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25 years of CGeol

Edmund Nickless, Executive Secretary, on the first quarter century of Chartership

iugIn 1972, the Council of the Geological Society set in train a series of events that saw the formation of the Institution of Geologists and ultimately, the creation of the Chartered Geologist title.  The development of the Society to encompass regulation of the geological profession was made possible almost two decades later when in 1990, the membership of the Institution of Geologists decided by a large majority to accept an invitation from the then President to join the Geological Society.

The process of change started by the absorption of members of the former Institution of Geologists has seen a fundamental restructuring of the Society with continuing evolution during the succeeding decades to meet the changing needs of the geological sciences, the geological profession and society at large.

Looking back, it is always difficult to judge actions then by the standards of today and 25 years is not all that long.  In seeking to advance professionalism within the geosciences there were concerns to widen access and to achieve a better level of gender equality.  We have made some progress.  In 2001 15.5% of the Fellowship was female; a decade later that was 19.5%.  In 2011 women made up 12% of Chartered Geologists, up from 7% in 2002.

The Society has never been (of late!) consciously exclusive, but greater awareness of the needs of individuals means we are more proactive in broadening gender and ethnic participation.  Continued change over the next 25 years is inevitable, furthering wider diversity within our Chartered Fellowship.