Have you ever heard of Geoethics?
What is Geoethics and does it play a role in your research? During this week, we willunderstand if and how geoethics play a role for us and if and how we should apply its conceptsto our research and to our working environment.The topics we deal with as fellows during our research are highly diverse and range from the thawing of the permafrost, the development of slums and biodiversity to earthquakes, flood protection management and sustainable transformation, to name only a few fields. Furthermore, we approach these topics with a wide variety of methods and theories. What they all have in common, however, is that they either deal with how humans influence the earth or how humans can be protected against/prepared for present and future changes on earth. And in this type of research we apply, often unconsciously, ethical assumptions about our relationship to the natural environment and to the society. And these assumptions are based on underlying values that many of us are not aware of. This state of affairs already describes two of the four geoethical domains: our responsibility as geoscientists both to the natural environment and to society. The other two domains deal with us as individuals and as professionals in a working environment and can be applied to all scientists. Do we do good and reliable science? Do we remain objective? Are we always honest with our data and results? Do we work together with a respectful attitude, with the common goal of finding solutions to problems, including respect for the ideas of others, diversity of perspectives, exchange of information and data, respect for intellectual property?
The autumn school is the perfect place to learn and reflect on geoethics in our fields for the following reasons:
- We belong to the next generation of geoscientists who can actively influence how geoscientific practice will look like in the future.
- We are a diverse and interdisciplinary group of scientists, able to cover many fields and bring different perspectives to the discussion.
- We can directly apply one of the geoethical principles (from the societal domain) bycommunicating our results to the public in an understandable and easily accessible way.
As a result, at the end of the week, we can expect an answer to the following questions: What does it mean nowadays to be a responsible geoscientist? How can we become and/or remainresponsible geoscientists?