeting
  • Lyell Meeting
  • Fermor meeting
  • Arthur Holmes Meeting
  • Frontiers meeting

Specialist Groups & Joint Associations are encouraged to propose meetings to the Science Committee from their individual areas of interest for inclusion in the Flagship Programme. Flagship Status recognises both the high quality of scientific content and the broader appeal of the subject matter outside a single geoscientific specialism.

    Specialist Groups and Joint Associations

    • The Science Committee will encourage and support meetings of Specialist Groups and Joint Associations and facilitate active representation of Science Committee.
    • Support Specialist Groups and Joint Associations in promoting their specialism through other appropriate activities.


    • The Science Committee will assist in maintaining and enhancing the stratigraphic framework of UK geology for both national and international research.

    Special Publications

    • The Science Committee will advise on ideas for future Special Publications/Thematic Sets.
    • The Science Committee will encourage publication in Society Journals, Special Publications & Memoirs of scientific content resulting from Society meetings.


    The Science Committee will be chaired by the Science Secretary. The Committee membership will consist of up to four members of Council plus six Fellows of the Society representing the Specialist Groups, Joint Associations and the Stratigraphy Commission.

    The Executive Secretary, the Head of Strategy & External Relations and the Publishing House Commissioning Editor will attend meetings of the Science Committee. The Science Committee secretariat will be provided by the Conference Manager.

    Science Committee members will have individual responsibility for working with designated and agreed collections of Specialist Groups, Joint Association and Stratigraphy Commission.

    Representatives from all the Specialist Groups, Joint Associations and the Stratigraphy Commission will be invited to attend a Specialist Groups meeting once a year, to be held around the time of the May Science Committee meeting.

    Method of working

    The Science Committee will meet three times a year, in advance of Council meetings and scheduled up to one year in advance to facilitate travel planning.

    The Science Committee will meet in February, May and September.

    Committee Members


    • Prof Al Fraser

    Council Members

    • Dr Nigel Cassidy
    • Dr Neil Chapman
    • Dr Marie Edmonds
    • Prof Alan Lord
    • Dr Lucy Slater
    • Dr Angela Coe

    Other Members

    • Prof Max Coleman
    • Prof Gavin Gillmore
    • Dr Andy Howard
    • Dr Sally Thompson


    • Mr Edmund Nickless (Executive Secretary)
    • Mr Nic Bilham (Director of Policy and Communications)
    • Mrs Georgina Worrall (Conference Manager)
    • Ms Angharad Hills (Commissioning Editor)

    Reporting committees

    Committee meeting minutes

    June 2013 minutes
    January 2013 minutes
    September 2011 minutes