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People News

GeoWeek 2019: Get involved—run a GeoWeek event

Chris King & John Stevenson urge you to join in for GeoWeek 2019—a national event to bring the public to geoscience across the country.

GeoweekLast year, thanks to the involvement of geoscientists from across the regions, more than 30 events ran in England and Scotland. And we are hoping to greatly increase this number for 2019. GeoWeek was initiated to involve as many geoscientists as possible in outreach activities with the public. So, if you are a geoscientist, you too can join in this endeavour.

If we can build up a ‘head of steam’ in the UK, we can emulate the Spanish Geoloday initiative where some 150 geoscientists take nearly 10,00 members of the public on field trips on one day in May each year. Or we could try the Ottawa model, where on GeoHeritage Day, members of the public visit 19 geosites across the city ‘manned’ by volunteer geoscientists from universities and industry. Even if you don’t have the variety of exposures that Ottawa is blessed with, there must be plenty of other places in your town or city where the geological heritage can be introduced and explained.

Wondering why we have chosen May for GeoWeek, instead of aligning it with Earth Science Week in October or Science Week in March? It’s the weather. There is a much better chance of entertaining and enthusing the public on a sunny day in May than in poor weather in March or October.

Feedback from some of last year’s events during a particularly sunny nine-day GeoWeek included:

Geoweek“The Wells GeoWalk in May 2018 was quite an eye-opener! Our two friendly and informative experts opened up the world of geological rock types and formation in an amazing way! No longer is it possible to walk around the city without noticing the various rock types in walls and buildings and recalling something of their extraordinary journeys through time and place to eventually form part of the city. Highly recommended!”

“In just a short distance around the centre of the town we encountered a range of different rocks all formed in differing climatic conditions.”

“I joined a group that went out onto the edge of the Mendip Hills to explore the rocks found there and to appreciate something of the mechanics by which the landscape had been formed. I soon realised that this kind of fieldwork calls for considerable imagination, and so the guide’s use of a homemade model to demonstrate geological folding, faulting and thrusting came in useful.”

“What proved to be somewhat more challenging was trying to comprehend the timespans involved and to appreciate the conditions under which different rocks were formed.”

“Most interesting”     “Fascinating!”

The more of us that can be involved, the greater the interest and understanding of the public at large. So, please join us for GeoWeek 2019. You can read more background and all the details at: There you will find a toolkit including GeoWeek logos, leaflets, social media images and a press release template.

…and if you need help to devise your own building stone trail or field visit in ways that will involve and enthuse the public, just contact us (


All Fellows of the Society are entitled to entries in this column. Please email, quoting your Fellowship number.

Glossop Evening 2018

Privett Glossop  Neville Glossop

Kevin Privett received the Glossop Medal and delivered the Glossop Lecture 2018 at the Royal Institution on November 14. The Glossop Award was given to Jonny Neville. Images below: Kevin Privett (left) and Jonny Neville (right) receiving their awards from Emma Slack (photographs by Gosia Mider)

Susan Turner

TurnerDr Susan Turner, Honorary Research Fellow at the Queensland Museum, has been awarded the Tom Vallance Medal for 2018 by the Earth Sciences History Group of the Geological Society of Australia. 

Susan is recognised for her work documenting the careers of Australian women geologists.