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Current Issues in the Geoblogosphere – Episode #1

The PepsiGate-induced exodus from Science Blogs and asinine California serpentinite-asbestos rumble, while waxing social, political and scientific on the BP oil spill for the last 110 odd days, have me convinced that the public outreach component of the science community, and geoscience in particular, needs a lot more work. In planning and design of cities, buildings, dams, levees, energy structures, highways, drilling for water and hydrocarbons, groundwater issues and so much more, geoscientists can play very important roles in shaping infrastructure. And these folks are the ones ignored first and furiously.

So what can we as geoscience bloggers do as a part of the solution? I’m not the only one with this concern. July’s Accretionary Wedge was a call for posts on the role of the geoblogosphere and, more recently, the Highly Allochthonous post on the evolving science blogging ecosystem elicited some very honest comments and ideas on the work we have cut out for us. As I said in the comments of the latter, the problem of the geoscience community is two-fold: Not Enough Geoscientists and Geoscientists Talking Amongst Ourselves, and suggested a policy blog that talks geoscience as a way for our offerings to gain traction in the public mind.

Ron Schott, (former fellow geology graduate student and housemate) and Father of the Geoblogs, organized the first Current Issues in the Geoblogosphere online discussion via Skype this past Saturday; several bloggers and I participated. We talked about the above issues in much detail (see Ron’s post for the great notes taken by Katharine). You can also listen to the audio here.

2 comments… add one

  • Blair August 9, 2010, 10:26 AM

    Interesting. How would you suggest planners/developers/architects/builders be motivated to use the skills of geologists at the beginning of their efforts?

  • Maitri August 9, 2010, 10:34 AM

    I’ve seen land (and wetland) use issues ignored repeatedly by developers in Madison and New Orleans alike. The recent landslides and earthquakes all over the world also show a need for robust soil and bedrock analyses and the building of load-bearing structures accordingly. Let’s not even talk about the levees and their (mis)placement in Louisiana’s soil and rock.

    Architects, specifically: Consulting with environmental-based geoscientists has implications for sustainable design and builds and also overall strategic placement of communities, businesses and towns with respect to long-term climate and environmental changes. And, of course, more immediate things like not building on faults and mass wasting (landslide) prone hillsides.

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