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A Geological Society for the 21st Century

During 2006, Council gave considerable thought to what the Geological Society stands for as it enters its third century, and set out its main strategic aims and some of the objectives it wishes to pursue in furthering them.  Some describe what the Society already does; others are ambitious new ventures.

This document, approved by Council in January 2007, is not an end in itself - it begins a process.  It will form the touchstone for Council discussions and guide its standing committees as they develop their own strategies.  It is hoped that it will evolve, and be useful to future Councils in providing some continuity beyond the usual three years for which Council members serve.

Geological Society Strategy

Serving science and profession


  • To be the respected public voice of geosciences in the UK, by
    • proactively promoting the views of the Society and the community on matters of public policy, through papers, articles in the media (regional, national, international), and meetings/debates
    • providing high quality responses to media and government questions
    • pursuing excellence of content and accessibility of the Society’s website and other online resources (e.g. the Lyell Centre)
    • organising popular lectures
  • To provide lifelong professional support to geoscientists, by
    • promoting, endorsing and providing training, guidance and CPD (including professional development leading to Chartership)
    • bringing all aspects of training together in a single stream, through university and work
    • working with champions in university departments
    • maintaining and building a world class geoscience library and map collection
    • publishing science at the leading edge
  • To recognise and foster innovation in the geosciences, by
    • developing and supporting new and existing Specialist Groups
    • encouraging young and energetic scientists from diverse disciplines
    • providing resource for workshops, meetings, etc
    • developing links with other scientific bodies and institutions
  • To show leadership in the geosciences community nationally and internationally, by
    • collaborating with other geological societies and specialist bodies in the UK to pursue common aims
    • fostering and exploiting Regional Groups’ local links
    • developing links with UK and overseas societies covering all aspects of the Earth System
    • taking a leadership role within international umbrella bodies (AEGS, IAEG, EFG, IUGS, etc)
  • To promote geoscience education, by
    • working with others (ESTA, etc) to support geoscience teaching in schools
    • using the GSL imprimatur as a ‘quality mark’
    • providing services for geoscience educators
    • inspiring interest in science, with other scientific societies and institutions
    • actively engaging bodies such as CHUGD
    • ensuring that degree accreditation remains relevant
    • encouraging lifelong learning, working with the GA, regional societies, etc
  • To communicate geoscience research and practice, by
    • publishing high quality geoscience literature
    • widening the Society’s publishing scope to include emerging areas of science
    • maintaining best practice in the light of technological developments in publishing
    • organising leading edge science meetings in established and emerging fields 
  • To assure high professional standards for the benefit of society, by
    • promoting Fellowship and Chartership, and maintaining the relevance and fairness of validation procedures
    • revising the code of conduct and regulations to protect core professional values and ethics
    • setting the standards for qualification and registration of those providing geoscience services
    • promoting, endorsing and providing training, guidance and CPD (including professional development leading to Chartership)

To achieve these aims, the Society must ensure and strengthen the financial health, human resourcing and charitable status of the Society, by
  • diversifying income streams
  • protecting and developing existing income streams
  • generating strategies to mitigate financial risk
  • maintaining and developing an expert and professional staff
  • ensuring the continuing involvement of Fellows in the running of the Society
  • growing Fellowship and promoting the Society throughout academia and industry
  • effectively and responsibly managing the resourcing of strategic objectives