When science doesn’t suffice: Geologists need public engagement and new approaches to achieve it: Iain Stewart – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – June 20, 2018)



There’s nothing like jumping into a river at the head of a waterfall—especially the Zambezi above the hundred-plus-metre drop of Victoria Falls while an airborne crew films the stunt for television—to grab people’s attention. That’s the sort of thing Iain Stewart has done, but as a means to an end.

A geologist with a gift for communication, he evidently has a mission to express a sense of wonder in the science and its importance to people’s lives. But what about all those other geos lacking the resources of network TV or the advantages of charisma? Stewart discussed that in a June 18 public event at the first-ever Resources for Future Generations conference in Vancouver.

A professor of geoscience communication and director of the Sustainable Earth Institute at Plymouth University, Stewart’s best known for several BBC documentary series that bring geology to a broad mainstream audience.

He told the overflow Vancouver gathering that his shows often portray geoscientists as guardians: “If you’re worried about the planet’s future, trust me,” is how he described the message. “I’m a geoscientist. I understand the planet, I understand its rhythms, its sensitivities, its thresholds…. The stewardship of the planet is in good hands.”

That contrasts with another professional duty: “If you want stuff for modern society, and people out there show no sign of not wanting it, then you need a geologist to go out and find this stuff.”

For the rest of this article: http://resourceclips.com/2018/06/20/when-science-can%E2%80%99t-suffice/