A Road Map for a Deontological Code for Geoscientists Dealing with Natural Hazards

Conference paper


Many professions have codes of conduct or deontological rules, but geoscientists dealing with natural hazards have been working on their own in the last decades not yet completing the task. A series of recent natural hazards that have hit the society in several parts of the world have made the call. Deontology is one of the main ethical decision-making approaches for driving actions leading to what is moral/ethically correct. To contribute with the construction of such a code, we present a road map to formulate this code based in the question-driven approach. Some considerations may be presented as guidelines: (a) it cannot be designed to the self-protection of the geoscientists but to safeguard society and the environment (even if it will contribute to); (b) it has to be constructed collectively; (c) it requires deep changes in educational systems, better preparing the citizens to deal with some scientific concepts. Without (c), (a) and (b) would not be enough. In addition, in constructing a geoethics code, we have to consider the three periods in the time-line of an extreme event: before, during, and after. Each period has particularities that will indicate different actions and conducts. Finally, the code, constructed collectively among practitioners, cannot be just a collection of “steps to be followed” but a real bridge between the moral consequences of being the privileged small part of the society who hold the scientific knowledge and the full society and the environment, for which we use to say we work for.


Deontology Natural hazards Geoethics Education 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Estudos do Mar da UFPR/IOIParanaBrazil
  2. 2.Ecodes IADIZA—Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas—FCEN UNCuyoMendozaArgentina

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