Home » Statements » Independent Committee on Geoethics founded

Independent Committee on Geoethics founded

Founded, October 17, 2015, in Prague
at the International Conference on Geoethics

The principles of ethics – to know what is right and what is wrong – are simple. They are deeply rooted in our cultural heritage and education and personal integrity. To live up to those principles is another thing: here we often fail badly. The ethical principles that refer to nature and natural sciences are covered by the term “Geoethics”.

We realize that ethical principles are often violated in Science as well as in Society and Politics. Increasingly, in connection with marketing and lobbying for large projects, ethical principles have become set aside. Backbiting, ‘book-burning’, career blighting, obstruction in publication and personal attacks have no place in science, where physical laws and observational facts must always be foremost. There are no goals that justify unfair means of fighting “dissidents”.

Therefore, there is an urgent need for an Independent Committee on Geoethics to promote ethical principles in the Earth and planetary sciences and their correct reflection in social and political life.


Aims and Methods:

We will formulate geoethical recommendations and work for their wider acceptance and application in science.

We will speak up and “use the sword of truth” when scientific facts, observational evidence and physical laws are being set aside, and when geoethical principles are violated.

Geoethical principles:

Keep to science – always being ready for new findings and concepts

Always anchor your ideas in observational facts – from nature and firm experiments

Beware of advocacy and lobbying – by or on behalf of special interest groups

Never let your opinion be influenced – by money, promotion, or easy publication

Some relevant quotations:

Virtue is knowledge. What I don’t know, I don’t pretend I know – Socrates (470-399 BC)

 Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you – Jesus Christ (~0–34 AD)

You have to read the book written by Mother Nature – Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science – Charles Darwin (1809-1882)


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