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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...

Al Hashimi remembered

Society hosts commemoration for murdered Iraqi geologist Wissam Al-Hashimi.

Dr Wissam Al-Hashimi (1942-2004), one of Iraq’s leading geoscientists, did his PhD at the University of Newcastle (1968-1972) on the sedimentology and dolomitisation of Carboniferous limestones in Northumberland. He became President of the Geological Society of Iraq, and of the Union of Arab Geologists, as well as Vice-President of IUGS (1996-2002), when he was a key supporter of the proposal to establish the International Year of Planet Earth. This eventually won UN approval for 2008, and operated over a triennium that began with the balloon release in Burlington House that opened the Society’s bicentenary celebrations in 2007.

wish1Picture: L-R: Prof. Eduardo de Mulder (IUGS, co-author); Balsam Wissam Al-Hashimi (daughter); Mrs Muatabar Hasan (widow); Mr David Shilston (President), and Farah Wissam Al-Hashimi (daughter).  Photo: Ted Nield

However, Wissam Al-Hashimi never witnessed its success. On the morning of 24 August 2004 while going to work, Wissam was kidnapped, ransomed and - despite payment being made to his captors - brutally murdered. His ID was stolen and it was two weeks before his family were able to locate his body in one of Baghdad’s overstretched hospitals.

On 12 February, the Society welcomed members of Dr Al-Hashimi’s family to Burlington House where they were presented with copies of the volume Sustainable Development and Management of the Shallow Subsurface, dedicated to his memory by IUGS. The volume, published for IUGS by the Society, is currently out to review.

The lunch was hosted by David Shilston (President) and Alan Lord (Secretary, Foreign & External Affairs) and Eduardo de Mulder (former President, IUGS, Chair, IYPE and co-author of the volume), in the presence of Prof Mosa Almosawe (Iraqi Cultural Attaché), Dr Robert Hack (Unviersity of Twente, co-author), and members of Wissam’s family, including his widow Mrs Muatabar Hasan, his daughters Farah Wissam Al-Hashimi, Balsam Wissam Al-Hashimi, and several other family members and friends.

Dr Hack described the volume, while Dr Ed de Mulder (speaking on behalf of Roland Oberhänsli, current IUGS President) described Wissam’s life and work, and especially the debt owed to him by the geological community worldwide for IYPE.

Replying, Wissam Al-Hashimi’s widow, Mrs Muatabar Hassan, thanked the IUGS and the Geological Society for the book and the event. “Wissam was an honest and dedicated scientist who worked for his country in its darkest hour. His death came as a great loss to his family and the whole community, but he was a kind hearted person - we miss him a lot and still suffer. May his soul rest in peace. If he were still among us he would be so grateful for all that has been done for him by those who appreciate science.”