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Information on Symposia per Science Theme

Theme No.

Theme Title

Number of Symposia proposed

Symposia Title

Symposia Conveners

Biographical sketch of the Conveners




Geoscience for Society

Dr. R. Shankar


Anish K. Warrier


Prof. Chris King



Geoscience Education

1.Roberto Greco,


2.Chris King,


1. Roberto Greco, a Professor at the University of Campinas (Brazil), lectures on introductory teaching of geoscience for geology and geography students and a teaching on Geoscience Education for future geography teachers. Since 2018, he is Chair, of the International Geoscience Education Organization (IGEO). He leads the Geoscience and Society research group that carries out research in education and the communication of geoscience. He has supervised Master’s and Ph D students.

2. Chris King is Chair of the International Union of Geological Sciences Commission on Geoscience Education (IUGS-COGE), Chair of the Education Committee of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) and Senior Officer of the International Geoscience Education Organisation (IGEO).

Teacher training; geoscience education; environmental education; school teaching; primary and secondary

This symposium focuses on processes that lead to better geoscience education.

The impacts of Homo sapiens on planet Earth are increasingly devastating. Land occupation, mining, chemicals used in agriculture, pollution of air and waters are just someof the issues that are of concern for the future of our species. In daily life, we are vulnerable to natural and human-induced disasters on a large scale so that people need to know how to mitigate, be resilient and adapt themselves.

It is urgent for politicians, business leaders, general stakeholders and citizens, in general, to give a serious thought to the grim situation that we face today. Future generations need to link the new advances in science in response to human needs in ethical ways.

Geoscience education is an interdisciplinary field of research that is devoted to studies of the processes that will lead to a better-educated student community and an earth science-literate public. In this symposium, we expect contributions from the new frontiers of research.

Geoscience Communication and Outreach

1. Iain Stewart


2. Kirsten v. Elverfeldt


3. Dr. Eduardo de Mulder

(The Netherlands)

4. Mrs. Courtney Jermyn

(The Netherlands)

1. Iain Stewart is professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth, Director of its Sustainable Earth Institute and holds an UNESCO Chair in Geoscience and Society. He is an Executive Editor of the European Geosciences Union journal, Geoscience Communication.

2. Kirsten von Elverfeldt is associate professor at the Department of Geography and Regional Studies at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (Austria). Her research interests are theoretical geomorphology, system theory and self-organization in the context of global environmental change. She is a spokeswoman of the Austrian Research Association on Geomorphology and Environmental Change, board member of the Austrian Geographical Association, and an Executive Editor of the European Geosciences Union journal, Geoscience Communication.

3) Dr. Eduardo de Mulder is an emeritus professor of Delft Technical University with a wide international network in the geosciences. Among others has been the President of the International Union of Geological Sciences (2000-2004), the Initiator and Executive Director of the UN proclaimed International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2010), and the Director of the Earth Science Matters Foundation (2011-2017).

4) Courtney Jermyn is the Director of the Earth Science Matters Foundation and a Senior Consultant at Sweco. She has over 14 years of employment experience in the geosciences, working in multidisciplinary and multinational teams on geotechnical and geological projects throughout the world.

Effective Earth Science communication, Outreach, National / international levels, Public awareness, Creative expression

As part of the broader vision of "geoscience for society", Earth scientists are increasingly expected to convey what they do and what they know to politicians and public. For this reason, there is a need for the Earth science community to be far more effective in engaging with issues of popular and political concern. Thus, in a time of “fake news” and a heightened public scrutiny and scepticism of science, the geosciences need fresh strategies of engagement.

This symposium invites contributions from those actively working on societal aspects of Earth science - climate change, natural disasters, geo-energy and geo-resources, engineering and environmental geology, and urban geoscience - to explore the challenges and opportunities of working at the public / geoscience interface and help establish an inclusive and effective communication of the science of our planet.

Another goal of this symposium is to explore the use of Geoscience expression to create impact, awareness, and understanding of the Earth’s processes and history.

Geodiversity, Geoheritage, and Geoconservation

José Brilha


Benjamin van Wyk de Vries


Denise Gorfinkiel (Uruguay)

Károly Németh

(New Zealand)

Kyung-Sik Woo

(S. Korea)

Nickolas Zouros (Greece)

Pushpendra Singh Ranawat,


1. José Brilha is a geologist and Full Professor at the University of Minho (Portugal)

Present positions/activities:
•Member of the UNESCO Global Geopark Evaluation Team;
•Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and its Geoheritage Specialist Group;
•Coordinator of the “Working Group Geoheritage Assessment” of the IUGS's International Commission on Geoheritage;
•Develops applied research on geodiversity, geoconservation, and geoparks

Past positions/activities:
•Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Geoheritage (Springer);
•President of ProGEO (The European Association for the Conservation of the Geological Heritage)
•Member of the Geoheritage Task Group of IUGS
•Member of the Advisory Group of the Global Geoparks Network-UNESCO
•Visiting Researcher at the Univ. of São Paulo (Brazil)

2. Dr. P. S. Ranawat has been working on mineral resources and their applied aspect during his service period:1971-2007 (details at and After his superannuation in 2007, he has been promoting geoheritage awareness amongst the general public mainly through Facebook, WhatsApp shares and through the newspapers (FB through

Geosite; Geopark; Nature Conservation; Geotourism

This symposium invites discussions on:

A. Geodiversity in territorial planning and ecosystem services;

B. Management and protection of geoheritage;

C. UNESCO Global Geoparks: best practices and challenges;

D.Geotourism, education and public dissemination of geoheritage; and

E. Geoheritage and mining heritage.

Special attention will be given to the discussion of relevant case studies that can be applied around the world, promoting the replication of good practices. The effective demonstration of the link between the above topics and the UN Sustainable Development Goals is particularly welcome.

Natural Stones and Architectural Heritage



Gurmeet Kaur


Dolores Periera


1. Dr. Fareeduddin has worked extensively on Precambrian Terrains of western and southern India with fundamental contributions to stratigraphy, metallogeny and alkali-ultramafic magmatism.

2. Dr. Gurmeet Kaur has worked on granitoids of western India; kimberlites and lamproites of southern India and on Heritage Stones.

3. Prof. Dolores Periera has worked extensively on the Heritage Stones of the world and as the Secretary General of the IUGS Subcommission on Heritage Stones. She is proactive in creating awareness of Heritage and the importance of the stones through time.

Heritage Stone Resource, Architectonic Heritage, Cultures, Quarries, Uses

Natural stones are the main material used in architectonic heritage. The symposium deals with natural stone types that have achieved important use and have been accorded significant recognition in human culture. The initiative is to bring out the global heritage stone resource to the fore and to highlight its relevance. This sub-theme is promoted by the newly recognized Heritage Stone Sub-commission (HSS), an IUGS Subcommission within the International Commission on Geoheritage (ICG). It encourages contributions on the proposed thematic issue: natural stones and heritage and their potential application and information on possible stones from all over the world. Contributions are also welcome on the importance of using original natural stones in the restoration and conservation of historical buildings.

Geoscience Art and Heritage

José Sellés-Martínez


Tom Heldal


Mónica Álvarez del Buergo Ballester


1. Dr. José Sellés-Martínez is a PhD in Geology, specialized in Structural Geology, and active in formal and non-formal education and outreach. Member of IGEO, AGA, AEPECT, etc. Was awarded the J. J. Nágera medal by the AGA for his contribution to the popularization of geological knowledge.

Art, Geoscience, Education, Conservation, Restoration

There is an intense and lasting relationship between Geosciences and the oldest stone-made works of art (like de Venus of Willendorf, the paintings in Lascaux Caves or the monuments in GobekliTepe). This Symposium aims to bring together geoscientists, art restorers, curators and also artists through their links to, and professional interest in, minerals and rocks in particular, and Geosciences in general. This will enable them to present, share and discuss their findings, products and proposals.

This not only will create new links between geoscientists and artists but also will open new areas of interaction such as how these works of art will be conserved (or transformed by natural processes) with time. Finally, the symposium will aim to link Geosciences, Art and Heritage to produce new and more effective ways of teaching to have informed, cultivated and judicious citizens.

The History of Geology and the Dissemination of Geological Knowledge

Barry Cooper


Marianne Klemun


1. Geologist, Historian, Heritage Stone specialist

2. Historian of Science and specifically Geology

History of geology, textbooks, knowledge dissemination, Indian subcontinent, developing understanding

This symposium will cater for a wide range of contributions dealing with the history of geology. Abstracts are invited on:

• Dissimination of geological knowledge including networking, collecting, accumulating and printing;

• Evolution of handbooks and textbooks;

•Legacy of a continent in contributing to the history of geology;

•Development of geological oncepts;

•History of mining or mineralogy;

•Uunderstanding fossils and stratigraphy;

•Understanding of landscapes;

•Understanding of volcanoes and earthquakes and

•Relevance of historical understanding in geology.

Geoethics: Ethical, Social and Cultural Aspects in Geosciences

Silvia Peppoloni


Nic Bilham


Peter T. Bobrowsky


Martin Bohle (Belgium)

Vincent S. Cronin


Giuseppe Di Capua


1. Silvia Peppoloni

Research geologist at the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, IUGS Councillor, Secretary General and Founding Member of IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics

2. Nic Bilham

Former Director of Policy and Communications and Head of Strategy and External Relations at Geological Society of London, IAPG Executive Committee member, Trustee of Geology for Global Development.

3.Peter T. Bobrowsky

Senior engineering geologist at the Geological Survey of Canada. Professor at the Simon Fraser University, President of the International Consortium on Landslides, former Secretary General of the IUGS.

4. Martin Bohle

Advisor at Directorate General Research and Innovation of European Commission, member of IAPG Board of Experts, Research Scholar of Ronin Institute.

5. Vincent S. Cronin

Professor at Geosciences Department of Baylor University (Texas, USA), Co-Chair of IAPG-USA, Meritorious Service Award of Environmental and Engineering Geology Division of Geological Society of America.

6. Giuseppe Di Capua

Research geologist at the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, IUGS Webmaster and Member of the IUGS Publications Committee, Treasurer and Founding Member of the IAPG.

Geoethics, Geo-risks, Geo-resources, Geoeducation, Professionalism

All branches of geosciences have ethical, social and cultural implications. Geoethics aims to provide a common framework for these concerns, and to discuss on the appropriate behaviors and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system.

The spectrum of topics this symposium aims to deal with include i) ethical and social problems related to management of land, coasts and open oceans; ii) socio-environmentally sustainable supplies of energy and geo-resources; iii) pollution and its impact, and iv) resilience of society related to natural-anthropogenic hazards. Role of stakeholders in culture and value of geodiversity, geoheritage, geoparks religious beliefs, gender, ethnicity or disability will also be discussed for sustainable development and intercultural exchange.

Acknowledging the role of Geoscientists at the service of society, this symposium, proposed by IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics (, aims to develop ethical and social on following topics:

1.Geoethics in natural-anthropogenic risk management

2.Ethical aspects of geoscience education and communicationSS

3.Geoethics for responsible use of georesources

4.Research integrity and professional deontology in geosciences

5.Geoethics in addressing global societal challenges.

Forensic Geology

Laurance Donnelly


Biplob Chatterjee


1. Dr Laurance Donnelly BSc (Hons), PhD, CGeol, CSci, EurGeol, FGS, FGSA is a geologist with ~ 30 years of international experience in Mineral Exploration, Resources & Mining, Metals and Minerals, Engineering Geology, Geomorphology Geohazards and Forensic Geology. He is Chair of the IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG).

2. Mr. Biplob Chatterjee has ~ 30 years of experience in the geoscience industry, mostly in mineral exploration, including 18 years of leadership and management experience and 9 years in the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Carried out geological investigations in 23 states of India and 32 other countries.

Forensic geology, forensic soil science, environmental forensics, mining, minerals and metals, fakes and fraud

Awareness of forensic geoscience has increased since the establishment of the IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG) at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France in 2011. This symposium will provide an opportunity for discussion on key issues in forensic geoscience including:

(i) expert opinion and effective communication, (ii) assessing the strengths and limitations of geoscience data, (iii) trace evidence and sampling strategies, (iv) use of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing, (v) ground search strategies for burials, (vi) application of geoscience databases, (vii) accreditation and regulation in forensic geology, (viii) case studies dealing with sensitive human issues. ix) Application of Environmental Forensics in fingerprinting industrial effluents in the hydrological and hydrogeological systems, x) illegal and illicit mining, mineral and metal, and xv) mapping industrial pollution footprint.

Role of Medical Geology to Protect Human Health from Toxicand other Harmful Elements in the Environment

Viqar Husain


Zafar Fatimi


S.D. Limaye


1.Prof. Husain is Ex-Chairman Dept. of Geology, Univ. of Karachi& Visiting Faculty, FUUAST, Karachi. He is also Convener of SEGMITE &VP, AGID.

2. Prof. Fatmi is Head, Environmental & Occupational Health and Injuries Unit, Dept. of Community Health Sciences, AGA Khan University, Karachi.

3. Dr. S.D. Limaye is an internationally renowned Hydrogeologist. He is also Past President AGID.

Geogenic elements, metals, chronic diseases, environment, health impacts

Medical geology is a fast-growing multidisciplinary science, which aims at identifying harmful elements like arsenic, fluoride and metals in physical and chemical environments causing serious diseases among people living mostly in developing countries. Thus, interaction and communication are needed to seek solutions to better protect human health from toxic and other harmful elements.

Contamination of surface water, groundwater and air result in serious ailments among poor children and other marginalized sections of rural and urban population of developing countries.

In particular, people in the deltaic and alluvial plains of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and many other countries are facing serious health problems because of consumption of unsafe surface and groundwater or vegetables grown using contaminated water. Participants are invited to present abstracts in this symposium to discuss geological and anthropogenic causes, mechanisms, impacts on human health and mitigation measures in the context of the afore-mentioned aspects.

Geo Parks, Geo Heritage & Geo Tourism in Low-Income Countries

Afia Akhtar, (Bangladesh)

Shahina Tariq


1. Ms. Afia is retired Director General of the Geological Survey of Bangladesh and Founder Member of IGEO.

2. Dr. Shahina has extensively travelled abroad in relation to her work at COMSATS University, where she is Associate Professor in the Department of Meteorology.

Culture, Preservation, Taking Geology to the Society

Geo-tourism, Geo-heritage and Geo-parks provide gateways to cultural appreciation, environmental awareness and economic support in rural areas. Geo-tourism is still at an early stage of commercial development in most of the low-income countries and needs promotion through Government departments, NGOs and international conferences such as the IGC. The establishment of the European Geo-Parks Network and the Global Geo-Parks Network are positive steps toward the preservation and presentation of geo-heritage or Geo-sites as a new tourist attraction. For the rural community they provide an opportunity of economic uplift by providing services to the tourists and working as tourist guides.

Abstracts are invited in this symposium on innovative strategies for conservation of Geo-heritage in rural areas around the world for promotion of tourism.

Earth Science and Society

Eduardo de Mulder

(The Netherlands)

Dr Gbenga Okunlola


1) Dr. Eduardo de Mulder; is an emeritus professor of Delft Technical University with a wide international network in the geosciences. Among others has been the President of the International Union of Geological Sciences (2000-2004), the Initiator and Executive Director of the UN proclaimed International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2010), and the Director of the Earth Science Matters Foundation (2011-2017).

Societal development, georesources, environmental protection/ conservation, Geohazards, Communication practices, Women geoscientists

Geoscientists play a vital role in ensuring resources for humankind, environmental protection etc. We need an integrated approach to the exploration and extraction of georesources (metals, minerals, oil, natural gas, ground water etc.) keeping in mind the needs of the communities and environmental impacts. Developmental activities should be environmentally sound and sustainable and importance should be given to protect and conserve our environment.

Also, Humankind has to deal with geohazards – both natural and human-induced. Efforts must be made to predict them, if possible and minimise the damage to human life and property.

Contributions are invited on all aspects of geoscience (the examples given above are not exhaustive) that have a direct and important bearing on society.