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News from the Society

Society Business

Elections to Council 2019-2020

GSLThe October issue of Geoscientist invited Fellows to nominate new members of Council and the President-designate. A preliminary ballot will be conducted, the results of which will determine the list for the formal vote at this year’s Annual General Meeting to be held on 6 June.

Electoral Reform Services (ERS) will administer this year’s Council ballot. ERS is the UK’s leading independent ballot services provider, and has extensive experience of overseeing ballots for a wide range of organisations. 

Those Fellows for whom we have an email address will receive an email from ERS on or soon after 11 February with instructions on how to vote online. If you have not heard by 22 February, please check your spam emails before contacting the Society.  Fellows for whom we do not have an email address will be sent a postal ballot pack.
The closing date for voting, online or postal, is 31 March 2019.

Year of Carbon

Year of Carbon Logo

Flo Bullough reports on the Society’s themed year for 2019.

Welcome to 2019 and the Geological Society’s Year of Carbon. After a successful programme of events and activities in last year’s Year of Resources, we are kicking off early in 2019 and have a number of carbon-themed events, publications and outreach and education activities planned for the year.

In terms of meeting and conference highlights, the Year of Carbon got started with the Bryan Lovell Meeting held on the 21-23 January, which focussed on the role of geological science in the decarbonisation of power production, heat, transport and industry. On the 26-28 February we will host the Janet Watson meeting, with a focus on Deep Carbon, and later on in the year we have the 2019 Lyell Meeting on Carbon: Geochemical and palaeobiological perspectives.

Following on from previous themed years, we will host a number of public lectures on the theme of carbon, covering everything from diamonds and volcanoes to palaeoceanography and biogeochemistry. As with last year, we hope to take some lectures on the road and hold them in locations outside London. Additionally, we will collaborate with the Royal Society of Chemistry on one carbon-themed lecture to chime with the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. All public lectures will be listed on our website:

Along with our events and meeting programme, we will also be developing a number of education, outreach and policy activities throughout the year, as well as some themed collections and thematic sets from our Publishing House to highlight the Year of Carbon.

We will also be producing a number of education, outreach and policy materials focussing on areas such as the geological components of the carbon cycle. There will be a Year of Carbon themed rock set available for schools and groups to borrow, and we will be working on policy materials around decarbonisation and the links to geological science.

If you want to propose an event or get involved with any of our Year of Carbon activities, head to our Year of Carbon webpage:

Geoscientist Magazine Cover Competition!

Geoscientist magazine covers

Sarah Day and Will Foreman provide the details.

2019 will be the 100th anniversary of female Fellows of the Geological Society, and to mark the centenary, we’re opening up the cover of our May edition to your design ideas!

The first eight women to become Fellows of the Geological Society were elected on 21 May 1919, following a long campaign for women to be admitted. They included pioneering graptolite researcher Gertrude Elles, eminent palaeontologist and politician Dame Maria Ogilvie and stratigrapher and palaeontologist Ethel Skeat. Since their election, thousands of women have joined the Society, making vital contributions to our history, strategy and to the science. 

In the May issue of Geoscientist, we’re marking the centenary of female members with a special issue. We’d love the cover to feature an image celebrating women in geoscience, whether past or present, designed by you.

It’s up to you how you interpret the theme. You could send us a drawing of your favourite female geoscientist, a photograph of yourself or your colleagues in the lab or in the field, an artwork that you feel represents the importance of diversity in the geosciences—anything you like!

Your entry can take any format—a photograph, painting, drawing or other artwork—and you can send us a digital scan or post us the physical copy. Entries must be in portrait dimensions and, if sent digitally, of print quality. 

You can read the full terms and conditions, and further information, on our website at

Entry is free and open to all. You can submit as many entries as you like—all entries must reach us by midnight on Sunday 17 March.

How to enter

Email your submissions to

Or you can post entries to: 

Geoscientist Cover Competition
Burlington House

Good luck!

Chartership news

An update on chartership from Bill Gaskarth.

Mentoring workshops
We hope to run a mentoring workshop in late March (week of the 25th). At present, the plan is to hold the workshop at Burlington House. However, depending on interest, a workshop could be arranged outside London, either in addition to or in place of the London one. To be viable we need a minimum of 12 attendees.

Please contact the Chartership Officer ( for further information. We will then assess viability and decide on the venue(s). If sufficient interest has not been registered by February 22nd the workshop will not go ahead.

Discussions with representatives of Companies with Accredited Training Schemes has resulted in the production of an Annual Training Record document—designed for trainees to keep a record of their professional development (plans and achievements). It will be a useful document to submit with a Chartership Application, as evidence of development planning, as well as for future employers. This document is available for use by any early career geoscientist, and is not restricted to trainees in companies that have Accredited Schemes.

An electronic copy may be obtained from the Chartership Officer (

Society Discussion Group

Programme: 2019

Meetings of the Geological Society Discussion Group (formerly the Geological Society Club) are 18.30 for 19.00, when dinner is served.  Attendance is open to all members of the Society.  

For up to date information concerning topics for discussion and speakers, please visit the Discussion Groups page.

  • Wednesday 6 February – The Kings Head
Please contact Sarah Woodcock for more information and to make a reservation.  E: