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Geosciences 2011, 1(1), 1-2; doi:10.3390/geosciences1010001
On behalf of the Editorial Board and the editorial management staff of MDPI, it is my great pleasure to introduce this new journal Geosciences. Geosciences is an international, peer-reviewed open access journal, which publishes original papers, rapid communications, technical notes and review articles, and discussions about all interdisciplinary aspects of the earth and planetary sciences. Geosciences may also include papers presented at scientific conferences (proceedings) or articles on a well defined topic assembled by individual editors or organizations/institutions (special publications).
My own vision for the direction and progress of this journal is that it should cover not only the classical themes related to geology and geosciences, but also other much more vanguardist and interdisciplinary subjects. This includes the solid Earth, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the biosphere, as well as related issues of planetary and space sciences. In addition, Geosciences provides an advanced forum for contributions on Earth history, natural hazards, geology-related environmental problems and geoethics, reflecting the wide scope and societal, educational, cultural and, in general, human implications of the crosscutting nature of the problems. In the past, scientists in each branch studied their field without considering the Earth as an interacting system (also with life in general, and the human society and its circumstances in particular), which forms part of the solar system. It can be said that the man-made multifaceted branching of the geosciences into independent areas was made for procedural convenience in studying a large and complex planet.
In addition, it is well known that the research in geosciences is frequently based on long-standing observations and analyses. Thus, a key point to be considered in the context of the study of geological processes is time, as well as the implications regarding its perception by humans. A good knowledge regarding Earth and planetary sciences provides methodological tools for predicting and mitigating the effects of geological (and astrogeological) hazards such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and asteroid/comet impacts. Understanding the Earth's origin and its bio-geological evolution, the multiple implications of the geosciences (as a coherent set of interconnected disciplines), and the socio-cultural and ethical interdisciplinary approaches, will be crucial for a better understanding of Nature, and also for undertaking scientifically-based political decisions.
Geosciences covers, therefore, a wide range of topics, concepts, theories and practical issues both in the field and laboratory. They are interrelated with other areas and fields of knowledge, and encompass: (a) the study of the origin and evolution of the Earth (and other planets and planetary bodies' astrogeology); (b) the study of the geological processes (and methodologies, principles and technologies) sensu lato, and (c) the characterization of their multiple physical, chemical, biological, societal, ethical and cultural links. By combining the geological exploration and research with the life (and specifically human) dimension, we are developing new ideas and guidelines to understand the mechanisms, dynamics and joint evolution of our planet and the human beings. The journal Geosciences should also progress and increase contacts between scientists working in and interested in interdisciplinary aspects of the above fields even from a transdisciplinary point of view.
I see Geosciences as an exciting new interdisciplinary open access journal, and we are completely committed to drive it to a position in which it is recognized for: (a) its high quality and leading edge research and (b) the scientific influence of its contributions. This, of course, will depend on its readership and potential authors. Those who submit to this journal can be sure that their accepted study will be disseminated quickly, broadly, and in its entirety to anyone anywhere who has Internet access. We strongly encourage you to participate and invite you to submit your manuscripts.
© 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).