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Geology for Society launched

28 January 2014

The Geological Society of London today launches a new report, ‘Geology for Society’. Aimed at policy and decision-makers, as well as the wider public, the report outlines the importance of geology to our society, from protecting human health and the environment, to facilitating economic growth.

David Shilston, President of the Geological Society, says ‘Geology underpins the provision of most of the resources on which the UK’s population and industry depend – including energy, minerals, water and food. An understanding of our planet and the processes which have shaped it is essential for waste management, the ground engineering needed for our society’s complex infrastructure, solving environmental problems and mitigating the effects of climate change.

‘This report is most timely - just as we are beginning to understand more fully the impact we are having on our planet, resources are becoming scarcer, and the population is increasing.’

‘Geology for Society’ will be launched at ‘Geology and the Welsh Economy’, a free event being held at the National Assembly for Wales, which will bring together policymakers, regulatory bodies, consultants and students to discuss the contribution geology has made to the economy of Wales and its role in Wales’ future prosperity.

The event marks the 50th anniversary of the Engineering Group – the first and largest Specialist Group of the Geological Society. ‘It is fitting that we are celebrating the work of our Engineering Group and launching this important report in Cardiff Bay’ says Mr Shilston. ‘Engineering and environmental geologists have made a vital contribution to the regeneration of the area, helping Wales to set a high standard for successful regeneration projects across the nations of the UK and beyond.’

The report covers the major policy areas in which geologists play a crucial role – the economy, energy, water, mineral resources, environmental health, protecting the environment, geohazards, ground engineering and climate change. It also highlights the importance of ensuring a skilled geoscience workforce and strong research base, to equip society for facing some of the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century.

Nic Bilham, Director of Policy and Communications, says ‘Geology is not taught at the majority of schools as a core subject. So it’s essential that young people learn the key processes and concepts in geology within mainstream science subjects, to equip them for engaging with debates about the challenges facing humankind.

‘This report outlines just how many of those challenges rely on geology. It is essential that we continue to support the UK’s highly regarded geoscience research base, as well as ensuring employers are able to recruit enough skilled, qualified geologists.’