TitleGeoethics: Ethical Challenges and Case Studies in Earth Sciences
Authors/editorsMax Wyss, Silvia Peppoloni
PublisherElsevier
Date2015
Pages425
ISBN978-0127999357
Priceebook GBP 40.63 hardcover GBP 40.63
ReviewEthics shape us, they are moral principles that govern our behaviours either individually, corporately or when we undertake of an activity. They can be good or bad and inform national and cultural principles. We can be taught them, given them, for example as a society’s ethical professional conduct, and we can try to impose them on each other but generally they are not societal legislation. The world appears to have got smaller, mineral resources are found in environmentally sensitive regions, and legacy mining having a bad reputation, therefore geoethics provides a means to be involved in corporate behaviour and treating others as we would want to be treated ourselves. In any role in the Mining Cycle, be it an owner, an indigenous resident, a geologist, an mining engineer, a banker or an environmentalist, we will be impacted by geoethics. We have the need to act responsibility, keeping in mind ethical, social and cultural implications of our activities. Therefore, this book serves as a timely reminder of such issues. The book is composed of thirty-three chapters in six distinct sections: (1) Philosophical Reflections, (2) Geoscience Community, (3) The Ethics of Practice, (4) Communication with the Public, Officials and the Media, (5) Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards, and (6) Low Income and Indigenous Communities. The chapters are written by practitioners from various countries nationalities and cross cultures reflecting a wide range of experiences and present potential best practice to be shared with an international readership. The colourful figures and case studies all enhance the readability of the book. This book addresses a series of contemporary challenges using diverse case studies with related social and cultural implications. The chapters demonstrate the responsibility of those involved in the extractive industries in conducting their activities. It addresses diverse topics such as seismic hazard (Chapter 11), risk management (Chapter 18), and communication (Chapter 19). Sometimes the book gives clear examples concerning effective risk communication and disaster management systems (Chapters 22 and 24) and specifically mining (Chapters 30 and 32). There is a clear underlying message of the interaction between geological processes, geoscientists, the general public, and decision makers. Without even noticing, insights are given on this emerging and vital discipline. Other chapters included are on topics ranging from plagiarism (Chapter 9) or advice whilst working in a Muslim country (Chapter 16); all the chapters are helpful and timely. Each chapter is well cited with many contemporary references in order to help the reader explore the topic further. The book presents a case and often does not always arrive at a unique answer. As practisers, we should agree to disagree and respect that the other side has a sound ethical basis for its opposing viewpoint. The book provides some excellent principles forming ethical foundations. As we see the ongoing green shoots of commodity prices recovering, however ethics alongside innovation will both be imperative for the ongoing survival of the global mining industry. It may not be an easy or necessarily a quick read but each chapter is an essential stop as part on a journey towards sustainable mining in the 21st Century. In summary, the book is perhaps a little costly for an individual reader but it should find a home in a company library bookshelf. The book could provide essential and formative CPD reading to young and old working in and around the geoscience community.
Reviewed byMartin Griffin, Senior Mining Geotechnical Engineer