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London Lecture: “Not under my backyard”: are public perceptions of the risk of geological engineering projects well-founded?

13 September 2017
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The Geological Society, Burlington House, London
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Modern society is crucially underpinned by the use of geological resources that include mineral resources such as metals and hydrocarbons; groundwater resources; subsurface infrastructure such as sewerage and transport tunnels; and waste disposal (e.g. waste water, CO2 or radioactive waste).

There have been recent high-profile media coverage of a range of geological engineering risks associated with, for instance, fracking for shale gas, wastewater disposal and radioactive waste disposal. Research finds risk perceptions differ between publics and technical experts.

While geoscientists and engineers may argue that these resources can be utilised in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, public concerns continue to be raised.

What is the source of the discrepancy between the perception of the risks associated with geological engineering, and what can the engineering and geoscience community do to better address - or take on board - public concerns?


Zoe Shipton, University of Strathclyde 

Geolsoc Contact

The Geological Society

The Geological Society
Burlington House

Tel: 020 7434 9944