GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 242-13
Presentation Time: 11:35 AM


GOMEZ TAPIAS, Jorge, FOG CORRADINE, Lisbeth, MATEUS ZABALA, Daniela and CARDONA MAYORGA, Alejandra, Basic Geosciences, Colombian Geological Survey, Diagonal 53 # 34-53 Office 210, Bogota, 111321, Colombia

The Colombian Geological Survey (CGS) has realized that it is important not only to research in the geoscience field but also to educate Colombian citizens about how scientists work in a country that is full of volcanoes and many geological sites of importance for assessing geological hazards, prospecting resources and even tourism. This is the reason why the institution designed an ambitious pilot initiative with the The Geology of Colombia book project. To reach a broader audience, a science journalist and a professional photographer were hired to translate chapters of the book into articles that are easier to read.

The above strategy was designed to select the chapters of the book containing the most mediatic and sensitive topics to be developed for the preparation of interesting press articles for the Colombian media. Once selected, the authors were contacted, and field trips were scheduled to the areas of the country where the investigations had been conducted. Each author, accompanied by the editorial team of the book, explained the meaning of their scientific job to the media team. The team had the opportunity to interview and work with not only the scientists who wrote the chapter but also the CGS geologist and people living in special geological sites, such as the crater of a volcano. Furthermore, during these field trips, videos and photographs were obtained that were used for the book and the book’s website.

Then, a note written by the journalist was sent to the authors and to the chief editor of the book for feedback. This discussion between journalist and researcher resulted in an article written in a simple manner understandable to citizens with technical details provided by the researcher. Finally, the journalist offered the final article to a main print media in Colombia for publication.

To date, five high–impact stories have been published in the main media of Colombia such as El Tiempo, Semana and El Espectador. One story was even published on Sunday as a main news article on first page in one of the most important newspapers of the country.

Given the positive results of this strategy, the CGS directives intend to implement this methodology in the future to promote CGS work and results.

  • 02_Gómez et al 2018_Social_appropriation_geological_knowledge_SGC_successfuls_case_The_Geology_Of_Colombia_Book.pptx (39.4 MB)