This initiative about Geoethics is supported by the Spanish Official Association of Geologists (ICOG: Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Geologos) and the Association of Geoscientists for International Development (AGID).
This website has been openly and freely hosting and publishing the "Geoethics News" of the AGID WG of Geoethics (2007-2013). Given the misuse of "Geoethics News", as a way to issue unacceptable personal comments against other colleagues and institutions and following the official recommendations of the AGID President and Secretary General, it was decided to stop its hosting and publication in any AGID-related website.
Letter of Dr. Vaclav Nemec to the IUGS President and IUGS Secretary General (20 August 2012) informing about the foundation of the International Association for Geoethics (IAGETH), and expressing our interest on "preliminary support for the further needed legal steps and any administrative agenda including our affiliation to the IUGS structures ".
The official business meeting of the AGID international Working Group of Geoethics on August 7, 2012 in Brisbane (34th IGC), has decided by unanimity to establish a newInternational Association for Geoethics (see official document).
The decision of the WG to establish a new Association does not mean to stop further activities of the AGID Working Group. The new Association should recommend to establish some special working groups for geoethics (and ethics) in many associations within the IUGS family (and maybe also in the family of the mining world and elsewhere). Our WG in the framework of AGID can serve as a new model for other associations. Therefore it will be useful to continue also with the AGID Working Group for Geoethics - only with a focus on a new kind of activities (Dr. Vaclav Nemec).
N. Nikitina Geoethics: theory, principles, problems. Monograph. M:, LLC Geoinformmark, 2012. 155 pp. ISBN 978-5-98877-049-7”
The first monograph about Geoethics was published in July 2012 in Russia. The monograph contains the first systematic exposition of main provisions of the new scientific field of ethics geoethics, analyzing its status and considering its place in the system of contemporary scientific knowledge. Particular attention is paid to the development of moral foundations of relations in the system of human being - abiotic nature , arising from the scientific research of the Earth and its mineral resources, practical geological exploration, mining and utilization of mineral resources, as well as from the use of mineral resources while constructing and operating the underground facilities not related to mining.
For specialists of research institutes, university professors, employees of the administrative apparatus, legislative authorities, developers of a variety of programs, concepts and scenarios for the development and utilization of mineral resources, geologists and workers of the mining industry.
April/2012: The Spanish Official Association of Geologists (ICOG: Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Geologos) has created the Commission of Geoethics (President: Jose Luis Gonzalez (ICOG); VicePresident: Jesus Martinez-Frias (CSIC)
Geoethics is present, for the first time, in Rio+20 (IUGS report).
INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION ON GEOETHICS
Geoethics is a key discipline in the field of Earth and Planetary Sciences , which involves scientific, technological, methodological and social-cultural aspects (e.g. sustainability, development, museology), but also the necessity of considering appropriate protocols, scientific integrity issues and a code of good practice, regarding the study of the abiotic world. Studies on planetary geology (sensu lato ) and astrobiology also require a geoethical approach. (Martinez-Frias, 2008. Tierra: Spanish Thematic Network of Earth and Planetary Sciences ).
Since 1992, geoethical problems started to be regularly presented in the frame of the International Geological Congresses.
Synthetic plot of selected geological and astrogeological topics in which Geoethics plays a significant role (Martinez-Frias, 2010)
Geoethics involves respecting the "abiotic world". Geoparks and Geosites are excellent initiatives, not only for the Earth, but also for the Moon, Mars and beyond, which are narrowly related with the ethical approach. (see, among others, Cockell & Hornek, 2004, 2006 and Martinez-Frias, 2010)
PLANETARY GEOLOGY AND EXPLORATION
Geoethics and geodiversity have gained importance in recent decades in the context of geosciences and their interdisciplinary links. Geoethics was formerly promoted in 1991 as a new discipline in the framework of Earth Sciences, linking Ethics and Geology, and involving scientific and societal aspects from theoretical and practical approaches. The institutionalisation of geoethics was established much more recently, in 2004, by forming a working group for geoethics with the backing of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development (AGID). Geodiversity was used for the first time in 1993 as the geological equivalent of biodiversity. It has had considerable conceptual development and noteworthy institutional support, and now warrants the status of a geological paradigm, incorporating in its definition all the variety of rocks, minerals and landforms and the processes which have formed these features throughout geological time. Here, we propose that the incorporation of the geoethical and geodiversity issues in planetary geology and astrobiology studies would enrich their methodological and conceptual character.
Geoethics has applications to, among others, the research of meteoroids and meteorites, the geological study of terrestrial analogs, the correct use of mineralogical and geochemical analytical procedures, the interrelation with bioethics and organics vs. inorganic contamination in Planetary Protection , and many other aspects associated to scientific integrity in the context of planetary geology and astrobiology. Likewise, Geodiversity, following the recently defined and approved IUCN guidelines and recommendations would have an unambiguous use in Space as Planetary Geodiversity, valuing and safeguarding the different types and groups of meteorites as representatives of the planetary bodies of our solar system, as well as considering the worth of the abiotic nature of the planets in itself. (from Martinez-Frias et al. 2009).
Geo versus Bio. Ethics and scientific integrity issues.
I.- The scientific study of the abiotic nature and all features of the planetary bodies (asteroids, planets and moons) and their planetary geodiversity (including terrestrial analogs).
II.- The scientific study of bolides and meteorites as well as the terrestrial areas affected by their impacts or influence (e.g. impact structures, mineralogical and geochemical anomalies).
III.- Other potential museistic, geoconservation and even cultural issues regarding the legal regulation and procedural protocols related with extraterrestrial materials (e.g. meteorites, Lunar samples).
GEOETHICS - Association of Geoscientists for International Development (AGID). AGID is an affiliate of International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
Some recent scientific contributions and related news
Martinez-Frias, J. (2008) Geoethics: proposal of a geosciences-oriented formal definition and future planetary perspectives. TIERRA: Spanish Thematic Network of Earth and Planetary Sciences. http://tierra.rediris.es. RedIris. Documentos, 2008, 1.
Martinez-Frias, J., Rodriguez-Losada, J.A., Lunar, R., Rull, F., Madero, J., Garcia Talavera, F., Perez Verde, A. and Hernandez-Fernandez, S. (2009) Meteorites as geological heritage in the new Spanish legislation: current state, scientific and ethical praxis, and international implications regarding geodiversity in the Earth and Solar System. Bolides and Meteorite Falls, Prague , May 10-15, 14-15.
Martinez-Frias, J., Nemec, V., Nemcova, L., De la Torre, R. and Horneck, G. (2009) Geoethics and Geodiversity in Space Exploration: Implications in Planetary Geology and Astrobiology. 9th European Workshop on Astrobiology, EANA 09, 12-14 October 2009, Brussels , Belgiam.
Martinez-Frias, J., Nemec, V., Nemcova, L., De la Torre, R. and Horneck, G. (2009) The significance of Geoethics in Planetary Protection and Space Research. The International Section Geoethics Mining Pribram Symposium 2009, October 12-16, 2009, Pribram, Czech Republic.
Martinez-Frias, J. & Perez Verde, A. (2010) Geoetica, Meteoritos y Exploracion Planetaria. La Tribuna. Astronomia 128: 21.
Martinez-Frias, J., Horneck, G., De la Torre, R. & Rull, F. (2010) A geoethical approach to the geological and astrobiological exploration of the Moon and Mars. 38th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, PEX1: Protecting the Lunar and Martian Environments for Scientific Research, Bremen, Germany, 18-25 July.
Martinez-Frias, J. & Gonzalez-Garcia, J.L. (2010) El 'Ecologismo Espacial'. El Mundo. Eureka. Ciencia. 25 Julio 2010.
Martinez-Frias, J., Gonzalez, J.L. & Rull, F. (2011) Geoethics and Deontology. From fundamentals to applications in Planetary Protection. Episodes 34-4: 257-262.
Gonzalez, J.L. & Martinez-Frias, J. (2011) Geoetica: un reto para la deontologia profesional. Tierra y Tecnologia 39: 62-66
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