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GSGS Debate Club

The GSGS Debate Club was formed as a consequence of a talk on “future geosciences” by Niels Noack (University of Cologne, pictured) at the 2nd GSGS research conference in early 2015. He discussed the importance for young geoscientists of getting involved in the debate of questions meandering on the boundary between geosciences and the sociopolitical sphere.

In subsequent discussions between several doctoral and master students, the idea was coined to have individual debate club sessions on hot topics such as fracking, oil price development, brown coal energy and the climate debate, the “future earth” organization, upcoming climate conferences, and the Anthropocene.

The idea of a debate on “Geosciences and societal challenges” was picked up by the board of Department of Geosciences, which chose it as the overarching theme for the Cologne Geosciences Colloquium series in winter term 2015/16. The debate club was happy to support the idea and get involved in inviting speakers.

The initial debate club meeting focused on “Fracking in Germany”. The debaters brought in information from various sources and had a lively debate resulting in a summary of theses and questions. Those questions and theses will have a stage when Prof Hans-Joachim Kümpel, President of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), will talk about “Unconventional shale gas extraction - pleading for an honest debate” in his colloquium on 14th December.

The participants of the Debate Club hope to initiate similar debate nights prior to other talks in the series to create a discourse and a discussion friendly culture in the young geosciences at Cologne.

If you would like to get involved in or stay informed about the activities of the GSGS Debate Club, send an e-mail.