For decades, the important role Earth Science plays in sustaining our future has been clear but it is often over looked or misunderstood by society and decision makers. The importance of effectively communicating and disseminating credible, factual science has never been more important than it is today. With the endless exposure to information (fake or factual) flashing before everyone’s eyes through all forms of media outlets, society requires reliable outlets to obtain vital information in order to understand issues and make critical decisions to secure a sustainable future for all the generations to come.
Regardless of the important role Earth Scientists have in securing a sustainable future, the Earth Sciences is often viewed under a negative light because of its association with extraction industries. It is suggested that as a result of society becoming more environmentally aware and the negative perspective associated with some fields of the Earth Sciences the interest by the younger generations in exploring a career in the Earth Sciences is declining; at least in some countries. For example, it was reported by Wadsworth, F. et al. (2020) that the number of enrolled students in A-level geology in the UK experienced a declined by a quarter since 2014.
To the Earth Science community, we know this perception is skewed and urgently needs to be improved. The link to extraction industries can’t be denied however, extraction of resources does
not directly equate to lasting damage to the Earth. The diverse field of Earth Science has a lot of positives to offer society. In order to safe guard the future of the Earth Science discipline that is essential for the future of our society, we need to take action to generate interest for new generations of Earth Scientists – expose the younger generation to the breadth and depth of our discipline – and demonstrate the role and impact it places in sustaining our future. Problem Statement:
Earth Science discipline is limited to not existent in many elementary and secondary school curriculums. If taught, it is often within the Geography lessons focused on theory and not on practical application of the science. This often leaves the students with a vague understanding or misunderstood perception of what the Earth Science discipline entails. When exploring career paths the Earth Sciences has mainly been associated with extraction industries, which are seen to be responsible for exploiting and destroying our Earth. However, Earth Science is much broader than its stereo type suggests and much more positive too. Earth Science is one of the most vital disciplines in order to ensure we as a society make good decisions to ensure a sustainable future. It is essential that the science and facts we publish need to be effectively communicated and listened to so that they are adequately incorporated into the decision making
Develop an attractive media product that can be used to inspire, engage and attract people to undertake a future career in the Earth Sciences. Enlighten the world to the exciting and
important field of Earth Science to help stimulate the next generation of geoscientists for a sustainable future.
Wadsworth, F., Llewellin E., Brown, R., and Aplin, A. (2020) Earth sciences facing a crisis of sustainability. Times Higher Education. Published 14 January 2020 online: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/earth-sciences-face-crisis-sustainability#survey-answer