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Science Committee


  • To develop a high quality and relevant programme of scientific meetings in London, around the UK and internationally.
  • To stimulate the advancement of geological knowledge and to facilitate communication among professional geoscientists in academia, industry and government, through meetings and publications.
  • To deliver the highest quality science output to the highest international standards through a series of Flagship events, identifying stimuli, monitoring and rewards, and to encourage the dissemination of the resulting knowledge.
  • To advise on ideas for future Special Publications/Thematic Sets, and encourage publications resultant on meetings in Geological Society published Journals, Special Publications and Memoirs.
  • To ensure that the scientific output of the Society remains entirely consistent with the Science Strategy.

Terms of reference

The Science Committee is responsible to Council through SERC (Science & External Relations Committee) for the delivery of the Society’s scientific meetings programme.  In the past Science Committee has focused on proposals initiated by the Society’s Fellows and other members of the geoscience community.  Science Committee has the opportunity to continue accepting proposals as well as addressing strategically important areas of geosciences in which it believes the Society’s science programme merits active development.

Society Flagship Meetings

The Society’s Flagship meetings and themed years form the basis for underpinning and communicating the Science Strategy to both the Fellowship and external scientific/public audiences, including those in education.  Key meetings will usually take place at Burlington House, but may on occasions be held elsewhere.  Topics will have particular scientific merit and will be of interest beyond a single geoscientific specialism.  This might be demonstrated by the involvement of more than one Specialist Group or another scientific society, or by reference to wider public interest in the topic.  

Key meetings include:

  • William Smith Meeting
  • Lyell Meeting
  • Fermor Meeting
  • Arthur Holmes Meeting
  • Frontiers Meeting
  • Bryan Lovell Meeting

Specialist Groups & Joint Associations are encouraged to propose meetings to the Science Committee from their individual areas of interest for inclusion in the Flagship Programme. Flagship Status recognises both the high quality of scientific content and the broader appeal of the subject matter outside a single geoscientific specialism.

Specialist Groups and Joint Associations

  • The Science Committee will encourage and support meetings of Specialist Groups and Joint Associations and facilitate active representation on Science Committee.
  • Support Specialist Groups and Joint Associations in promoting their specialisms through other appropriate activities.


  • The Science Committee will assist in maintaining and enhancing the stratigraphic framework of UK geology for both national and international research.

Special Publications

  • The Science Committee will advise on ideas for future Special Publications/Thematic Sets.
  • The Science Committee will encourage publication in Society Journals, Special Publications & Memoirs of scientific content resulting from Society meetings.


The Science Committee will be chaired by the Science Secretary. The Committee membership will consist of up to five members of Council plus up to five Fellows of the Society.  The term of membership will normally be 3 years.

The Executive Secretary, the Director of Policy and Communications and the Publishing House Commissioning Editor will attend meetings of the Science Committee. The Science Committee secretariat will be provided by the Conference Manager.

Science Committee members will have individual responsibility for working with designated and agreed collections of Specialist Groups, Joint Associations and the Stratigraphy Commission.  They will be responsible for providing the Science Committee with update reports on the activities of their assigned Specialist Groups, for keeping the Groups informed about Science Committee’s plans and activities, and for engaging the Specialist Groups in delivery of the Science Strategy.

Representatives from all the Specialist Groups, Joint Associations and the Stratigraphy Commission will be invited to attend a full Specialist Groups meeting once a year, to be held around the time of the May Science Committee meeting.

Method of working

The Science Committee will usually meet three times a year at Burlington House, in advance of Council meetings and scheduled up to one year in advance to facilitate travel planning. 

The Science Committee will usually meet in February, May and October.

Committee Members


  • Dr Alex Whittaker

Council members

  • Dr Joel Gill
  • Mrs Sarah Scott

Other members

  • Dr Anna Bird
  • Mr Duncan Murdock
  • Mr Mike Streetly
  • Dr Graham Shields-Zhou (Stratigraphy Commission Rep) 
  • Dr David Neave (Early Career Rep)


  • Dr Richard Hughes (Executive Secretary)
  • Dr Alicia Newton (Director of Science and Communications)
  • Ms Emelia Spofforth-Jones (Head of Events)
  • Mr David Boyd (Head of Editorial Development)
  • Ms Florence Bullough (Head of Policy and Engagement)
  • Dr Bethan Phillips (Commissioning Editor)
  • Ms Becky Goddard (Events Co-ordinator)

Reporting committees