The geoscience community provides the knowledge, experience, and ingenuity to address a wide range of societal needs. We study the Earth system and the complex geologic, marine, atmospheric, and hydrologic processes that sustain life and economic activity. Geoscientists provide valuable insight and their knowledge should be considered when decision makers develop policy options. The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and its 50 member societies are collaborating to raise the profile of the geosciences in policy making and to connect 2016 electoral candidates with the expertise of the geoscience community.
For the 2008 and 2012 presidential election cycles, AGI worked with its member societies to produce Critical Needs for the Twenty-First Century: The Role of the Geosciences. These documents highlighted the importance of the geosciences in addressing national challenges and recommended policy actions to the incoming Administration and Congress. For the 2016 election, we started the process earlier in order to have a document, Geoscience for America’s Critical Needs: Invitation to a National Policy Dialogue, ready for use in discussions with candidates while they are developing their policy platforms.
In December 2014, AGI invited member societies to nominate members to a working group to draft the Invitation to a Dialogue document. The nine members of the working group prepared the document which was circulated to all of AGI’s member societies for feedback in August 2015. The booklet shows the breadth, value, and importance of the geosciences to society and identifies key policy issues for nine major geoscience-related topics. The booklet is available for use by geoscientists as they engage with electoral candidates and their campaigns, and it offers an invitation to candidates to join with the geoscience community to craft policy solutions to some of America’s critical needs.
- Geological Society of America Annual Meeting 2015