19 July 2012

Introducing the European Geoscience Union – Soil Systems Science Division

Posted by John Freeland

The European Geoscience Union, a leader in the free dissemination of scientific research, has rolled out its Soil Systems Science Division (SSSD). The SSSD has a blog newsletter with some fine articles and beautiful images about soils and surface geology of Europe. When Editor Jessica Drake (Soilduck) kindly invited me to write a short “why I do soil science” biographical piece, I jumped at the chance. Being that I’m American, not European, and, some might say, not a great “fit” for the new EGU-SSSD blog, I appreciate their spirit of international collaboration.

So much of our understanding of soils has been brought to us by great European scientists such as Liebig, Dokuchaev, Hilgard, Jenny, Duchaufour, Ugolini, and many, many others. I’m looking forward to reading the new SSSD blog. In general, Europe seems to take the risks of climate change far more seriously than the U.S. government. Accordingly, one would expect substantial support for climate research, including soil science.

Scientists, students, and everyone else interested in science should send a big “thank you” to the EGU, because it publishes fourteen open-access scientific journals! Not just abstracts, but the entire papers are available (pdf) for free. Here in the U.S, where we typically have to pay for access, this is rather astounding in its pragmatic idealism – science can only grow through the free dissemination of information.

Thanks EGU.

And I mean it.