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Announcing our first keynote speaker

AusIMM
ยท 450 words, 3min read

We are excited to announce our first keynote speaker presenting at the International Mining Geology Conference 2022; Dr Haydon Mort.

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Dr Haydon Mort is the CEO and Founder of Geologize Ltd. A geologist and geochemist with 15 years of research and teaching experience around the world, his encounters with neurology put him on a parallel path in science of attention and communication. Read more >

We asked Dr. Mort to shed more light on his presentation at Mining Geology 2022 and share some advice for students and young professionals looking to attend the conference.

 

 

What message would you like to highlight to those attending the International Mining Geology Conference 2022? What do you hope will be the main take away from your keynote address at the conference?

Much lip service is given to the importance of public outreach in geology. For too long public engagement has been seen as noble but unnecessary pursuit, left to handful of people. To stem the academic and industrial haemorrhaging of talent to other scientific disciplines, we must acknowledge our past and present failures in communication, learn, adapt and grow.

 

Enrolments for both engineering and geology have been declining in Australia in recent years. How do schools, universities and the mining industry combat this?

Geocommunication training needs to become an integral part of geology and engineering degrees. To allow this to happen, universities need to include new learning outcomes in their curriculum. The mining industry needs to step up and help academia adapt by providing financial assistance to make this happen. Outreach needs to be incentivised at a departmental and national level so that it gains a heavier weighting in university rankings, thereby forcing vice-chancellors and HoDs to take it seriously. The same also needs to happen to global university ranking systems which currently ignore public engagement entirely. Obtaining tenure and career progression needs to take greater account of public engagement success. In social media, academics needs to migrate away from echo chambers, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and embrace demographics with dissimilar interests to theirs.

 

What advice do you have to our young professionals looking to attend the conference?

According to Warren Buffet, learning to communicate effectively can at least double your earnings potential. That’s the selfish reason to pick up this skill. But it’s more important than that. Learning to communicate with the public will be pivotal in getting more students into geology, mining and the wider geosciences. Because there is a blockage in those talent pipelines, shifting public perception through engagement will be critical for delivering on net zero promises made by governments around the world. In a low-carbon future, geologists need to become multi-faceted and multi-skilled to maintain a competitive advantage. Communication delivers on this, whilst having an overwhelmingly positive impact on society.

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