Product has been added to the basket

Policy update

‘Geology and the Welsh Economy’, a new report from the Society, was launched at an event in Cardiff, writes Gareth Farr*

The Southern Wales Regional Group recently hosted an event in Cardiff to celebrate the launch of ‘Geology for Society’.

The event also formed part of the 50th birthday celebrations of the Geological Society’s Engineering Specialist Group, and included the Southern Wales heat of the National Schools Geology Challenge 2014.

Over 100 guests from government, universities, regulators, consultancies and local schools packed out the Grade 1 listed Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay, part of the National Assembly for Wales’s estate. This building, built in 1897 is a fine example of how geology has shaped modern Wales. Built with wealth generated from the South Wales coalfield it is constructed from ‘Ruabon terracotta’ sourced in north east Wales. Such was the demand of this fine Welsh terracotta that over 2000 people were involved in the operation and the town of Ruabon was often referred to as ‘Terracottapolis’. Its striking redness marks it out, even among the spectacular new buildings that now surround it (picture).kjh

Picture: The Pier Head Building in red terracotta provides a period contrast to the Senedd building (right) and the Wales Millennium Centre (left)

As geologists we naturally look to the past but importantly the event also focused on current and future issues for the geoscience community, including urban growth and regeneration, building a low carbon future, and how we adapt to a changing climate.

Picture below: The President, Mr David Shilston (right), provided the keynote lecture, followed by Dr Peter Brabham (Cardiff University, left), Paul Maliphant (Mott MacDonald, centre left)) and Dr David Schofield (British Geological Survey).

kjhWe were pleased that the event was endorsed by Edwina Hart, Welsh Minister for Economy, Science and Technology and David Rees, Welsh Assembly Member & Chair of the Cross Party Group for Science and Technology in Wales.

Nic Bilham writes: The Southern Wales Regional Group’s event was the first to be hosted by the Geological Society on the National Assembly for Wales’s estate. So it was a fitting occasion on which to launch ‘Geology for Society’, a major new report on the benefits our science brings to society - from protecting human health and the environment to delivering resources and facilitating economic growth. The document is aimed at policy and decision-makers as well as the wider public, and we hope it will also be a valuable resource for Fellows who want to explain why their science matters. The report can be downloaded at, where you can also find a wide range of online resources on all the topics it covers, including energy, water, minerals, engineering, geohazards and environmental change.

* Events Secretary Southern Wales Regional Group. Nic Bilham is Director of Policy & Communications at the Geological Society.