Iain Stewart: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

KGS Director Bill Haneberg: We are very honored and pleased to tonight to have Dr. Iain Stewart here with us for our special guest lecture Iain is a professor of geoscience communications At Plymouth University in the UK and by that I mean the other UK He has a really wide range of scientific research interests They include hazards like earthquakes and volcanism, and tsunami and abrupt environmental change One of the most interesting things about him is that for the past 15 years or so he has spent a lot of time working closely with the BBC to host a series of television documentaries on the nature, history, and state of the planet He’s a very honored geoscientist; he’s received awards from the AGI, the European Federation of Geologists, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Geographical Society Tonight he’s here on a specific mission He’s the 2017-2018 James B. Thompson Jr distinguished International lecturer with the Geological Society of America The lectureship is named after James B. Thompson, who was a very well-known professor at Harvard and left endowments to GSA to fund a very interesting dual lectureship So Iain is an international lecturer who comes to North America There is also a North American lecturer who goes throughout the rest of the world Each year and the goal is to increase the visibility of international sciences and emphasize the globalization of geosciences We’re also taking the opportunity to resurrect the Donald Haney lecture series at KGS which actually started in 1988 and was suspended in 2012, and we decided to resurrect it or reinvigorate it this year As some of you know…and some of you may not know…Donald Haney was state geologist and director of KGS from 1978 who died several years ago He left his mark on KGS; he was largely responsible for the new building that we have…a relatively new building So we decided to resurrect the Donald Haney Distinguished Lecture in applied geology, so that is also tonight Iain’s topic is going to be Between a Rock and a Head place…Communicating Contested Geoscience to the Public Iain, thank you! Iain Stewart: Thank you very much…(Applause) So, Fantastic! It’s a pleasure to be here Fighting through the snow; well, that was YOU fighting through the snow I had a relatively easy drive down from Cincinnati, so I appreciate you taking the time out So, what I’d like to talk about is…I suppose I should explain a bit about the background because I’m not normal I’m mean geologists aren’t normal at the best of things, but I’m even more not normal My PhD was in structural geology morphology looking at neo-tectonic faults in the Mediterranean and I’m mainly worked in that kind of very recent geologic change in that region and a little bit of other things About 2003 I started what became a really strong partnership with the BBC Science, and for a while I had a kind of dual world of the normal academic stuff with research, teaching, and admin, alongside making television documentaries for BBC on the planet, how it works, what it means to us…that kind of stuff And five years ago, I brought the two together because I was trying to juggle these two worlds And so now what I do is I’m interested in communicating what I call contested geoscience What are the bits of geology, earth science, whatever we want to call it … that’s really controversial for the public? That public interface with geology…so, climate change, fracking, waste disposal, earthquakes And so it’s trying to bring to bear the communications side into that world I’m particularly interested in how we do it as an interdisciplinary working and also how we do it as a training…as regard to training The reason is that, if I said to you “Do you think geology is of critical importance to address many of the problems that face society in the 21st Century,” I’m sure everyone here would say “Yes, geology is of crucial importance.” But actually if you look at what those issues are, like the UN sustainable development goals, geology isn’t really obvious Most of the key things like goals don’t’ seem obviously geological, and yet we recognize that we’re going to be building the cities of the future and more and more people are living in cities, that requires great engineering expertise; it requires an understanding of the resources of those cities…a whole bunch of other things The minerals and metals, resources to basically continue to push the modern world … The modern world relies on geologists going out and finding stuff to kind of keep this going

Energy Well, we know we’ve had the run on fossil fuel energy, but there’s a transition going on in place and what is the role of the geosciences as we switch into the renewables, things like geothermal…pretty easy to see … things like CCS where fossil fuel is burned What about these other ones as well? What’s our place with that? And clean water…geology is pretty crucial for that … particularly hydrogeology, particularly clean water …. Climate change, environment… All of these demand a real detailed knowledge of geoscience…of the subsurface, in many cases And yet, geologists don’t tend to be involved in, for example, sustainable development … it seems it’s someone else’s game So I’m interested in this notion of us being … it’s geology for the public good It’s about taking the skill sets that we’ve got, this great understanding of the planet … and how we use that to actually make meaningful change to improve human well-being in the long term I don’t care what we call it, but it seems to me that it’s become more important Within the core of that, then, is communication, because essentially what it requires the geoscience community to do … more than ever before … is to kind of sell itself as to why it is going to be critical in this new arena Many of the other sciences have gone in there fast and geosciences in general is chasing the game a little bit So, that kind of explains a little bit my motivation to move from straight geology to into this nefarious world of geoscience communication But I should say something about what I mean by science communication, because it means different things to different people So the way that I kind of explain it to myself is in this plot here, where if we look at this vertical axis, we go from “Why are we doing the science?” … So down here, we’re doing it for pure knowledge This is pure blue skies research … and all the way up here is user driven or problem driven, research, applied research, if you like And along this axis is the level to which we’ve involved the public So, in this little corner here, there’s not really much involvement; this is pure science; we go to research conferences, we write research papers that appear in journals It’s very much about having our own academic community And, if you go all the way across to here, crossing to the bottom right, you get something like citizen science; so you get the public involved, but actually the public is involved to collect some data that is going to be feeding some research, for example They probably aren’t intrinsically interested in how many hedgerows there are or how many whatever Up here, policy reports This is again, part of … often in our realm, which is that we are writing something on induced seismicity or something that seems to be in the public realm But we’re not really involving the public Most academics start in this area and kind of drift over on one these axes into one of these realms And the way that I see this is that this bit down here is what I call the “Make and Sell” realm This is an analogy that come from an economics/marketing paradigm Companies that make stuff…you think of production costs That’s where you spend all your time making your product good and then you send it out the door, and you’re not really thinking about your customers because if you’ve made a nice enough profit at low enough cost, someone will buy it And so I think most of us are producing science we think is important, and we’re putting it out there or the public and we want to communicate it with public talks so we write afterwards about it or we may encourage the public to come in and have some kind of debate But we drive the agenda for that bottom left corner But there’s the top right corner It’s what many of the businesses refer to as sense and respond And that is when the customer is king So those are businesses that ask “What does the customer want?” And when they hear that, they then change the product line MAC / Apple, for instance, constantly thinking, “What does the customer want? Bigger? Smaller? Flashier? Simpler? Right Let’s change it.” And the thing is we academics don’t really occupy that realm Sure the public … but we don’t really like them setting the agenda for the things that we do And the point that I’ll make here is that, interestingly enough, I think television science is an area whereby I think that’s the edge of the place I think academics will be involved, because television program makers are listening to the public and they’re saying we want to do a program on “X” and sometimes scientists will be drawn into that as a contributor and in my case, a host So, I’m kind of interested, but the end game really is that we end up somewhere in the

middle, here, as what Roger Pielke, Jr. refers to as the Honest Broker So that is a scientist who basically gives the public options by exploring different things, trying to be transparent, and explaining the science, and listen to the public back, to know what the public think about that So it’s kind of a mediating arbiter of truth, if you like So, what I’m going to talk about really is why I think the problem we have is that we occupy this area too much, and that we need to shift across into this realm and possibly even into this realm In science communication, there is a whole paradigm change now The way we used to think of communication, which is the public are empty heads and we need to fill them with knowledge and educate them, has actually failed time and time again to deliver what we need And so there’s a move now to be much more participatory, to bring the public into the discussion of what kind of science they want So, this is kind of sweeping through science We see it in climate change, we also see it in the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction We see it in the United Nations sustainable development goals, etc So, I’m kind of interested in this balance tonight between the two…..and I’ll come back to this at the end So…my story: From about 2004, I’ve studied these in a set of programs, really, that I’ve, in different ways, just taken geology, taken the Earth, the planet, and pitching it in a slightly different way So some things are just generally about the planet…Earth, for example, climate wars and climate change…and some people know this one, …. “Men of Rock,” which was a history of geology, particularly Scottish pioneers And then, increasingly and recently, energy So, fracking … I did a program on fracking, three parts on oil And really, this is moving into the slightly more contested area of science…slightly trickier One of the things that happened when I started doing television is that television has a great way of ripping you out of your discipline, and you have this almost out of body experience, and you look back at your discipline…but from a completely different place And so, time and time again, I was confronted with things that I didn’t understand because it was outside of the can that I had had up until then So, just a couple of examples that were really influential to me right from the start…trying to think this communication business was pretty critical Mt. Merapi, in Indonesia….a really nasty volcano…the Merapi type volcano…it’s got a congealed mass at the top A lava dome that kind of spills, and then it’s a pyroclastic flow It often kills several hundred people at a time And down into this (Jakarta) plain that has about a million to two million people, depending on how you measure it And we climbed to the top here, and at the summit, here’s a volcanologist who was telling us about the monitoring equipment that they have Because of that monitoring equipment, they can give hours to days warning That was a fine; we filmed that and wrapped it up We’re coming down the hill, and the really odd thing about it was that we have these mandatory evacuations But the people in the upper flanks…the villages in the upper flanks, don’t evacuate What’s going on there? The volcano science is very well evolved in that process, unlike …. And earthquakes And he said, “Well…it’s probably something to do with kind of cultural connections people have there with this belief system that when their family died they got taken into the volcano, so the volcano is where their ancestors like, and they’ll give them warnings.” And I thought, “That’s bonkers! That’s absolutely mad…” That we’ve got a science that’s so well evolved that’s getting undermined by this weird, kind of cultural, affectation So I came back, and we got a PhD student working on this…and what was really clear was it doesn’t work This is …… who was the spiritual gatekeeper of the volcano His job is to commune with the volcano and to pass messages on And this is the village of Turgo, where in 1996, there was a mandatory evacuation in place because there was a volcanic crisis The people of Turgo didn’t evacuate In fact they actually held a wedding on a Saturday night, and the pyroclastic flow came through the church hall, the community hall, and killed forty people in that room So, clearly this indigenous knowledge wasn’t going on Now, …. explains this by the fact that the people of Turgo had held the wedding on an inauspicious day and were being punished But the point was that clearly there was a decoupling… Now, it turns out to be a lot more complicated When my PhD student spent … with cultural geographers, it turns out that the main reason people don’t evacuate is because their main livelihood is cutting down grass, feeding it to the single cow and basically selling the milk from the cow So, the reason they don’t evacuate is because they said, “Well, I can evacuate, but who’s

going to evacuate my cow?” And they’re making a rational decision that their family is much more likely to come to harm with something happening to a single cow than a pyroclastic flow happening to the village ….. rational judgement to make… It’s just not the judgement that hazard scientists are making when they’re setting this thing up The assumption is they’re going to follow the science And, actually, what we see is that they don’t…they behave in a very different way A very topical example, given the last week or so, but La Conchita, in California, just south of Santa Barbara, north of Los Angeles In January 1995, there was a landslide…you can see the back scar here Then on January 10, 2005, a rainstorm re-mobilized this landslide, and there was a mudslide that comes all the way down here And I went there in December, and Jeannie here lives in this house She walked me up the street and told me about the mudslide and how the mud had gone up to this level of her house The emergency services used that window to access it, and to take the body of Charlie, her best friend, across the road And I say that very deliberately, because that was the very first time I had some talking about a disaster that actually had the names and were telling me about it You know, in textbook, its twenty died, or something like that So this was right influential on me We walked up here, and we got to … just underneath that tree is a house, and the house was for sale And I said, “No one’s going to buy the house,” because you open the curtains, and you see crosses across the road Ten people died in that … And so the USGS study of this along with the other engineers’ studies said the same thing The next time there’s a high precipitation event that dumps a lot of rain on slope, it’s going to be remobilized It’s not rocket science And Jeannie said, “Oh, that house has been sold.” And she added, “Since the landslide.” And she said, “Actually, it’s gone up in value since January.” And at that point, I thought, “I really don’t understand this…” Because the point was that I didn’t understand people Jeannie is smart and she’s affluent enough to be able to move out … and she’s read all the science stuff, and she’s not moving About fifty percent moved out and about 50% stayed So, what I realized was, What? I’d been teaching hazards for ten years, and I really didn’t understand them, because I had only been teaching from that kind of physical, geoscience side There was a whole other dimension that I really didn’t understand So the thought I didn’t understand was this lot The public…and because I had never thought about them I’d never had to think about them in my geoscience world up until that point And what’s interesting about television is that television never stops thinking about them It constantly thinks about them Probably too much It’s got focus groups, and audience ratings, in my case it’s got producers and directors who say things like “I know what a BBC 2 audience is; I know what the viewer wants to know now.” So, they’re always thinking this way So, it got me into a whole literature, you know… there’s a several decade long empirical literature there from the social sciences about people and how they make decisions and how they react that I didn’t know about, but I had to start to learn fast As a way of summarizing that … I’m going to use this particular study It’s a CSIRO… The Australian research organization It’s called Community Attitudes Towards Science and technology in Australia It’s downloadable as a .pdf, and I encourage you to have a look at it Although it’s Australian, … it’s a country that’s got a lot of geoscience … very applied It’s a nice summary this kind of empirical idea dataset So, if there are any social scientists in the room, what I’m going to say now is not a surprise It’s stuff that is completely well known and understood, really What is slight odd is with this study … the names are kind of a little bit picky, and I wouldn’t believe the numbers as far as I could throw them But the point is the actual general message So, the first thing is, if you think about the public in terms of their attitude toward science, then you get different sets of people So one lot-about a quarter, let’s say-is Science Fan Boys and Girls YOU are science fans boys and girls You’ve demonstrated that by going through the cold on a Wednesday evening to get to a science talk So you MUST be in this category You may not feel that you’re boys and girls, but bear with it So that is people who feel close to science, can have a discussion about science, will watch science documentaries, will read science articles You’re pretty OK on science And then there’s the Mr. and Mrs. Average Slightly older, slightly more distant from science, but still science is resonant with

them They’ll watch the odd documentary, probably wouldn’t read a science article in the newspaper, and a conversation on science would kind of realize quite quickly they don’t quite remember as much as they thought Then there is the I Wish I Could Understand group, which is smaller than this one but actually tends to be a slightly older cohort They’re the most science consuming … They’re the ones who go to museums a lot…and science centers, and they get very frustrated because the science they see there they can’t connect with; they don’t understand it; it’s not portrayed to them or projected to them in ways they can understand And then there’s a group that says “I don’t like science.” This is quite a small one …. They hate science Something horrible happened to them in their chemistry class, and they never recovered And their kids come home and they need help with their science homework, and the hairs go up on their neck, and they absolutely would not watch a science documentary And then there’s a group that’s …this’s one’s quite sizable…that it’s says nothing about science…I’m just not interested in all this stuff I’m interested in politics, or music, or art I don’t have time in my world for science Not against it or for it…that’s just the way it is And then, finally, there’s a “I know all I need to know” … and this one a quite small group I don’t need to know about science because I know how the planet works It could be religion; it could be pseudo-science; it could be whatever, but “I don’t need to follow science to understand what’s going on around already So, this is audience segmentation And different groups do it; advertisers do it; television people do it; but actually the group that doesn’t do it is scientists, when talking to the public We don’t think about this in terms of our audiences we’re trying to reach A good communicator thinks, “Exactly who’s the audience that’s out there that I’m trying to reach?” So, if you’re trying to communicate to everyone, that’s not very effective and you’re probably going to fail So, usually what you do is you target a particular subgroup So, in my ones, I would… Well, who do you think? Who should I target? So, I’ve showed you a little clip….mainstream audience that I’m trying to get who are the most important … So, across here? These first three? (Audience member inaudible.) These people? OK So we should grab some of them… Any other thoughts? What about the “Too many other concerns,” then? There’s nods there… We’re in danger of having the whole of the public now So let’s simplify Do we need to get this lot? (Audience members.) Let’s scope them out… They’re gonna write to me in red crayon telling me gravity’s wrong, anyway And I’m not going to get them So, let’s take an easy one; this group seems…they’re desperate for science portrayed to them in a different way I wonder about this group, Mr. and Mrs. Average? Yeah, I think they’re kind of a strong group These are interesting because this group, “I don’t like science,” if you can portray science in a way that they that (unintelligible) like in school, then you get some of them coming across So I think trying to think about then, this might be the core of it then…trying to think about these And in similar fashion, if you can make science of concern to their concerns, then you can say that actually is important For example, in the oil program, Planet Oil, the second episode was about … the role of the UK in BP in overthrowing the shah of Iran or in Iran bringing in the shah way back in the 1950s So the geopolitics of oil…so that’s really important Which actually says, then, what about this lot? I already have you Absolutely I don’t need to design my program for you guys because you will watch Now, I apologize for that … but it kind of explains why when you’re watching science programs you get frustrated about those programs because of all of the repetition, the lousy noise, the fact that the host is doing a bunch of stupid stuff And you go “I don’t need this,” and it’s true You don’t need it, but it’s not for you It’s for these other groups So one of the key things I usually say at this point is that the kind of stuff I do is not education It’s entertainment, first and foremost, and then, if it achieves that a bit..then, fine, education after that…because it’s really trying to take into this realm We’re really good at that realm That’s easy That’s usually our “make and sell” realm But actually getting into these ones is much harder, and it’s kind of, going to the right is what I’m trying to do So, the other thing that’s interesting, really, is that the same survey looked at what is actually beneath the attitudes…what are the fundamental values and belief systems

that kind of underpin this? And that’s harder to get at The way they do get that … so scientists ask value laden questions So, the benefits of science and technology are greater that the harm; or science tends the benefit the rich more that it benefits poor It’s trying to bring out the values of the individuals involved And, in terms of this, the study identifies four value-laden groups, in terms of science audiences This is in increasing order of interest in science So, up here we have one… science finds…science is good…science is a panacea for solving the problems of society It’s not happening too fast, it’s not too scary; it’s a good thing to be supported We then go to another group that says it’s cautious …. Which says, “Yes, science is broadly good, but there are some bits of science that I don’t think are good or are maybe a problem or that I worry about The risk averse is kind of a conservative with a small “c” … it’s “You know, the world used to be a nice simple place, but science and technology is just making it really turbulent Why can’t we just go back to the way it used to be?” And, then, we’ve met this lot…and so they’re concerned about science; so science is bad or they’re disengaged, which is “I don’t care about science.” So what I’m going to show in this space here is a set of plots that kind of show those values for some of those questions The questions themselves are not that important; it’s kind of a pattern recognition business So, here it is There’s something I think that is interesting about you lot; us So what is it that I’m getting at here? (Audience answer.) Not quite! Because obviously the last one is the opposite You’re getting it…it’s close, though What do you think? (Audience answer That science causes problems even though we believe in it…?) Don’t drill into the detail… It’s simpler; you’re being too analytical Yes…just shout (Audience: Science leads to more questions.) Not quite! That’s an interesting one (Audience response.) Forget the left-hand side; forget the titles; look at it as pattern recognition (Audience response) True… That’s kind of the flip side of the one I’m looking for (Audience response.) Yes! That’s the ultimate, extreme version It’s that we’re de-coupled with the ages, for a start; with the more extremes And most of these, we’re de-coupled from the other value-laden groups So, for example, … and there “D” with “C,” even “B” with “D” in some cases have shared values But that science fans group is disconnected in terms of their values from those other groups So there’s a paradox here that, as a cohort, we’re the ones who think science is a good thing for society to address problems And yet, those values that underpin that aren’t shared by most of those other value groups And our ability to connect on a value basis with those other groups is probably impaired So, the conclusion to the Australian study is … First one’s this: When information is complex, people usually make decisions based on their values and beliefs So, if they want to know about fracking or wanted to know about climate change or things like that, the stuff’s all out there; they could read all that technical knowledge … but that’s not what they do They have an instinctive view of how to do it and it’s the exact same thing…the way we make decisions about whether we want to buy a new television or a new car We might go through and do all of this stuff; we might ask George up the road who went through it, and George is a pretty smart guy, and we could ask George and George says, you know So we have these short cuts, so we often make those decisions This is non-technical audience asked to make decisions about technical stuff It’s not about an engineer or what asking a scientist This is about public, lay groups So, following that, people seek to confirm those attitudes and beliefs, no matter how weird they are So, if you think that the planet is hollow, for example, if you’re a hollow earther, I could see someone up there agreeing, you think the planet’s hollow (audience laughs), ….what you’re teaching here at UK, but never mind… But, you will be able to go into the internet, and you will find people, and probably on the other side of the country, in deepest, darkest Oregon or somewhere in a wood cabin, who share that view And you go, “I knew it! The planet definitely is hollow!” The fact that you’ve gone through 99% of material telling you no, it’s not, is completely irrelevant Because that’s not what you’re doing; you’re trying to re-affirm your beliefs to show that

you are correct; that your intrinsic gut instinct is correct No one likes to have that questioned People most trust those whose values mirror their own That’s the issue to do with that previous one So in the Australian study, they said, if you’re not going to trust scientists to tell you about science, who would you trust? And they said, friend, family, and radio hosts…radio commentators They’re the people they listen to all the time, and they take viewpoints So, the fact that we don’t share those common values with many of these other groups means that we can be just tuned out because we don’t share those values, therefore it’s not worth us listening to And because they’re not thinking in terms of scientific knowledge and information, they’re thinking in terms of values…value judgment Attitudes that aren’t formed by logic or facts and not influenced by logical or factual arguments That’s the obvious conclusion; if people are making decisions based on their values and beliefs, they’re not making them on factual information So us providing factual information doesn’t help And that’s one of the areas where we’re absolutely fixated in terms of science standards, science communications courses We talk about getting the science, the knowledge better… How can we get rid of the jargon and put nice simple language? And give nice simple diagrams, drawings showing it? All that’s about a clarity of information But, actually, if it’s not information people are wanting, it’s not really a help In fact, the final conclusion of this … and again, this is a review of empirical stuff, is that public concerns about contentious science is almost never about science And therefore scientific information, therefore, does little to influence those concerns And I think those last two are real tricky ones for us, because if there’s one that we do in places like this is train people in clear, scientific information and knowledge, and we send them out with the assumption that’s what they want…because it works for us…it works for our green group So we share information, and we share information with other technical people like engineers, that’s exactly what we want And we kind of assume that must work when we go into the public It doesn’t seem to … And the scary bit is, well, if we can’t have logical, factual arguments and information in what we communicate with the public, then what are we going to communicate? What do we have? And that’s a much harder thing to think about I’m going to go into a couple of areas of what I call contested geoscience This is a …. Fracking site So you guys have a long history of looking at shale gas, unconventional shale gas This particular site … the first six hours of unconventional gas drilling in the UK …. A magnitude 2.2 earthquake and ended up getting a moratorium that shut the thing… I think there’s tens of thousands of fracking jobs in the world, of which I think there’s been triggered something like three earthquakes that actually slip on faults, while one of them was in the first few years of the UK shale gas exploration So, one of the things I’m interested in is, if we’re going to communicate, one of the things you need to think about when you communicate is what do the other people know? What do they want to know from me? What are they already thinking? So, one of the questions we’ve been having is “What do people think of the subsurface?” So, down in the southwest…I’m in southwest England; I’m from Scotland, but I live in Plymouth in southwest England That’s mining country…tin mining in Cornwall This is a tin mine… I had a PhD student who’s working on this with cognitive psychologists who said, “What do people think is in the subsurface?” And the way that she did this was with this thing, called a cube The point was, … the language to even speak to people about the subsurface So the way we go around that was, she would interview them, but she would ask them to draw “What do you think is down beneath your feet?” That’s a 5 kilometer by 5 kilometer surface area You can see a mine, a kind of China clay above the granite And so she’ll ask them to draw this It’s called a mental model approach She also asks experts Here’s an expert model; seems a little bit cartoony, but actually the interesting thing is … well, there’s a fault on there, but it’s not just a single line, it’s a zone a ________ zone which people will appreciate There’s a scale on there…a kilometer … five kilometers Granite, ______ which is a country rock And, interestingly, the fault appears on this side All of the geologists used at least two sides of the block Not a single member of the public used a second side … So already, we’re realizing that our 3-D thinking that we teach all the way through it is setting us apart from the way that normal people look at it So, let’s have a look at some of them This is the interview; you’re talking about going down to hot rocks … getting hotter

I love this last bit: “Decent miners, a lot of the miners there, they’re virtually in the nude, because it’s so hot.” (Laughter) They’ve got these images of this high geothermal stripped-to-the-waist … you know, plugging away at the rock And, at first glance, you think that’s a pretty good model You’ve got the mine system here, there’s hard rock, granite, Devonian; there’s veins of tin, copper, zinc And Hazel said to this person, “Well that’s the human subsurface That’s the mine What about the rock? And she picked up a red pen and she wrote “Dark.” So there was a very sophisticated view of the cultural subsurface that they’d been brought up on But when asked about the geology bit-our world, if you like-it was completely blank Here’s one….talking again about “down to the very bottom of the Earth.” That’s where it’s all broken down … “I presume that’s where the heat of the Earth is.” There’s a ground surface … I don’t know why we’ve got another ground surface … and a series of layers And they’re reasonably in order and things What do you think that is? That’s the Earth’s core So, they drew it circular and then they said, “Oh, no, that’s ridiculous,” and they went … and then they went, “No, it’s more like that.” So, for us, if it’s a 5 kilometer by 5 kilometer, then that’s, what? Three kilometers to get to the core? (Laughter.) Interestingly enough, we added a deep geothermal project in the city, and one of the objections early on was “I’m worried that if you drill into the granite….then magma will burst out.” And we had a giggle about this as we drove back And I thought, “Well, actually, that’s telling me that someone knows that someone knows that granite came from molten materials… Good!” And then, actually, we’re going for hot rocks, it’s geothermal, so it’s hot down there So the only thing that was kind of laughable, or was, not knowing what the melting temperature of granite was and the geothermal gradient And I think some of my students wouldn’t necessarily know that So, the funny thing is, those are things that are so obvious to us, but then putting into the public, where would they get that information from, if it’s not from spending years in a classroom like this … and understanding? And it was pretty clear, then, that other people were just really confused So, this is just a set of layers … it says 70 degrees down here…warm And some people … the most common reaction was, I kind of …. Rigor mortis …. “I don’t know what to do I don’t know the first thing about what to do.” That was the most common one, “I can’t draw anything I don’t even know where to start.” Some people would just put some pictures down…pictures of granite This one’s an interesting one…these are buildings And we say “Well, that’s buildings in the Earth,” and he says “Oh, yeah.” And the mining was a long time ago So, that notion of people digging down, and they’re excavating their cellar and they’re finding buildings from the Eighteenth Century…was a suggestion that can be So the gulf between the way that we see the world … Now, remember, this is a mining community These are people who almost every member of the families have gone down into the subsurface What would happen if we tried this in London? What kind of cultural disconnect would we get with the subsurface there? So this leads me to think that the gap between us and the public when we start communicating geology is a chasm; it’s absolutely huge, and we really don’t understand where the public is when we actually start to think about this Here are the two views of the way that I think people see the subsurface On the left, and they’re kind of, in a funny way, mutually compatible, it’s a wonderland down there It’s Antarctica buried It’s this beautiful, untainted world, and we’re drilling into it and fracturing it and breaking it up Or, it’s actually a dangerous world down there, with lots of toxic stuff, maybe natural, maybe not, and we’re allowing that stuff to come up into their world Neither of those are especially good for geologists thinking about going into the subsurface We try to look at this in terms of….because for the UK, and I’m sure it’s the same here, geothermal is coming along, and we’ve got a lot of stuff on unconventional gas, CCS is now getting picked up by the UK government; we’re just about to go into a new round of looking for a radioactive waste site And all of these are issues that require the public to have a say; they’re mandated as a part of the democratic rights to have a say in what happens in the subsurface So the extent to which there’s this disconnect is really troubling if we’re going to start to do this If you’re interested, these particular ones are (unintelligible) … that kind of summarizes lot of this; the mental model stuff is open access Most of the stuff I work on is earthquakes…I’ve been working for many years on one of the

big earthquake problems on the planet…Istanbul, Turkey This is the Hagia Sophia, the really fantastic, famous museum … now a mosque/church, built in 600 A.D. or around about then, and almost immediately part of it was knocked down by an earthquake What you can see is all the stone buttresses that were built afterwards to hold this thing up That’s as close to a pyramid as you’ll get in the Islamic world So that building knows that Istanbul, Constantinople, at times, is affected by really big earthquakes But very little of that city does, because most of that city has appeared in the last fifty or sixty years And there’s now thirteen and a half million people in Istanbul, that’s not had a direct strike for centuries And the reason to worry is shown in this one here….Istanbul is up here This is the north Anatolian fault line; it’s a little bit simpler that San Andreas … a lot more linear They key thing is an extraordinary set of earthquakes started in December 1939, rupturing this section Then in 1942, rupturing here; ’43 here; ’44 there; missed a little bit; and then here in ’51, fills that in Then ’57, just there…then ’67, and in 1999, and earthquake here really brings earthquakes to the gates of Istanbul If you go back a little bit more, you find there was a big earthquake in 1912 over here The result of that is the only significant segment of the north Anatolian plate boundary structure that’s not ruptured in the last century is the Princes Islands segment here in the offshore Marmara Sea You can see the bathymetric scar here … It’s probably going to be tsunamogenic There’s a catalog of historical tsunamis in this region Fault length suggest that this is capable of a magnitude-7.4 plus earthquake Although this coastal area here is very…almost all industrial plants, harbor systems, power plants, chemical works of that very industrialized corner of Istanbul, their main worry is twenty kilometers away, you’ve got a city of nearly 14 million people The city is a hodgepodge of very old buildings and very modern buildings The bulk of those buildings were built in a massive phase of urban growth in the last sixty years, particularly from 1930 through to about 1990, when Turkey had its industrial revolution And that was mainly funneled through Istanbul So, a lot of buildings, built fast without any planning concern So, what I’m interested in is, what goes through people’s heads if you started to think about something like this, because one of the issues we have is, although they have a hazard in Istanbul that’s extremely high, and the vulnerability is high … as the risk is, the level of seismic preparedness…the level to which people have tried to prepare themselves, by having emergency kits, by knowing what to do, by thinking of the houses and fixing stuff in the houses, by knowing where the emergency plan is and mobile hospitals…can take these indices, then Turkish residents are more or less likely than any other places that have earthquakes to have those changes, certainly compared to Japan and the U.S So here are studies that have been done by environmental psychologists in London UCL (University College London) that looked at U.S., Turkey, and Japan in terms of the earthquake psyche What is in people’s heads about this? There are some things that are common… All three earthquake prone populations are aware …. Fatalism, which is basically a shrug of the shoulders and says “What can we do? We know there are going to be earthquakes.” This is a number of code indexes for this vertical axis; it’s a kind of psychological way of (…..). There are also very aware They know there are earthquakes; they’re not stupid They’re very aware there’s earthquake there But there are interesting differences … Here’s one here A large religious component that actually argues that earthquakes are acts of God, and therefore it’s presumptuous to say when an earthquake is going to come or to make preparations The real killer one is this one The notion that earthquake, or at least the disasters that befall them are acts of people And let me explain what that is in this next one, because this is the psychologists drilling into interviews with people about what’s going on in their heads What have they got? “Well, you know in those places there is anxiety or fear of earthquakes, which is perfectly reasonable Turkey, a very acute sense of isolation and sadness; and a very acute sense of vulnerability They saw an earthquake in 1999…buildings exactly the same as the ones they’re living

in demolished 18,000 people were killed just two hours down the road in that earthquake The demise of identity and this kind of sense that Turkey is going down the tubes … and anyone who knows that area politically knows it’s a very contentious country at the moment in terms of lots of stuff happening But here are the things I think are key: Very high perceived level of corruption And it’s not just perceived If you look at Transparency International, etc., there is a very high level of endemic corruption going on in Turkey Very high blaming of big business…that corporate business is running the show, and that that’s kind of squeezing people out … that the civic authorities are not taking the responsibility, and finally a deep anger These are protests about old cultural districts, mainly immigrant, pure housing areas, being demolished to build new skyscrapers, new multi-story blocks that are resistant to earthquakes The reason they’re protesting is their old historical centers have been demolished, and in place they’re building new multi-story, where most people can’t live in because the rents are too high So, a lot more people come in It’s not built by the civic authorities; it’s not built by public money; it’s funded by private money So to make the economy work, you have to put more people into those at-risk places than were living there before So, the view is, if those new buildings stand up to the next earthquake, that’s a good thing But the worry is that the levels of endemic corruption, etc., means that they may not They may not have been built properly, and if they collapse, they’re collapsing with far more people in them than was originally there So the only acid test for this will be the earthquake, and that’s really troubling to those people So one of the things that we did, we had a science communications course as part of an EU project …. This is my PhD student; she’s a visual anthropologist We took a bunch of PhD students and geophysicists, geologists, technicians…sedimentologists, etc., that were working in different aspects of tectonics, and walked around these at-risk districts with social scientists and an urban historian…and really confronted the geologists with the notion of what the earthquake actually is So the way that Omar here sees the earthquake is very different from the way we see the earthquake The earthquake is only bad; there’s nothing good in an earthquake And yet for us geologists, earthquakes are where we get out data from….and you still get that sense of excitement when you hear there’s been a really big earthquake, because you think “Oh, my gosh.” The world’s going to be looking at us suddenly; they’re interested in what we do But also there’s data; we’ll understand more about that area; it’s not completely gratuitous To this guy here, the earthquake is only bad There’s nothing, nothing good about that We went to a local neighborhood association in one of the areas where the houses are getting taken down And he says, “You know what? I’ve never seen a scientist here No scientists ever come to me.” He said, “I don’t think there’s an earthquake risk in our area Because in 1999, in my district, 3,000 people died in Istanbul in that 1999 earthquake.” He said not a single house in this district had a crack in it And yet they’re now pulling down the things He says, “What I think it is that when the pull the rest down, they’re going to build a shopping mall here And they’re going to just make money.” He sees it as a land grab under the guise of earthquakes And so here’s a problem Look at the faces of these people here That’s not boredom We wrote a paper up talking about the responses These are people who’ve been studying earthquakes for about five years and have never actually thought of the earthquake in the way that Ali here is thinking about them They’ve been forced to think about the ethical aspects of what it is to be a geologist…of what their responsibilities are to Ali, to the public, etc And I think that’s a really important thing that we ought to be doing more of So we wrote this up as a paper, but I think that the key thing here is that the geo-ethics of our role in society, as we start to tackle these really important issues… It’s really important that we start to think about this stuff So…where’s David? Is David in this shot? Oh, there’s David So that guy came back and said, we had the workshop in the afternoon, “What should we do for Omar and Ali?” He said, “It’s really important We need to get in there We need to get into those communities and tell those people what to do about earthquakes They’re not getting any information They’re all going through the official authorities, and their official authorities aren’t trusted.”

We have this guy here, Chris, and we have this guy, and they said “Absolutely not We are scientists That is our job We do the science; we write it up; we step back Because if we lose that independence, that neutrality, we have nothing.” So that’s a huge debate, and that’s fine; we need to have that debate Different people will land on different places, whatever the rule is, but at the moment, and it may be different here, but the geoscience departments, or anywhere, we’re not having those discourses about where we think we’re going So, the last little bit…last leg… What can we learn from television? What I’m getting at is that I’m thinking that the traditional “make and sell” approach that we use in science isn’t being very effective, because we’re not really thinking about the people at the other end…the sharp end In the case of Istanbul, where people are actually going to die, it’s not going to be the scientists, by and large, it’s going to be ordinary people But television does think about that So there’s just a few things I want to leave you with, that I think work for television and will work for others … in these guises Just to remind you, we’re into this … I’ll bring these two things up… So, really, it’s trying to think, “What is this sense and respond, if we are interested in this area, what should we bring to it?” The wonder… the awe… That first clip reminded us why we do geology We do it because it is fascinating So…anyone doing PhD’s here? Think about it: You do a PhD, thinking about your 13-year-old self and explaining to your 13-year-old self what you do, what your PhD’s on You’ll probably find your 13-year-old self would not be very impressed by what you’re doing Because you didn’t get into geology because of that…you got into it because of volcanoes… Or whatever it is…. so that big stuff So, we live on the most amazing planet, and we do kind of catch ourselves knowing this, but mostly we forget about it, and we get to the detail We shouldn’t It’s about people This quote is from a paper I wrote with a journalist a few years ago And these are his words…I think they’re just brilliant “It’s a fact often overlooked by scientists that most other people are mostly interested in other people, and there mostly not interested in anything else The fact that scientists are more interested than average in things and ideas marks them out-marks you out, marks me out-as mentally unusual.” People like people; they like watching the Kardashians; they like reading OK magazine and gossip magazines, because they like people And at first glance, geology might not seem to have too many people, but of course we do, because, one thing, we have people like these guys These are wildcat drillers in the hills of Pennsylvania He’s 90 years old, and he still drills a couple of wells a week That’s his son They’re really fascinating They’re amazing characters, and geologists deal with these kind of people all the time So they’re fascinating And then it’s about us And what this means is the scientific method kind of takes us out of the picture, says the people doing this stuff isn’t really that important It’s all about the science; it’s not really about us And that might be true for science, but it’s lousy for communication… because we’re mentally unusual…in an interesting way We go to foreign lands, we climb mountains, we knock a bit of rock off, we take it back to the lab, we turn it into powder, we measure something out of it, and we publish a bit That’s not normal But it is kind of interesting And you’ll all have been at social gatherings where they say “What are you?” and either that’s the end of it….more or less, usually, that’s the end of it But if it gets through, and you get to start about what you’re interested in, people say “That’s fascinating! Wow! I never knew that!” So we’re interesting And we can be the gateway to earth science, and I think that’s a really important thing The passion of earth science; I don’t know a single geologist not passionate about what they do It’s about “So, what?” … Here’s the scientific method that we teach students to be scientists You get lots and lots of knowledge and data, then you develop some ideas, some hypotheses, and then you start working through So you’re collecting some data to test them; you test them and you get a result… And see that little point right there at the bottom? That’s where you want to communicate That’s the “make and sell” approach Here’s the sense and respond That’s the point that the public comes to you That’s sharp right there; right away, they say “So, what? Why should I listen to you? And if you can’t get past that sharp point there, you’re finished Completely finished But if you can, and if you find ways to do that, you can draw them more and more and more into the detail of what you do But it’s a completely flipping around to the communication triangle And the last one…really probably the most important one, is “It’s not about facts, it’s about stories.” It’s not that facts are not important; they are important; but just on their own, they

don’t really sell very much People pick them up, use them, drop them But if you’ve got a compelling story within which there are facts, then people remember the story that matter to that vehicle and they remember some of the facts that it carries So it’s really important to develop those narratives The overall thing, the overall message is that it’s about engaging It’s about engaging with that very different set of people out there from the ones that are here I’ve showed you this before So, we’ve got this make and sell mode, which I think is driven by the academic world and us pitching stuff We’ve got this…here’s the public, this sense and response mode There’s a problem, I think, with these two modes of communication which are the two dominant…the old paradigm and the new paradigm But they only work in the short term So this is the short term, what we’re interested in And that’s actually the short term, what the public’s interested in They’re not really interested in these longer terms So if we’re interested in trying to tell people in Istanbul that they should that they should have bought…they’re getting bombed out…there’s all sorts of political trouble…but actually they should worry about an earthquake that might happen in ten years but might kill a million people… That’s a longer time scale If we’re trying to think about climate change and talk to people about climate change or any of these things that are much longer term than we’re used to, then I don’t think those words are actually going to work So we need a new way to communicate And, really, it’s this idea about time is going to be one of those key things, and if you look at the companies that are really pushing the envelope in terms of sustainability, like Patagonia and things like that, they’ve got a sense of where they’re going over ten, twenty, thirty, forty years Or, indeed, maybe even with the oil and gas companies…any company has a long term one Then, one of the arguments, maybe not so much with the oil and gas companies, but it’s a sense of guide and co-create The “guide” bit is, “We have a route mapped We think, the scientist tell us this the direction it’s going, but we’re conscious that we have to keep talking to our public as we go iterate back and forth, because the goals are going to change as we evolve, as that relationship’s evolved, and it might go in a slightly different direction And what’s key then, where all those new companies are really pushing the sustainability they’ve got … is that a sense of purpose and a purpose this one is a set of ambitious, clear, enduring overarching goals, which is motivating So I think then, if we’re going to be selling climate change or selling seismic…and not longer term, we need to start thinking about this new mode, and we haven’t invented it yet A new way of communicating that we’re actually alongside the public, trying to get the science, trying to develop the science, with them I think that is going to be really challenging…and with that thing And with that, … for me, I don’t think science is enough We need better stories Thank you very much (Applause)