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People News

GeoWeek–for everyone?

The relevance and importance of geoscience is opaque to many. As a community, we are responsible for raising the subject’s profile. One way to do this is by organising an event for GeoWeek 2020, as Chris King & John Stevenson report


GeoWeekGeoWeek ran for the second time this year, with a more than 100% increase in activities and participants. There were 76 events, rising from 36 in 2018, with an increase in participants from 900 in 2018 to 2,200 in 2019. Regional coverage of events dramatically increased (sadly, no events were held in Wales, but in the future, who knows?).

Given the success of GeoWeek 2019, we have set ourselves ambitious targets going forward. We want to achieve more than 10,000 participants in ten years and gain representation in all UK regions within seven years.

Meeting these targets will only be possible if many Geoscientist readers take part. So what does taking part involve? It means planning an event to inform and educate members of the public about the geoscience that is on their doorstep and beyond, for GeoWeek 2020.

It also means noting that GeoWeek has no funding or remit for local advertising. Event organisers plan what to do, submit details to the GeoWeek website at, advertise the event locally and run the event on the day.

GeoweekRight, Sandstones of Nottingham guided tour © BGS

What do you get in return? Satisfaction that more people in your area have a much better idea of what geoscience is and what it does. GeoWeek has generated significant interest and excellent feedback from participants. This year 95% of the organisers rated their organising experience as 4 or 5 (5=very good), commenting:

“It definitely makes you feel fulfilled in your job when the public you are communicating to are engaged and leave informed about geoscience. Outdoors is the best learning and communicating environment in my opinion!”

“It always amazes me how interested people are. The landscape and rocks beneath Britain are so varied that it is easy to captivate people and to surprise them with facts like England and Scotland were once separated. Also helping them to realise how useful rocks and minerals have been (and still are) whether that’s for storing water, supplying building materials or for future geothermal energy.”

“It shows the value of Earthcaches (and GeoWeek that gave me the impetus) and how we can teach Earth Science to a class even when we are not there!”

GeoWeek events provide a fun and simple way to engage your local community and educate them in the importance of geoscience as a subject. For inspiration, check out our report on GeoWeek 2019 on Geoscientist online, as well as the GeoWeek website ( To join the GeoWeek Supergroup, or for general information, contact us at [email protected]. You can also find guidance and the publicity toolkit at


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

Phil Gibbard
GibbardAt the international STRATI 2019 Congress in Milano, Italy, Professor Phil Gibbard was awarded the prestigious Digby McClaren Medal by the International Union of Geological Sciences' International Commission on Stratigraphy (Photography by Dr Angela Coe).



Sarah Day, Head of Media Relations & Outreach, has left her current role to take up  the position of locum Editor for Geoscientist magazine. The Society thanks Sarah for her valuable contribution to its outreach work over the years and wishes her every success in her role at Geoscientist.