Ethics in Geosciences

A topical collection in Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

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Editors


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Collection Editor
University of Camerino, Via Gentile Terzo da Varano, 62032 Camerino, Italy
Interests: environmental and applied geomorphology; hazard and risks analysis; dissemination and divulgation of geology

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Collection Editor
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences (DiBEST), University of Calabria, Calabria, Italy
Interests: palaeogeographic and palaeotectonic evolution of the Southern Apennines – Calabrian Arc (Central Mediterranean) fold and thrust belts; Neogene to Quaternary tectonics, basin analysis and relationships between tectonics and stratigraphic architecture; geological modeling; geological and thematic cartografy

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Collection Editor
ISPRA Istituto Superiore Protezione e Ricerca Ambientale, Via V. Brancati 48, 00144 Roma, Italy
Interests: communication; risk prevention; earth and society; landscape; ecology

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Collection Editor
Italian National Research Council, Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy
Interests: disaster studies; human geography; geoethics; risk perception and communication
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Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

What is geoethics? Let us start from the definition of the key terms which make up the word: ethics is a system of moral principles and is defined as the rules of conduct recognized with respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group or culture. “Geo-logy” means “rational reasoning/discourse on the Earth”, or more simply “study of the Earth”.

 “Nature” is the object of interest in the history of geology. It is defined as the foundation of existence, in its physical and biological settings, or as a set of characters in a certain region still not changed by “Civilization”.

Integrating these three essential concepts, it is almost automatic to see clearly how deep and innate the link between geology and ethics is, and how it is important to develop something more than a naturally ethical behavior in practice, with the goal of recognizing and reaching strategically ethical objectives on a global scale—first of all, survival itself and a harmonious relationship between human beings and nature.

So, the proposed collection aims to provide a contribution to the scientific field of geoethics, a growing field that is extremely rich in new perspectives. In parallel, the future of our planet appears to be deeply linked to geoethics. The extraordinary interest in this new field of research, with a strong appeal to translate the results of these reflections into action, testifies the social need of this innovative discipline born from the intersection between philosophy, geography, sociology, and geology.

Through this collection, we would like to contribute to the geoethics debate in order to achieve a concrete discussion on risk prevention through the presentation of case studies and theoretical approaches. Special attention will be devoted to unconventional ways of interpreting the role of geoscientists in referring to ethics (after all, that is the core concept in everyone’s life), starting from ideas, experiences, and results achieved by the geoethics research community, but also from the dialogue between scholars of human, natural, and social sciences to face the great challenges related to global change.

Dr. Piero Farabollini
Prof. Dr. Francesco Muto
Dr. Francesca Romana Lugeri 
Dr. Francesco De Pascale
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Earth sciences
  • geoethics
  • geography
  • global change
  • Nature
  • society
  • risk
  • prevention

Published Papers (4 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

12 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
A Geoethics Syllabus for Higher Education: Evaluation of an Intervention Programme
by Clara Vasconcelos, Alexandra Cardoso and Tiago Ribeiro
Geosciences 2023, 13(10), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences13100302 - 9 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1129
Abstract
Geoethics is a field of knowledge currently in full development. Researchers in geoethics are primarily concerned with the anthropogenic interaction with the Earth system. Due to its nature, geoethics holds particular importance in sustainable development due to its nature as it aims to [...] Read more.
Geoethics is a field of knowledge currently in full development. Researchers in geoethics are primarily concerned with the anthropogenic interaction with the Earth system. Due to its nature, geoethics holds particular importance in sustainable development due to its nature as it aims to promote ethical human behaviour that does not negatively impact the Earth system. In the present research, we implemented an intervention program addressing various issues related to the sustainability of the Earth system, such as the exploitation of geological resources, the management of geological risks, and the conservation and promotion of geopatrimony. The intervention program was applied to higher education students in the geosciences field. A sample of 90 students from various geosciences courses completed an initial questionnaire, revealing limited knowledge about geoethics. This study resorted to mixed-method research involving interviews with some students who volunteered (n = 52). The results showed that after applying the intervention programme, most students developed a deeper understanding of the topics addressed and recognised the contributions this scientific area can make to sustainable development. Additional research in geoethics education is essential to foster the integration of geoethics into the curricula of higher education institutions. Full article
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Graphical abstract

2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

26 pages, 1901 KiB  
Article
Fostering Geoethics in Flood Risk Reduction: Lessons Learned from the EU Project LIFE PRIMES
by Cristina Casareale, Eleonora Gioia, Alessandra Colocci, Noemi Marchetti, Maria Teresa Carone and Fausto Marincioni
Geosciences 2022, 12(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12030131 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
Despite the concrete evidence of human responsibilities with the ongoing environmental crisis, tangible changes toward low disaster-risk development models are slow in coming and delayed in implementation. This paper discusses the principles of geoethics underpinning flood risk reduction by analyzing the results of [...] Read more.
Despite the concrete evidence of human responsibilities with the ongoing environmental crisis, tangible changes toward low disaster-risk development models are slow in coming and delayed in implementation. This paper discusses the principles of geoethics underpinning flood risk reduction by analyzing the results of the EU project LIFE PRIMES (Preventing flooding RIsks by Making resilient communitiES). Through the administration of a questionnaire, issues of flood literacy, effective communication and individual responsibility concerning flood hazard and exposure were investigated. Directly engaging local communities, the LIFE PRIMES project appears to have increased citizens attention toward environmental ethics, thus providing an encouraging perspective for appropriate human–environment interaction. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

14 pages, 4076 KiB  
Concept Paper
The Morphology of Prometheus, Literary Geography and the Geoethical Project
by Charles Travis
Geosciences 2021, 11(8), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11080340 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 3289
Abstract
This paper explores mappings, musings and ‘thought experiments’ in literary geography to consider how they may contribute to geoethical pedagogy and research. Representations of Prometheus from the fourteenth century onwards have traveled along three broad symbological roads: first, as the creator, and bringer [...] Read more.
This paper explores mappings, musings and ‘thought experiments’ in literary geography to consider how they may contribute to geoethical pedagogy and research. Representations of Prometheus from the fourteenth century onwards have traveled along three broad symbological roads: first, as the creator, and bringer of fire; second as a bound figure in chains, and thirdly, unbound. However, it was the harnessing of fire by our species a millennium prior that gave rise to the myth of Prometheus and set into motion the geophysical process of combustion which “facilitated the transformation of much of the terrestrial surface […] and in the process pushed the parameters of the earth system into a new geological epoch.” As the geophysicist Professor Michael Mann observes, global warming and loss of biodiversity constitutes an ethical problem. The remediation of the Prometheus myth in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or the modern Prometheus (1818), Jonathan Fetter-Vorm’s Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb (2012) and William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies (1954) provides the means to explore the geographical, historical and cultural contingencies of geoethical dilemmas contributing to the framing of the Anthropocene and Gaia heuristics. This paper argues for the necessity of scholars in the arts, humanities and geosciences to share and exchange idiographic and nomothetic perspectives in order to forge a geoethical dialectic that fuses poetic and positivistic methods into transcendent ontologies and epistemologies to address the existential questions of global warming and loss of biodiversity as we enter the age of the Anthropocene. Full article
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5 pages, 179 KiB  
Perspective
Ethically Researching Local Impacts of Environmental Change without Travel
by Ilan Kelman
Geosciences 2021, 11(8), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11080316 - 27 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2563
Abstract
Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020, included local and international travel restrictions alongside limits on face-to-face gatherings. These measures impinged on participatory research examining local impacts of environmental change. In response, many researchers adopted techniques that could be implemented without [...] Read more.
Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020, included local and international travel restrictions alongside limits on face-to-face gatherings. These measures impinged on participatory research examining local impacts of environmental change. In response, many researchers adopted techniques that could be implemented without travel. This article explores some of the consequent research ethics issues. Full article
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