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Welcome to our new Geoscientist website

Words by Amy Whitchurch
1 March 2021

Welcome to the new Geoscientist website. We’ve had great fun building the site and putting together the Spring print issue, working with our new publishers, James Pembroke Media, and we hope you find them stimulating and entertaining.

The Spring issue takes us from volcanic peaks in enigmatic North Korea, to the Californian and Australian gold rushes of the 19th Century. It also touches on the critical issues of diversity, equality and inclusion, with reports and opinion pieces that highlight the immense and persistent barriers faced by many, including Black and LBGTQ+ geoscientists, as well as outlining the actions we can all take to help remove these barriers and make our community more inclusive.

It is no secret that diversity is an issue both within the geoscience community and in our Society. Change is slow, but the Society is taking steps to rectify this. For example, Council recently asked for an evaluation of the Society’s historical links to slavery and colonialism, and our Archivist, Caroline Lam, reports on the findings. The research will be used to determine Society policies and we will ensure that updates are provided in the future.

We appreciate that some readers are disappointed to lose the monthly print issues of Geoscientist magazine and question whether they’ll engage as much digitally. The transition to quarterly distribution was a difficult decision for us to make and was, of course, partly motivated by the need to make financial savings. Likewise, tough choices have had to be made across the Society as we face a period of considerable uncertainty.

But there are also positive motives behind the change. Many of you have written to us with questions about the sustainability of print, and some have chosen to opt out of print entirely, in favour of a digital offering. We want to communicate afresh in print and digitally and, in doing so, retire our outdated and poorly functioning website, which was unloved and rarely used.

Geoscientist magazine will continue to serve as a welcoming and inclusive forum

At a time when both Fellowship and geoscience student numbers are in decline, it is essential to widen our reach, and we truly believe that by focusing our efforts on both print and digital, we can place Geoscientist magazine – a showcase for the activities of the Society and of geoscientists – into more hands. Those readers may be people who have not found us before, those who perceive the Society as elitist and outdated, or those who view the field of geoscience as simply dirty and polluting, rather than a key part of the journey towards net zero.

We hope that by providing a range of options for accessing content, we will reach a more diverse audience, and that Geoscientist magazine will continue to serve as a welcoming and inclusive forum for both long-term and new readers.

Our new print and online offerings are works in progress, and we would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions – you can get in touch with us at geoscientist@geolsoc.org.uk or via Twitter @geoscientistmag.


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