The need for scientific and cultural cooperation is acute at this moment in history. Never before has mankind been faced with the kind of cross-border and global challenges we face today that can only be conquered through sustained efforts supported by a large number of nations.
For these reasons, it is crucial that geoscientists from all nations work together to solve cross-border problems related to natural resources and environmental degradation, but cooperation of this type is increasingly rare. Given the global problems now facing humanity (climate change, poverty, loss of habitat, famine, etc.), we have to design new models for working together so that we can effect real change that benefits future generations.
To advance this goal, we have been working with eight other internationally recognized geoscience organizations to plan a summit conference to examine ways we can collectively remove obstacles to working together across cultural and national divides so that we can solve problems related to natural resources and environmental degradation. The meeting is titled Geoscience and Society Summit: Bridges to Global Health, Resilience and Sustainability, and the nine cooperating organizations include the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Geology in the Public Interest (GPI), the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), the Geological Society of America (GSA), the Geological Society of London (GSL), Geoscientists Without Borders (GWB), Geology for Global Development (GfGD), the International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG), and the Department of Geology and Environmental Science at Wheaton College, Illinois. All nine are contributing planning and programming assistance, as well as marketing assistance, but it is the AGU that is taking the lead and handling the logistics of the meeting and the overall budgeting. Geology in the Public Interest is the primary co-sponsor because it was originally our proposal to hold the meeting. GPI is also leading the effort to design the technical program for the meeting.
The meeting was originally planned to be held in Hamilton, Bermuda, in September of this year. We were just about to issue a call for abstracts and registrants when we received word that less than a year after legalizing same-sex marriage, Bermuda reversed course and is implementing a law that prohibits same-sex couples from marrying. The British Foreign Office declined to block the measure, making Bermuda the first place in the world to slip backwards in this fashion. As a result, Bermuda no longer meets AGU’s meeting location requirements and the other co-sponsors have similar concerns. The overall purpose of our meeting is to promote collaboration and inclusiveness, and we think that given this development we would have a hard time defending Bermuda as a meeting place. Thus, we are evaluating options for relocating.
We have also decided to postpone the meeting until late March of 2019. This will allow us more time to reorganize effectively and increase our fundraising efforts. The best way for you to keep up-to-date on the Summit is to visit the Summit’s home page (https://connect.agu.org/gss/home) where developments will be posted.
We will send out announcements to all those in our mailing list when we have news, and in the meantime please watch the Summit’s home page. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.