The full IUGG 2019 searchable scientific program is now online
Thursday, 11 July 2019
Saturday, 13 July 2019
Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Earth Sciences as the Underlying Pillars to Meet Societal Challenges in the next Century
David Grimes (Canada, IUGG)
Changes in the climate system have been significant over the last two decades, with most of these years establishing successive records for the warmest global average temperature. There have been significant observed changes in the planetary system, often serving as “the beacons” for the extent and magnitude of climate change stress on environmental and societal systems. This pace of change is anticipated to continue over the next century even with global mitigation efforts outlined in the Paris Agreement and the Montreal Protocol. Earth system sciences have been essential to framing the issues and providing the actionable knowledge to support the call to action, policies and pathways for solutions. The escalating demands for adaptive actions to support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, as outlined by the UN in 2015, will be commensurate with increased efforts among the natural and social science community to inform these actions through furthering understanding, reducing the uncertainties in predicting the magnitude, extent and consequences of large-scale changes, and informing innovative social, cultural and environmental strategies to harmoniously adapt. The challenges will be formidable.
By incorporating societal outcomes into its mandate, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has been a leader in providing decision and policy makers with a scientific foundation of how the earth system is predicted to change over time. The WMO’s vision includes a world where all nations, especially the most vulnerable, are more resilient to the socioeconomic impact of extreme weather, climate, water and other environmental events. The WMO seeks to achieve its vision by supporting and enabling international collaboration on weather, water and climate activities, working towards a fully-coupled earth system model approach. For example, through meteorological, climatological, and hydrological research activities, the WMO is improving impact-based weather forecasting, water resources management and agricultural sustainability. These directions directly translate into benefits for society and increased resilience and enable the WMO and its Member States to contribute to solutions to the global challenges we are currently facing.
International political and scientific organizations, including WMO, have to adapt to strengthen their partnerships and become strategically aligned to respond to future human and environmental needs. At the same time, innovation and advances in technology will enable the earth sciences to meet the increasing demand for intelligent, evidence-based decision making that is vital to the global response to rapidly evolving societal impacts posed by environmental change.
David Grimes has been Assistant Deputy Minister and head of Environment Canada's Meteorological Service of Canada since July 2006. He has been Canada's Permanent Representative with World Meteorological Organization since December 2006. David was re-elected President of the WMO by the Seventeenth World Meteorological Congress in 2015 for another four-year term. He has more than 25 years of experience working with WMO initiatives and programmes. He has over 40 years of scientific, operations, research and management experience at Environment Canada. His experience also includes a significant number of challenging positions and assignments over the years, ranging from weather forecast operations to science policy. He occupied the positions of Director General with the Meteorological Service of Canada for 15 years.
David has extensive educational experience in the domains of science and management (MBA level). He holds a Bachelor of Science in physics, mathematics and meteorology. He has also been trained and carried out the responsibilities as an operational meteorologist.
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Exploring and Understanding Earth from Space: The Power of Perspective
Waleed Abdalati (USA, IACS)
Throughout history, humans have always valued the view from above, seeking high ground to survey the land, find food, assess threats, and understand their immediate environment. The advent of aircraft early in the 20th century took this capability literally to new levels, as aerial photos of farm lands, hazards, military threats, etc. provided new opportunities for security and prosperity. And in 1960, with the launch of the first weather satellite, TIROS, we came to know our world in ways that were not possible before, as we saw the Earth as a system of interacting components. In the decades since, our ability to understand the Earth System and its dynamic components has been transformed profoundly and repeatedly by satellite observations. From examining rapid changes in polar regions, to deformation of the Earth surface, to ozone depletion, to the Earth’s energy balance, satellites have helped us understand our changing planet in ways that would not have otherwise been possible. The challenge moving forward is to continue to evolve beyond watching Earth processes unfold and understanding the underlying mechanisms of change, to anticipating future conditions, more comprehensively than we do today, for the benefit of society. The capabilities to do so are well within our reach, and with appropriate investments in observing systems, research, and activities that support translating observations into societal value, we can realize the full potential of this tremendous space-based perspective. Doing so will not just change our views of the Earth but will improve our relationship with it.
Waleed Abdalati is Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a joint institute of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-Boulder). He is also a Professor in CU-Boulder’s Geography Department. Dr. Abdalati's research focuses on the use of satellites and aircraft to understand how Earth's glaciers, ice sheets, and sea ice are changing and the implications of those changes for the Earth System. In 2008, he became Director of the Earth Science and Observation Center, which is a research center within CIRES that focuses on the application of remote sensing observations to understand Earth’s physical and ecological processes. From January 2011 to December 2012, while on leave from CU-Boulder, Abdalati served as NASA Chief Scientist, advising the NASA Administrator on matters related to NASA’s science programs and strategic planning. His career also includes working as an aerospace engineer in industry, a research scientist and branch head at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and manager of NASA’s Cryospheric Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters. Dr. Abdalati earned a B.S. from Syracuse University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from CU-Boulder. Dr. Abdalati has received various professional awards and distinctions from the White House, NASA, NSF, The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, etc.
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Geodesy sharpens you up
Kosuke Heki (Japan, IAG)
Geodesy is an old discipline studying the shape, gravity field, and rotation of the Earth, with conventional techniques such as ground surveying, gravimeters, optical telescopes, tide gauges, strain/tiltmeters. Advent of space geodesy in 1980s replaced these classical sensors with SLR (Satellite Laser Ranging), satellite gravimetry, VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry), DORIS, satellite-borne ocean altimeters, SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System). Their order-of-magnitude higher accuracy shifted the role of post-1990 geodesy to studies of their “temporal changes”, e.g. crustal deformation (change in shape), mass redistribution (change in gravity), and subtle variations in earth rotation parameters. Multidisciplinary applications of space geodesy revolutionized other fields of earth sciences. Millimeter accuracy of GNSS positioning enabled precise mapping of tectonic plate/block boundaries and rapid determination of fault parameters after earthquakes. It also brought discovery of silent fault slips undetectable with seismometers. Precise determination of the earth’s equipotential surface (geoid) with satellite gravimetry enabled oceanographer to isolate dynamic topography and map ocean currents. Satellite altimetry revealed global mean sea level rise and short-term disturbances caused by water exchange with land, which can also be investigated by satellite gravimetry. Atmospheric water vapor information from GNSS data analyses improved routine numerical weather forecasts. Dual-frequency GNSS receiver became an important tool to study space weather. Satellite gravimetry also let us constrain mass loss of inaccessible mountain glaciers. In this lecture, I pick up various fields of earth sciences and show how geodesy has sharpened them up.
Kosuke Heki is professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. He obtained bachelor, master and doctor degrees in geophysics all from University of Tokyo in 1979, 1981, and 1984, respectively. After working in a Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) team 1984 – 1994 in Kashima Space Research Center (also working as a post-doc 1990-1992 in Durham, UK), he moved to the Earth Rotation Division, National Astronomical Observatory, Mizusawa, in 1994. Since 2004, he has been working as a professor in Hokkaido University. He applies space geodetic techniques for various disciplines in earth and planetary physics, including time-variable gravity for studies of earthquakes and cryosphere, GNSS positioning for slow deformation of the earth, and sensing of upper atmosphere with GNSS. He pioneered geodetic studies of slow fault slips, seasonal crustal deformation, co- and postseismic gravity changes, and ionospheric disturbances associated with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. He has been serving as the president of the Geodetic Society of Japan since 2015, and as the chair of Science Panel of Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS), International Association of Geodesy (IAG) since 2018. He was the Bowie Lecturer in the 2011 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. He has authored about 140 papers in peer reviewed journals, and his most cited publication is Silent fault slip following an interplate thrust earthquake at the Japan Trench. Nature, 386, 595-597, 1997.
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Hunting the Magnetic Field
Lisa Tauxe (USA, IAGA)
The strength of the magnetic field is one of the fundamental properties of the Earth, and its behavior over time has implications in disparate fields as geodynamics of archaeology. Thermal remanent magnetization (TRM), has a quasi-linear relationship to the ambient magnetic field applied during cooling and can be reproduced in the laboratory, making absolute paleointensity estimates possible. TRM, of all the forms of remanent magnetization formed in nature, has the strongest theoretical basis thanks to the work of Neel (1949) and Thellier & Thellier (1959).
Despite the simplicity of TRM theory for ideal, uniformly magnetized grains, there are many complications that make interpretation of paleointensity experimental data difficult. And there are clues in the present data base that things can go very wrong. For example, although we know that directions on the surface of the Earth are well explained by a simple geocentric axial dipole field model the intensity data for even the best studied lava flow (Hawaii, 1960) have estimates spanning the entire range on the surface of the Earth and even higher. We must do better!
Recent results from micromagnetic modeling, laboratory analogue experiments and new approaches to data selection and field sampling lead to the optimistic view that accurate estimates are achievable. In this lecture I will review where we are, how we got there and where we can go with paleointensity estimates.
Neel, L., Ann. Geophys., 5,99-136, 1949.
Thellier, E. and Thellier, O., Ann. Geophys. 15, 285-378, 1959.
Lisa Tauxe is a Distinguished Professor of Geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD. Her research is on the magnetism of geological and archaeological materials, which she uses to solve a variety of geological and geophysical problems. Her current focus is to understand the behavior of Earth’s magnetic field, in particular its strength, on time scales ranging from the archaeological to planetary time scales. Tauxe has published over 200 scientific papers and books; her textbook is freely available online and is used by students the world over. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Association of Arts and Sciences and the Geological Society of America. She won the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Arthur L. Day Medal from the Geological Society of America. She is also a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. She earned her PhD from Columbia University.
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Bridging the Science-Policy Gap to address India's Water Crisis: Insights from
Cauvery Basin research
Veena Srinivasan (India, IAHS)
Achieving water security and mitigating water conflicts in India requires predicting water future availability and then finding possible pathways to solutions.
The combination of rapid change, inadequate data and human modifications to watersheds in India pose a challenge, as researchers face a "poorly constrained" water resources modeling and prediction problem. The case studies of the Arkavathy and Noyyal-Bhavani sub-basins, located within the Cauvery basin, are used to explain the observed disappearance of surface and groundwater in recent decades. With the help of extensive primary data collected by an interdisciplinary research team and a multi-scale modeling approach, the study reconstructs the history of the watershed and attributes the observed change to anthropogenic and climatic drivers. The research insights are then upscaled to the whole basin, to offer insights on the wider Cauvery conflict.
The question then is so-what? I will then discuss how these results might translate to action on the ground, instead of being locked in academic publications and how science and innovation can play a role in addressing India's water crisis more broadly.
Veena Srinivasan is a Fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore, where she leads the Water, Land and Society Programme. Veena’s research interests include inter-sectoral water allocation and conflict transformation, impacts of multiple stressors on water security, ground and surface water linkages, low-cost sensing and citizen science, and sustainable water management policy and practice. Veena’s recent research has focused on understanding anthropogenic and climatic influences in urbanizing watersheds and identifying appropriate policies and adaptation measures. More recently, she has initiated work on Bangalore's lakes with the goal of understanding how lakes can contribute to water security as well as creating a citizen's dashboard, which synthesizes data from low-cost sensors and citizen scientists to help manage urban lakes better. Veena has served as a resource person for National Water Mission, and the groundwater sub-group of the Water Task Force of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission. She is on the leadership team of the Panta-Rhei initiative of the International Association of Hydrologic Sciences (IAHS). She was recently appointed to the Strategic Advisory Group of the task force or Monitoring SDG6 by UN-Water. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Forum for Water Conflicts in India.Veena has won several awards for her work including the 2015 Jim Dooge Award for best paper in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Science from the European Geophysical Union, the 2012 Water Resources Research Editor's Choice Award from the American Geophysical Union She is also a recipient of the Teresa Heinz Environmental Scholars Award. Veena received her PhD from Stanford University’s Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER). As a post-doctoral scholar at Stanford, Veena was instrumental in developing a framework for a Global Freshwater Initiative at Stanford to understand patterns in the nature and causes of global water crises. Prior to joining Stanford University, Veena worked for several years on energy and water issues in India, California and globally in the private and non-profit sectors. Veena holds a Masters in Energy and Environmental Studies from Boston University and a B-Tech in Engineering Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Improving atmospheric reconstructions for historical extreme events by rescuing
lost weather observations
Ed Hawkins (UK, IAMAS)
Our understanding of past changes in weather and climate rely on the availability of observations made over many decades. However, billions of historical weather observations are effectively lost to science as they are still only available in their original paper form in various archives around the world. The large-scale digitisation of these observations would substantially improve atmospheric circulation reconstructions back to the 1850s. Recently, volunteer citizen scientists have been assisting with the rescue of millions of these lost observations taken across western Europe over a hundred years ago. The value of these data for understanding many notable and extreme weather events will be demonstrated.
Ed is a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, and a Lead Author for the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report. His research examines how and why the climate has changed since the industrial revolution, and how it may change over the coming decades, particularly the interplay between natural climate variations and anthropogenic trends. He also leads Weather Rescue – a citizen science project involving thousands of volunteers – which is recovering millions of lost Victorian-era weather observations from hand-written archives and turning them into invaluable digital data. Ed also actively engages with a variety of audiences about climate change, especially through blogs, social media and graphical visualisations.
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The Ocean’s Role in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Changes During Ice Age Cycles
Karen Kohfeld (Canada, IAPSO)
Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the 80-100 ppm decreases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations during Quaternary glacial cycles, and many of these mechanisms focus on changes in the role of the Southern Ocean. Most proxy-based evaluations of these mechanisms focus on the peak of the Last Glacial Maximum, 24,000-18,000 years ago, and little has been done to determine the sequential timing of processes affecting the ocean uptake of CO2 as the Earth entered the last glacial cycle, between 127,000 and 18,000 years ago. While the exodus of carbon from the ocean occurs during deglacial bursts of warming over millennia, the uptake of carbon by the ocean occurs over during series of steps over tens of thousands of years, likely driven by a combination of processes. A global compilation of sea-surface temperature (SST) records helps to establish the timing of ocean surface changes during the full glacial cycle, because this variable provides a critical link between the atmosphere and ocean, influencing processes such as buoyancy forcing and sea ice formation. When compared with other observational constraints from sea ice and ocean circulation proxies, we can begin to develop a plausible sequence of events by which ocean carbon sequestration was enhanced of the last glacial cycle. We hypothesize that the initial major drawdown of 35 ppm of CO2, 115,000 years ago, was most likely a result of surface processes including Antarctic sea ice expansion, as evidenced from diatom-based records and ice-core proxies of sea ice. Importantly, changes in deep-ocean circulation and mixing – as evidenced from time-sequenced records of carbon and Nd isotopes - did not play a major role until at least 30,000 years after the first CO2 drawdown. The second phase of CO2 drawdown occurred ~70,000 years ago and was also coincident with the first significant influences of enhanced ocean productivity due to dust in the Southern Hemisphere. Finally, minimum concentrations of atmospheric CO2 during the Last Glacial Maximum resulted from the combination of physical and biological factors, including the barrier effect of expanded Southern Ocean sea ice, slower ventilation of the deep sea, and ocean biological feedbacks.
Currently a professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, Karen received her PhD from Columbia University (USA) and has worked previously at Lund University (Sweden), the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (Germany), and Queens College of the City University of New York (USA. Dr. Kohfeld is best known for her work in Earth Systems science and global carbon cycling, using global palaeo-environmental datasets to understand the role of atmospheric dust, ocean productivity, and circulation changes in glacial-interglacial climate and the carbon cycle. As part of this work she has developed and led international data synthesis initiatives such as the “Dust Indicator and Records of Terrestrial and MArine Palaeoenvironments” (DIRTMAP) database as well as the newest, PAGES-sponsored “Cycles of Sea-Ice Dynamics in the Earth System” (C-SIDE) initiative aimed at understanding the glacial-interglacial role of Southern Hemisphere sea-ice cover in the Earth system. A former Canada Research Chair, Karen formed the Climate, Oceans, and Paleo-Environments (COPE) laboratory at SFU in 2006, where she also investigates regional changes in climate and extreme weather, fire frequency, and coastal and lacustrine carbon storage. Since 2015 she has led the five-year Canada-wide “Integrated Coastal Acidification Program” (I-CAP) designed to understand the impact of ocean acidification on Canadian coastal communities. An author or co-author on over 42 publications, Karen has contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, served on the external science advisory group for the Bolin Climate Centre at Stockholm University, been a visiting professor at the University of Bristol and the University of Tasmania, and in 2017 was chosen as East Coast Tour Speaker by the Canadian National Committee for the Scientific Committee on Oceanographic Research (CNC-SCOR).
Singing seismograms: Harmonic tremor signals in seismological records
Vera Schlindwein (Germany, IASPEI)
Harmonic tremor signals appear in seismological records in a far wider context than on volcanoes where they have first been described. Yet, the signals typically share common characteristics: Tremor usually shows an emergent onset and lasts considerably longer than impulsive earthquake signals. Durations range between minutes and months. Harmonic tremor spectra show distinct peaks with a fundamental frequency in many cases in the range of 0.5-5 Hz and a series of harmonic overtones. These frequencies may glide over time, giving seismological tremor records converted into the audible frequency range the appearance of melodic songs. Other commonly observed characteristics are an inverse relation between the tremor amplitude and the fundamental frequency, period doubling and sudden switching into a non-harmonic, chaotic mode. The underlying sources and source mechanisms, however, may be very different: Here, I will present harmonic tremor signals caused by Antarctic icebergs by periodic stick-slip quakes during collision or by fluid flow through narrow cracks. The latter mechanism is frequently used to explain harmonic tremor in volcanoes. I will further present the properties of tidally modulated tremor presumably caused by submarine hydrothermal circulation on a mid-ocean ridge. These tremor signals may easily be confused with harmonic tremor excited by bottom currents acting on the structure of ocean bottom seismometers and thus causing unwanted disturbances in many seafloor seismological records. Finally, even the vibrations of ship hulls couple efficiently into the ground and appear on ocean bottom seismometer records as prominent harmonic tremor.
Vera Schlindwein is a senior scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany. She received her Diploma degree in geophysics at the University of Munich in 1994, where she worked on harmonic tremor signals of Semeru Volcano, Indonesia. After a first participation on a cruise of RV Polarstern to East Greenland, she moved to the AWI and did her PhD on the crustal architecture of East Greenland, graduating in 1998. After that, she obtained a DAAD and a ERC Marie Curie Fellowship for a two year project at the University of Durham, UK. In 2006, she became leader of an Emmy-Noether Junior Research Group at AWI. Her work since then mainly focused on the seismicity of polar mid-ocean ridges. In 2013 she received the Venia legendi for geophysics at the University of Bremen, where is has been teaching seismology since 2008. She participated in 10 polar expeditions. Unusual seismic signals produced by icebergs, ice floes, volcanoes and hydrothermal systems have always been a fascinating side aspect of her seismicity studies.
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Volcanic giants - what we know, what we think we know, what we can’t know about cataclysmic super-eruptions
Paolo Papale (Italy, IAVCEI)
Volcanic super-eruptions (VEI – Volcanic Explosivity Index = 8) are the most violent manifestation of the endogenous forces acting in our planet, and bring about a destructive potential capable of threatening the same fabric of our entire civilization. Still, there is no plan, neither global nor local, to defend our progress and civilization from such potentially devastating events. The analysis of current world databases of volcanic eruptions has recently revealed new features in their global time-size distribution, showing that i) volcanic eruptions of any size are Poissonian (memoryless) events, implying that previous widespread concept such as that of retarding or “overdue” events are actually meaningless when referred to volcanic eruptions; ii) the frequency-size relationship for explosive volcanic eruptions (VEI = Volcanic Explosivity Index equal or larger than 3) is of the power law type, suggesting the theoretical impossibility to anticipate the occurrence of a volcanic eruption of a given size, including the occurrence of a cataclysmic super-eruption. That compares well with the observed self-similarity of explosive eruptions of any size over at least six orders of magnitude, and may provide an explanation to one of the current big challenges of volcano science, that is, the lack of a generally accepted relationship between observed precursors and associated eruption size. Within such a frame, that would not be a present-day limit in measuring, modeling and understanding; rather, it would be a fundamental character of explosive volcanic eruptions.
Maximum likelihood estimates of the rate parameter associated with inter-event eruption times for eruptions of each size class allows the estimate of global volcanic hazard in terms of the probability of occurrence of eruptions of any size over any time frame. For VEI8 super-eruptions, the annual probability is close to 10-5, ten times larger than the annual probability of impact with a large (km size) celestial body, and ten times larger than the operationally accepted annual probability of core melting at individual nuclear power plants. Over the life time of an individual person (100 years), the probability of experiencing a cataclysmic super-eruption somewhere in the world is as large as 1 out of 1000. The latter grows to about 3% if VEI7, still globally impacting (Tambora-like) eruptions are included. If combined with the potentially exposed values and their vulnerability, such probability estimates more than justify an international effort to quantify the global risk from volcanic super-eruptions and set up a global resilience plan in order to favor, if not to ensure, the safeguard of the critical nodes and elements necessary to defend the level of progress and civilization that we have so hardly achieved.
Born in 1964, Paolo Papale started his academic career in 1990 at the University of Pisa, then moved to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) of Italy where he is Director of Research since 2003, and where he coordinated the National Projects in Volcanic Hazards (2005-2010) before becoming the first Director of the newly born Volcanoes Division (2013-2016) and the funder of the Center for Volcanic Hazards (2016). In 2005 he started serving the European Geosciences Union (EGU) where he was first Secretary for Volcanology (2005-2011), then President of the Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology and Volcanology Division and EGU Council Member (2007-2011). He was a member of the Commission of the United Nations for the Lake Kivu crisis in 2002, and advisor for volcanic crises and emergency planning operations by the National Civil Protection Department of Italy. Currently he serves as the Chair of the Earth and Cosmic Sciences Section of the Academia Europaea (since 2017), of which he is a member since 2011. He has been Coordinator, Principal Investigator, WP leader and key person in a number of large projects of the European Union; founder and co-chair of the Volcano Observatory Best Practice (VOBP) workshop series; Editor of scientific journals and specialized books, and founding Editor of EGU-Solid Earth; and evaluator or member of the evaluation panels in EU, NSF, NERC, and many other science funding agencies. His main scientific interest has been directed towards elucidating the physics and dynamics of volcanic processes, mainly through the approaches of mathematical modelling and numerical simulations; and in the development of multi-disciplinary approaches to understand volcano dynamics and forecast volcanic hazards. Besides that, his contributes extend to the scientific organization and management of volcanic crises, and in the roles and responsibilities of scientists in front of the society.