Saturday, 23 April 2011

One day at a time - Earth day and Communicating Geoscience

It's on Google!

As geology is the study of the earth, it seems like a decent enough idea to have a look at how some geological organisations have acted in communicating the event and it’s message...

USGS: has produced a single page on it: 

That’s about it really, an interesting piece of writing regarding the history of the day (an oil spill in the 1970s) – a couple of events in the states; ( but all in all, for a day which the USGS could go mad over – very little actually is on offer.

Geological Society of America: Although not really mentioning Earth Day (bar in passing at the bottom of the site), the GSA has a few resources for Earth Sciences Week – clearly 7 days is better than one., with a large variety of different target audience – clearly intended to give a wide variety of interest to both geoscientists and listeners – the weeks website: which, on is the 12,215,802th most visited site on earth (USGS for comparison is the 1250th most visited site on earth). There are plenty of links from the site – but the week is in October, while the day, which is considerably higher profile (it made it onto Google homepage!).

Back on this side of the pond, the BGS nor Geological Society of London appear to have any outreach – the UK does have a Science and Engineering week, but that hardly stirred the medias (And therefore probably the public’s) mind, nor does that have a directed environmental message.  

The Unofficial 'flag' of Earth Day
Meanwhile on TV, here in the UK there is nothing on the media, no, even subtle programming into the geoscience, instead the only two programmes on the BBC featuring the Earth are a play and Dr Who. The day coincides with Good Friday, so there should be plenty of time to slot in an interesting programme on geoscience or the challenges facing our world.

Overall in the UK there seems to be a lack of interest in Earth Day, which considering that this is the country that invented geology (more or less!), has lead pioneering research into climate change and has signed the Kyoto protocol – we should have the same resources available over here. The day is described as ‘worldwide’ day celebrating the Earth – why are we, in the UK being such party-poopers?

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