News from the Sector – February

Images in banner © Horniman Museum and Gardens

Lecture Series

The Geological Society of London is hosting “2021: The Year of Space!” A series of talks on our solar system are taking place throughout the year:

  • Our Solar System – How Geology Began
    10th February 2021. Virtual event
  • Mercury
    3rd March 2021. Virtual event
  • Venus
    22nd April 2021. Virtual event
  • Mars
    12th May 2021. Virtual event
  • Asteroids and Comets
    30th June 2021. Virtual event
  • The Moon and Early Earth
    29th – 30th November 2021
    Venue: The Geological Society, Burlington House, London

Popularizing Palaeontology is a “series of workshops and public engagement events, we will bring together an international group of humanities and social sciences scholars, scientists, museum professionals, artists, and participants from the cultural sector to reflect on these trends and build future collaborations. Mixing theoretical and practical discussions on the public circulation of scientific ideas, we will investigate the importance of palaeontological concepts in the modern world, while also developing new understandings and methods for science communication more generally.” If you would like to get involved with any of the following events, please contact the organisers through the PopPalaeo website.

  • Wednesday 10 February 2021: Chris Manias, ‘Popularizing Palaeontology Seminars: Agenda and Plans.’
  • Tuesday 23 February: Richard Fallon with Dave Hone, ‘The Case of Conan Doyle and Crichton’ (book chapter discussion).
  • Monday 8 March 2021: Vicky Coules, ‘Gertie the Dinosaur.’
  • Thursday 25 March 2021: Ilja Nieuwland, TBC
  • Tuesday 6 April 2021: Mark Witton, ‘The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs.’
  • Wednesday 21 April 2021: Darren Naish, ‘The Dinosauroid.’

The Liverpool Geological Society is hosting a series of talks, the last one of which is on the 2nd March 2021, by Amani Becker, University of Liverpool: Energy River “Exploring the energy potential from the River Mersey”.

SedsOnline is an online webinar series sponsored by the International Association of Sedimentologists. They have a webinar every Wednesday at 4pm BST, as well as regular communal Coffee Breaks!

The Natural History Museum‘s Nature Live Online is continuing with its lunchtime webinars, frequently on geological topics, every Tuesday and Thursday.


Conferences and Events

The History of Geology Group (HOGG) is hosting the event Geology and Hospital Planning: A Crimean War Map on 10th February 2021 at 1pm GMT. “Geology was an important factor in selecting the site for the first ‘Nightingale Hospital’ designed by Brunel for the Crimean War effort. Dr Beverly Bergman takes up the story of the ‘Nightingale Hospital’ that was mentioned briefly in the 2020 HOGG AGM talk on Brunel: the Geologist. This pioneering pre-fabricated building was designed by Brunel and shipped out to the Dardanelles. The talk will focus on the selection of the site for the hospital and the survey that was carried out by John Brunton, Brunel’s engineer on the project.”

Leicester Geology is holding a webinar Recent Geological Discoveries from Newfoundland and How They Inform Our Knowledge of England’s Oldest Fossils on 10th February 2021 at 7.30pm GMT.

The European Geosciences Union’s General Assembly will take place online 19th – 30th April 2021, due to the continuing risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions on international travel. Please see their website for more details.

The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) are holding a joint virtual Annual Meeting this year, due to take place 10th May – 24th June 2021, with a week of pre-sessions 3rd – 7th May. Registration is now open and there is a draft schedule available on the website.

The 2021 virtual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research conference will be held 7th – 9th June 2021. It is due to be hosted by the Florida Museum of Natural History in co-sponsorship with iDigBio and the Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSCA). Registration now open.

The London Natural History Society is hosting a series of talks in 2021. On the 22nd July 2021, there is a palaeontology themed talk titled “Microworld: How Microfossils Unravel Ancient Natural Histories by Anke Marsh, which will no doubt be of interest to many.

The Geographical Society is planning their 2021 Annual International Conference for 31st August – 3rd September 2021. They are currently hoping to have some in-person elements where possible, due to be confirmed in April 2021.


A Statement from URGE

We would like to introduce you to Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE), a community-wide journal-reading and policy-design curriculum to help diversify the Geosciences.

The year 2020 shone a light on the many injustices minoritized communities face, and 2021 is continuing in the same vein. We recognize that the racism and injustices impacting society are reflected and perpetuated in academia, especially in Geosciences, which remains one of the least diverse STEM fields. We strongly believe that our community needs to shift our culture from one that is, at best, passively not racist to one that is actively anti-racist.

URGE’s vision is to empower geoscientists, especially those who are historically over-represented, to implement anti-racist strategies into their workplaces and careers, thus taking ownership of the need for real change in our discipline. We invite lab groups, departments, professional societies, and others to form ‘pods’ that will serve as their discussion groups. Pods will engage in eight two-week units that incorporate readings, interviews with experts, and discussions focused on learning about and implementing effective anti-racist strategies. Also, please read our Medium article that summarizes the project further. You can sign up for our email list and register your pod now on the URGE website.

We call upon and challenge our academic leaders to commit to the objectives of URGE and rally their departments and lab groups behind these initiatives. We ask that you forward this to three geoscientists who may not have heard of URGE before! Please, visit our website and come help us unlearn racism in Geoscience!

URGE is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant EAR#1714909 and by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this program are those of the URGE leadership team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Send us Your Stuff!

If you would like to contribute content to our monthly blog series News from the Sector (and get some free advertising) please get in touch with Emma Nicholls, email If you would like to submit an article to our journal Geological Curator, please note the next submission deadline will be in February 2021.

News from the Sector is compiled by the GCG Blog Editor Dr Emma Nicholls, Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Images throughout © Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Please note, events listed above are not necessarily endorsed by the Geological Curators’ Group. If you have any concerns about a listing, please get in touch with Blog Editor, Emma Nicholls, at

© Horniman Museum and Gardens

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