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Geological knowledge is general knowledge!

Iain Bartholomew FGS

Geoscientist 17.8 August 2007

Iain Bartholomew, Chairman of the Corporate Affiliates and Vice President of the Geological Society, looks to the future.

We are now already half way through the Geological Society’s Bicentennial Year - the year in which the Society has launched its strategy of serving science and profession. One of the most important parts of the strategy is to ensure that the Society is seen as the respected public voice of geosciences in the UK. As global warming and climate change have become such a big issue for the general public, it is particularly important that the public are informed of what the scientific facts are. It is up to our Society to take the lead on this and you as a reader of Geoscientist will, I hope, play your part too!

Many Bicentennial events have already taken place - including the very well attended London lecture series, which has gone some way to engaging and informing the public on globally interesting topics of geological importance.

A coming Bicentennial event not to be missed is the Bicentennial Conference on 10th – 12th September at the QEII Conference Centre, London. The overall theme is ‘Earth Sciences in the Service of Society’. The first two days will consist of parallel sessions designed to report on the state of the science across four broad themes: resources, environment, Earth and planetary interiors and the Earth system. This is an ideal opportunity to get acquainted with all the hot topics of our science.

The third day will be a special plenary session that will look ahead to the future of the Earth Sciences. Distinguished speakers will present their own ideas, leading to panel discussions around the themes of the changing earth system, sustainable use of non-renewable resources, and the ways in which new technologies will change our science. Policymakers and politicians have been invited to a day that promises to be full of controversial discussion. It will be an excellent networking opportunity for all attendees.
The Geological Society Corporate Affiliates play a very important role in helping to promote geological knowledge sensibly and realistically. A campaign is currently underway to recruit a more diverse group of companies to the scheme, in order to create a wider base and therefore more meaningful network. This was launched at a well-attended reception in February at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Oxburgh. As well as existing Corporate Affiliate companies many non-Affiliates attended, representing legal firms, financial institutions, and environmental management companies. Since the event, a number of new companies have joined the Affiliates scheme; but we still need more, particularly the less ‘geologically related’ companies. If on reading this article you are aware of a company that you think could be persuaded to become a Corporate Affiliate then please let me, as Chairman of the Corporate Affiliates, know.

If you have not yet done so please log on to the revamped Geological Society website (OK - if you're reading this online, you can ignore this remark!). It has been designed with the aim of better informing both Fellows and the public on geology and what is going on. A full up-to-date programme and details of how to register for the Bicentennial Conference can be found, as well as details of the Corporate Affiliates scheme.

If you have any comments on the Corporate Affiliates scheme then please contact me by e-mail: [email protected] 

I look forward to seeing you at the Bicentennial Conference!