Director’s Diary – June 2019

Saturday 29 June

Devon’s Children’s University 
University of Plymouth, Plymouth

As Chancellor of Devon’s Children’s University, Iain will have the fun job of presenting children from local primary schools with their Children’s University badges at a special graduation ceremony held to celebrate their achievements alongside their friends and family.

Wednesday 26 June

Environment Platform Wales
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff

Iain joined researchers, policy makers and environmental professionals from across Wales to celebrate the official launch of a new policy think-tank, Environment Platform Wales. After a formal launch of talks from Prof Sir Ian Boyd (Chief Scientific advisor to DEFRA), Claire Pillman (Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales) and Andrew Slade (Director General, Economy Skills and Natural Resources, Welsh Government), Iain gave a public talk to 250 people on the challenges of communicating contested environmental issues to publics and policy makers.

Friday 27 June

Tomorrow’s Cities

As Communications Lead for the GCRF research hub on Urban Disaster Risk, Iain joined the rest of the executive committee for this University of Edinburgh-led consortium for the launch of the hub website, Tomorrow’s Cities. With the ambition of ‘reducing disaster risk for the poor in tomorrow’s cities, the project is a £20M interdisciplinary research hub that works globally to bring disaster management to the centre of urban policy and practice. The webpage showcases the research and praxis being undertaken in each of the hub’s four target cities: Kathmandu, Istanbul, Nairobi and Quito.

Thursday 20 June

Geography Teacher National Conference
Stratford, East London

The inaugural Geography Teacher National Conference 2019 was attended by 65 geography teachers who heard keynote talks from Iain and from Safia Minney, the social entrepreneur and ethical business guru who is a leading advocate in the Extinction Rebellion movement). Iain’s talk was on ‘Un-Natural Hazards: How Disaster Risk is Socially Constructed’.

Friday 14 June

Royal Town Planners Institute SW annual dinner

On the back of a request from former SoGEES colleague Chris Balch, current president of the RTPI SW, Iain was the invited speaker at the group’s annual showcase event at the ‘We Are Curious’ science centre. Many of the 200 attendees worked in the environmental sector and the event was supported by prominent local geo-environmental employers such as Arup and Hydrock, and Iain’s talk focused on the challenges of communicating technical science to non-technical audiences.

Thursday 13 June

SW Georesources Partnership meeting
St Austell

Tuesday 4 June – Thursday 6 June

European Association of Geologists and Engineers
ExCel conference centre, east London

Iain was busy at the EAGE’s big annual event, a major showcase for Europe’s engineering and energy sector. On Tuesday afternoon he was moderator for a Forum panel session on ‘The roles of geoscientists & engineers in the changing energy and technology landscape’ and spoke about the importance of securing ‘social licence to operate’ with the Young Professionals group. On Wednesday morning he gave an invited talk on ‘geoscience and sustainable development’ at the launch of a new EAGE community group on Decarbonisation and the Energy Transition. He then delivered one of the conference’s two invited keynote addresses, discussing the challenges of communicating geoscience, and in the afternoon chaired the Young Professionals Geo-Quiz. On the Thursday, he gave a research talk on the United Downs geothermal drilling project in a special technical session on Geothermal Energy.

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