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Press releases

Press releases issued by the Society are listed here. These usually refer to papers published in one of our peer-reviewed journals.

Members of the press can find embargoed press releases on AlphaGalileo, or be added to our press mailing list by contacting

COVID-19 update from the Geological Society

20 March 2020

Read a message from our Executive Secretary, Richard Hughes. Following the UK Prime Minister’s announcements earlier this week the Geological Society’s main office at Burlington House and our Publishing House in Bath closed on Tuesday March 17th. The initial closure period was until the end of March, but it is now extended until the end of April. Further information will be provided in due course.

Geological Society launches policy briefing on radioactive waste disposal

12 March 2020

The Geological Society has published a policy briefing note on the geological disposal of radioactive waste. The eight-page briefing note explains how radioactive waste can be safely disposed of below ground, and how the UK’s search for a long-term disposal site will work.

2020 winners of Society awards

2 March 2020

The Geological Society is pleased to announce the winners of our 2020 medals, funds and awards. The 17 individuals are being honoured for their contributions to the geosciences and the geoscience profession. The winners will receive their awards at our President’s Day on 4 June.

2019 Earth Science Week photo competition winners announced

14 October 2019

The Geological Society is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Earth Science Week photography competition, “Geoscience is for everyone”. For the first time, we welcomed photos taken around the world. The winning photographs showcase the rich diversity of environments in which our photographers, live, work, and travel.

Decarbonisation depends on advancing and supporting the geosciences

29 August 2019

Advances and investment in several key areas of the geosciences are required to meet targets of no more than 1.5°C warming, according to a review paper published today in Petroleum Geoscience: the international journal of geoenergy and applied earth science.

Geological Society announces its theme for 2021 - the Year of Space

29 May 2019

The Geological Society of London has announced its theme for 2021 – the Year of Space. Throughout the year, the Society will explore the role geologists have to play in space science, as well as what space can teach us about the Earth, through a variety of research conferences, lectures and education and outreach activities.

Geological Society marks 100 years of female Fellowship

21 May 2019

The Geological Society of London is marking 100 years of female Fellowship with a conference exploring the history of women's contributions to geology, an oral history project and an exhibition at Burlington House.

Geoscience is key to meeting Committee on Climate Change's recommendations on reducing emissions, says Geological Society

2 May 2019

The Geological Society of London welcomes the report published today by the Independent Committee on Climate Change, proposing that the Government commit to a net-zero reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050. 

Geological Society Awards 2019

4 March 2019

The Geological Society of London is delighted to announce the recipients of our 2019 awards, to be presented at President's Day on 6 June 2019. The Wollaston Medal, our highest award, is this year presented to Professor Edward Stolper, William E. Leonhard Professor of Geology at Caltech. 

Sand and the Sandbank: is sand extraction a sustainable business? (30 January)

23 January 2019

Are we running out of sand? This one day meeting will explore the economics of sand, its role in building climate resilience, and new approaches to managing sand resources as global demand continues to rise.

The 2019 Bryan Lovell Meeting: Decarbonising the UK (21-23 January)

10 January 2019

This year's Bryan Lovell Meeting will explore the role of the geosciences in decarbonising the UK, including a panel discussion chaired by Andrew Miller, former Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee

2020: The Year of Life

19 December 2018

We've announced our theme for 2020 - the Year of Life.

Geological Society publishes joint statement on Geology and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

10 December 2018

The Geological Society of London (GSL) has published a joint briefing note with the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Geology for Global Development (GfGD), outlining the ways in which geologists are key to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Geological Society supports CaSE call for action on visa restrictions

8 March 2018

The Geological Society has today supported a letter to the Prime Minister published by the Campaign for Science and Engineering, calling on the government to take urgent action in revising current immigration policy.

Geological Society Awards 2018

1 February 2018

We are delighted to announce the recipients of our 2018 Awards, to be presented at President's Day on 6 June.

2017 Earth Science Week photography competition results announced

9 October 2017

The Geological Society is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Earth Science Week photography competition, 'Our Restless Earth'.

The Geological Society of London's Lyell Collection launches new website on the HighWire Press JCore platform

21 June 2017

The Geological Society of London has launched its Lyell Collection on HighWire Press's JCore platform. The new sites showcase both book and journal content.

Geological Society 2017 Awards

6 March 2017

The Geological Society of London is delighted to announce our 2017 awards, to be presented at President's Day on 7 June.

Geological Society appoints Richard Hughes as Executive Secretary

3 February 2017

The Geological Society is delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Hughes, currently Director of Business Development at the Coal Authority, as Executive Secretary.

Geological Society partners with BBC Learning’s Terrific Scientific Project

4 January 2017

The Geological Society is delighted to be a partner organisation for BBC Learning’s ‘Terrific Scientific’ project, as part of the 'Water' investigation due to launch in February.

Earth Science Week photography competition winners announced

5 October 2016

The Geological Society is pleased to announce the results of the 2016 Earth Science Week photography competition, 'Earth Science in Action.' Based on the theme of this year's Earth Science Week, the images will all feature in a 2017 calendar.

2017 - The Year of Risk

5 September 2016

Following two successful themed years, the Geological Society has named 2017 the Year of Risk. Throughout the year, we will be exploring the concept of risk in the context of the geosciences.

'Brexit' would have negative impact on the geosciences, says Geological Society of London survey

16 June 2016

Nearly two thirds of respondents believe a UK exit from the EU would have a negative impact on their work, in a survey of geoscientists carried out by the Geological Society of London.

Geological Society launches 'Geology Career Pathways' website

7 March 2016

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new education and careers web pages, 'Geology Career Pathways', produced in partnership with University Geoscience UK.

Geological Society Awards 2016

29 February 2016

We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2016 awards, to be presented at President's Day on 8 June.

2016 - The Year of Water

28 January 2016

The Geological Society has named 2016 the Year of Water. Throughout the year, the Society will be exploring the different and varied ways in which geology and water interact, and the importance of these links to people and the environment. 

100 Great Geosites photography competition winners announced

7 October 2015

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 100 Great Geosites photography competition, to feature in a 2016 calendar.

Geosites on the go - Geological Society launches 100 Great Geosites mobile app

27 August 2015

The Geological Society of London, in partnership with mapping and analytics company Esri UK, have launched a 100 Great Geosites mobile app, following the success of the 2014 project.

Geological Society appoints Sarah Fray as Executive Secretary

15 July 2015

The Geological Society is delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Fray as Executive Secretary. Currently Director of Engineering and Technical Services at the Institution of Structural Engineers, Ms Fray will take up her post in early October.

Spectacular Moroccan fossils redefine evolutionary timelines

8 July 2015

Some of the oldest marine animals on the planet, including armoured worm-like forms and giant, lobster like sea creatures, survived millions of years longer than previously thought, according to a spectacularly preserved fossil formation from southeastern Morocco.

Geological Society elects Maureen Raymo and John Walsh as Honorary Fellows

7 May 2015

The Geological Society of London has elected two new Honorary Fellows, Professor Maureen Raymo and Professor John Walsh. They join the Society’s 68 strong list of Honorary Fellows, recognised both for their achievements in Earth science, and as ambassadors for the science.

Malcolm Brown of BG Group voted next Geological Society President

13 April 2015

Members of the Geological Society of London have voted Malcolm Brown, Executive Vice President of Exploration at BG Group, to be their next President, following a consultative ballot. He will serve for a year as President Designate, before taking over from current President Professor David Manning in June 2016.

National geological screening for radioactive waste disposal – GSL establishes independent review panel

25 March 2015

At the request of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Geological Society1 has established an independent panel to review and evaluate the guidance for national geological screening, which will inform the process of identifying a suitable site or sites for geological disposal of the UK’s radioactive waste.

Archivists uncover rare first edition of 'The Map that Changed the World'

23 March 2015

A rare early copy of William Smith’s 1815 Geological Map of England and Wales, previously thought lost, has been uncovered by Geological Society archivists.

Sir David Attenborough to launch celebrations of 'The Map that Changed the World'

18 March 2015

On 23rd March, the Geological Society of London and partner organisations will launch the 200th anniversary celebrations of William Smith’s ‘Map that Changed the World.’

Geological Society Awards 2015

18 February 2015

We are delighted to announce our 2015 Awards, to be presented at President's Day on 3 June.

Geological Society welcomes Energy and Climate Change Committee report on Carbon Capture and Storage

21 May 2014

The report is right to point out that we can have a high level of confidence in the safe and secure disposal of CO2 underground. The science and engineering associated with CCS are not significant barriers to large-scale delivery of CCS – the principle constraints are political and economic

Life in the dark: Deep sea hydrothermal vents and the possibility of life beyond Earth

10 March 2014

In the past 40 years, ocean exploration has revolutionised our understanding of how ecosystems adapt to life at deep sea vents. The 2014 Lyell Meeting asks, can life in these extreme environments tell us something about the possibility of ecosystems beyond Earth?

Major conference to address geology of shale gas exploration

25 February 2014

Over two days, geoscientists and decision makers will discuss the latest geological research relevant to shale gas exploration, production and environmental management, including the likely extent of UK shale resources, potential hazards such as induced seismicity or contaminated groundwater, and what can be learned from the story of US shale gas extraction.

'Geology for Society' launched

28 January 2014

The Geological Society of London today launches a new report, ‘Geology for Society’, outlining the importance of geology to our society, from protecting human health and the environment, to facilitating economic growth.

Geological Society Fellows among UK’s leading practising scientists

14 January 2014

Seven Fellows of the Geological Society have been named on the Science Council’s list of the UK’s 100 leading professional scientists, launched to celebrate the Science Council’s 10th birthday.

Earth's sensitivity to climate change could be 'double' previous estimates, say geologists

10 December 2013

The sensitivity of the Earth’s climate to CO2 could be double what has been previously estimated, according to a statement issued by the Geological Society of London.

Oceans 'can sustain 10.5 billion for centuries to come'

24 October 2013

The world’s oceans are capable of sustaining 10.5 billion people at a European standard of living for hundreds of centuries to come, according to an article by Lawrence Cathles, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science at Cornell University, to be published in a Geological Society special publication this week.

UK Earth Science Week 2013

2 October 2013

The UK's second Earth Science Week is taking place on 7 -13 October, and will be a celebration of geology on our doorsteps, with guided walks taking place throughout the week.

Geological Societies mark 400 years of British Japanese relations

8 August 2013

The Geological Societies of London and Japan today signed an agreement for academic co-operation and exchange, on the 400th anniversary of Japanese-British relations. - See more at:
The Geological Societies of London and Japan today signed an agreement for academic co-operation and exchange, on the 400th anniversary of Japanese-British relations. - See more at:
The Geological Societies of London and Japan today signed an agreement for academic cooperation and exchange, on the 400th anniverary of Japanese-British relations.

Siberian caves warn of permafrost meltdown

19 June 2013

Climate records captured in Siberian caves suggest 1.5 degrees of warming is enough to trigger thawing of permafrost, according to a paper to be given at the Geological Society of London on 27 June.

National Schools Geology Challenge and Early Career Award

23 April 2013

The second annual National School's Geology Challenge is being held at the Geological Society of London on 23 April.

Conference: Holocene Climate Change

22 March 2013

An upcoming meeting on 4-5 April to address some of the questions we have about past climate changes during the Holocene epoch.

2013 Lyell Meeting: The Cambrian Explosion

11 March 2013

An upcoming meeting on 13 March to reassess the complex, non-uniformitarian processes that operated in ecosystems before, during and after the Cambrian explosion.

'We're not above shelf stacking' say geologists

18 February 2013

A response to Iain Duncan Smith's recent comments about the relative importance of geologists and shelf stackers.

The Global Geoscience Initiative

01 February 2013

A joint project between the American Geosciences Institute, The Geological Society of America, the British Geological Survey and the Geological Society of London.

Commercial scale CCS 'urgent', says Geological Society 

05 December 2012

A statement following the recent Government announcements on Shale Gas

Piltdown: 100 years on

04 December 2012

On 18 December, the Society is holding a meeting to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first announcement of 'Piltdown Man', by Charles Dawson and Arthur Smith Woodward.

Escaping Snowball Earth

19 September 2012

The mystery of how the planet could have escaped from ‘Snowball Earth’ conditions in the Neoproterozoic Era may be unravelling, according to research to be presented at the Geological Society’s Fermor Meeting this week.

Creationism and the Giant's Causeway

05 July 2012

A statement following the recent news about the new visitor centre at the Giant's Causeway.

Hydraulic fractures: how far can they go?

14 June 2012

The probability of hydraulic fractures, such as those produced in ‘fracking’ for shale gas, contaminating shallow aquifers is minimal, according to a study to be discussed at an open meeting of the Geological Society on Monday (18th June).

Water futures

2 March 2012

On 6 - 7 March, the Geological Society will be launching its Environment Network with a two day conference focusing on Water Futures. The conference brings together hydrogeologists and researchers from a range of Earth Science disciplines, to focus on the future of groundwater in the UK and abroad.

Future supply of rare earth elements could be disrupted

8 November 2011

While scarcity of rare earth elements (REE) in absolute terms is unlikely to be a concern, their future supply could be disrupted by technical, environmental and financial factors, according to a briefing note published by the Geological Society of London today.

Ancient submarine megaslides warn of tsunami risk

17 October 2011

UK's first Earth Science Week celebrates link between geology and poetry

5 October 2011

The Geological Society is organising the first UK Earth Science Week, beginning with a day-long conference celebrating the link between geology and poetry.

Geological Society welcomes ECC report on shale gas

23 May 2011

Select Committee's report on shale gas, published today, finds no evidence that ‘fracking’ poses a direct risk to underground water aquifers, provided the drilling well is constructed properly.

Climate Week at the Geological Society of London

18 March 2011

March 21 - 27 is the UK's first 'Climate Week', with the aim of raising awareness of the issues surrounding our changing climate, and what can be done. To recognise Climate Week, the Geological Society is holding a number of events and activities.

World-renowned volcanologist heads Geological Societys 2011 awards list

1 February 2011 

Professor Steve Sparks CBE FRS, former President of the Geological Society, is the recipient of the 2011 Wollaston Medal, the Society’s oldest and most prestigious award.

Rocks say stop pulling the carbon trigger

1 November 2010

The climate change ‘experiment’ has already been run, with results that would be disastrous for the world today, according to evidence highlighted in a statement published today by the Geological Society of London.

Changing climate poses serious threat to UK transport networks

22 October 2010

The famous landslide scene in The Railway Children could become a regular sight in future, as scientists warn of the effect climate change will have on the UK’s 10,000 kilometres of railway embankments and cuttings.

Acidifying oceans spell marine biological meltdown by end of century 

25 August 2010,/h4>

A unique ‘natural laboratory’ in the Mediterranean Sea is revealing the effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on life in the oceans. The results show a bleak future for marine life as ocean acidity rises, and suggest that similar lowering of ocean pH levels may have been responsible for massive extinctions in the past.

Hot blobs cause a pulse in the planet

25 June 2010

Hot spots such as the Iceland plume can cause ripples hundreds of metres high to spread across the Earth's surface, according to the latest research at the University of Cambridge.

Past global warming linked to undersea volcanism

23 April 2010

Scientists have come closer to identifying the cause of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), a period of rapid temperature rise which many believe to be the closest analogue to present day climate change.

Record permeability in UK granite is good news for geothermal energy

16 February 2010

Hopes have been raised for the viability of geothermal energy in the UK, after exploratory drilling in Weardale, County Durham, revealed record levels of permeability in granite.

Scientists bewitched by fossil webs

28 October 2009

Scientists have confirmed that threads found within amber deposits from the Sussex Coast are the world's oldest known spider webs, dating back to 140 million years ago.