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Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 120; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040120

The Need for Geoethics Awareness from a Canadian Perspective

1
Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, 1459 Oxford Street, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
2
Earth Sciences, University of Toronto, 22 Russell Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3B1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Geoethics in Geosciences)
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Abstract

An online survey of Canadian Earth scientists on geoethics—defined as the interconnection between humanity and Earth sciences—asked participants to (1) rate the importance of issues around scientific integrity, social responsibility, aboriginal concerns, corporate ethics, and fieldwork; (2) identify ethical considerations they had observed; and (3) tell us how they were introduced to ethical viewpoints and whether their undergraduate programs had prepared them for ethical decision-making. Despite a small sample size (123 responded to our survey) we observe that most respondents deemed all criteria we listed as important or very important, with the strongest support for health/safety and honest reporting, and the least, but still significant support for criteria linked to aboriginal issues and fieldwork. Many respondents had observed ethical considerations, particularly lack of giving credit and biased representation of information. We find that informal activities like reading and discussions with peers are the most frequent avenues into geoethics, while undergraduate education is not a significant contributor to current geoethics understandings. Although the survey was restricted to Canada, we perceive our survey as providing a glimpse into the larger geoscience community and offer various recommendations on how the geoscience community and public must be made aware of geoethics, not just in Canada. View Full-Text
Keywords: geoethics; undergraduate education; geoscience community; Canadian geoethics; undergraduate education; geoscience community; Canadian
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Ryan, A.M.; Bank, C.-G. The Need for Geoethics Awareness from a Canadian Perspective. Geosciences 2017, 7, 120.

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