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Bruce Yardley appointed Chief Geologist

Bruce Yardley (Leeds University) has been appointed Chief Geologist by The Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD) of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Chartership news

Chartership Officer Bill Gaskarth reports on a projected new logo for use by CGeols, advice on applications and company training schemes

Climate Change Statement Addendum

The Society has published an addendum to 'Climate Change: Evidence from the Geological Record' (November 2010) taking account of new research

Cracking up in Lincolnshire

Oliver Pritchard, Stephen Hallett, and Timothy Farewell consider the role of soil science in maintaining the British 'evolved road'

Critical metals

Kathryn Goodenough* on a Society-sponsored hunt for the rare metals that underpin new technologies

Déja vu all over again

As Nina Morgan Discovers, the debate over HS2 is nothing new...

Done proud

Ted Nield hails the new refurbished Council Room as evidence that the Society is growing up

Earth Science Week 2014

Fellows - renew, vote for Council, and volunteer for Earth Science Week 2014!  Also - who is honoured in the Society's Awards and Medals 2014.

Fookes celebrated

Peter Fookes (Imperial College, London) celebrated at Society event in honour of Engineering Group Working Parties and their reports

Geology - poor relation?

When are University Earth Science departments going to shed their outmoded obsession with maths, physics and chemistry?

Nancy Tupholme

Nancy Tupholme, Librarian of the Society and the Royal Society, has died, reports Wendy Cawthorne.

Power, splendour and high camp

Ted Nield reviews the refurbishment of the Council Room, Burlington House

The Sir Archibald Geikie Archive at Haslemere Educational Museum

You can help the Haslemere Educational Museum to identify subjects in Sir Archibald Geikie's amazing field notebook sketches, writes John Betterton.

Top bananas

Who are the top 100 UK practising scientists?  The Science Council knows...


Earth science’s world organisation opens the case on Forensic Geology – reports Laurance Donnelly

Geoscientist 20.03 April 2012

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) launched its Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG) was officially launched during the 62nd Executive Committee Meeting of the IUGS, at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, on 22 February last year. This became named the ‘Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG)’. On 18-19 September, the IUGS-IFG and its newly formed committee members became formally established and launched at an inaugural meeting in Rome.

This was an interesting conjunction because forensic geology was well known by the ancient Romans who, according to LIUGSatin writers, were able to locate the camps of their enemies by observing the soil types adhering to the hooves of captured horses. More recently, in 1978, following the kidnap and assassination of Italian Prime Minster Aldo Moro, forensic geologists were involved in analysing soil from his clothing.

Picture: IUGS IFG Committee Members at the IFG inaugural meeting, Rome, 19 September 2011.


Throughout the early 1980s forensic geology developed in Rome; but (as in many other parts of the world) forensic geology seemed to be put on hold and had to await the millennium for further progress. This new Italian renaissance was helped by the development of a Soil Laboratory within Rome’s Servizio Polizia Scientifica. In recent years sampling and analytical techniques have improved and Italian geologists have taken part in numerous high-profile cases and assisted police with a variety of criminal investigations.

The meeting was attended by 19 committee members from around the world (picture), organised by Rosa Maria Di Maggio, (formerly of the Servizio Polizia Scientifica, now Geologia Forense Roma) with support from Laurance Donnelly (Chair, IUGS-IFG & Wardell Armstrong).