RATIONAL SCIENCE FOR RATIONAL POLICY: GEOLOGY SERVING SCIENCE THROUGH PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS
YANNACONE, Victor John Jr, 39 Baker Street, Patchogue, NY 11772-0109, v.yannacone@abanet.org and GERHARD, Lee C., Kansas Geological Survey, Univ of Kansas, 1930 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66047

In order to meet societal needs for materials, energy, and environmental quality, it is necessary to understand the ethics of our profession, the attributes of our science, and the ways to communicate these concepts to decision-makers. We have sustainability problems in water and energy, and natural hazards plague the people.

We argue among ourselves about the environmental impact of resource extraction and use, but we have not helped our country establish the rational science that will determine our environmental priorities. We intellectually understand that sustainability of energy and water are the most pressing geological issues facing us, but we have not addressed them.

The fault lies with the profession, not the people. We do not rise to the challenge or grasp the opportunities in public policy discussions, political debates, and community concerns, perhaps because we have been preoccupied with supplying resources to society or perhaps out of reticence to become involved in sometimes bitter controversy. Most likely, we have not become involved because our opinions haven’t been sought and we lack the skills and experience to become aware of our responsibilities and our opportunities to make our scientific points in a non-technical, public setting.

There are ways for the science to communicate its information to a needy public and to insure that science is integrated into public policy.

Cordilleran Section - 98th Annual Meeting (May 13–15, 2002)
Session No. 33
Geology for Public Policy
LaSells Stewart Center: Construction/Engineering
8:00 AM-10:00 AM, Wednesday, May 15, 2002
 

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