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Article

Episodes 2018; 41(2): 97-103

Published online June 1, 2018

https://doi.org/10.18814/epiiugs/2018/018007

Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

The ethical duty to divulge geosciences and the improvement of communication skills to fulfil it

Massimo Arattano1, Silvia Peppoloni2*, and Albertina Gatti3

1Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Strada delle Cacce, 73-10135 Torino, Italy
2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata, 605-00143 Roma, Italy; *Corresponding author, E-mail: silvia.peppoloni@ingv.it
3Sapercapire, Via dei Martiri, 29, 15121 Alessandria, Italy

Correspondence to:E-mail: silvia.peppoloni@ingv.it

Received: March 16, 2017; Revised: September 23, 2017; Accepted: September 23, 2017

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In recent years the commitment to disseminate the geological knowledge, making it available for citizens and decision-makers, has been recognized as a precise ethical duty of the geologist. However the fulfilment of the duty to disseminate the geoscience knowledge requires good communication skills that should be adequately trained, since often the university studies don’t include such training. A specific research has been carried out to explore the possibility to develop a short training course capable of improving the expressive and communication abilities of professionals. A set of exercises has been also expressly developed to improve the metacognitive skills of the participants (metacognition is the knowledge and regulation of one’s cognitive activities in learning processes). The course has been delivered to professionals belonging to the Professional Association of Engineers (FOIT) in Turin, Italy, and has been able to significantly improve their expressive and communication abilities, increasing their interest and willingness to divulge their knowledge, recovering their confidence to succeed in this task and helping them to become more effective communicators. The contents of the course are now available, upon request, for anyone interested in teaching it elsewhere and/or improving its contents. Providing both professional and research geologists with means to renew their interest and ability to communicate can be a useful contribution to raise their (geo)ethical conscience and to help them to more easily carry out their ethical commitment.