This year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) from 19 to 30 April 2021 takes again place in the virtual EGU Sphere. Fired up by broad debates in almost all countries about how to start on new, more sustainable footings post-covid there was a notable increase in submissions seeking a stronger explicit connection between asking questions in society and doing research and education in the geosciences.

So, the session "Geoethics: Geosciences serving Society" with Silvia Peppoloni and Giuseppe Di Capua of the International Association for the Promotion of Geoethics (IAPG) as convenors was the ideal home of the contribution of Mundus maris. On the heels of last year's presentation with a focus or differences and commonalities of small-scale fisheries and small-scale and artisanal mining, the 2021 presentation argues in favour of diversifying the research agenda and mobilising a greater variety of people involved in the research process in terms of gender, thematic specialties, cultural background and more. This is needed in order to do justice to the vast numbers of men and women working to produce, process and market natural resources, whether renewable, such as fish and other seafood, or not. The abstract is available here.

The session hosted a large number of short and very diverse contributions illustrating how the geosciences community had come a long way in the first 10 years of the IAPG. Topics ranged from an artist impression to incorporating geoethics into the curriculum of graduate students and from citizen science about "Localized Arctic Ice Albedo Restoration Method to Slow Climate Change Impacts" to "Applied geoethics: CITI199’s essays from the Austral University of Chile". The CITI199 collaboration presented by Sandor Mulsov showed case material about four major societal challenges in Chile too often hidden behind a public relations curtain of increasing GDP: unaffordable drinking water supplies for many citizens as a result of privatisation, privatisation of international waters through deepsea mining, problematic coastal management in the south of the country in favour of expanding exotic salmon aquaculture, and unsustainable use of land and soil resources.

In addition to another IAPG session on climate literacy and a training course, EGU hosted a networking event titled "Crowd-solving problems in Earth sciences" and other sessions and workshops extending the reach of a budding new and broader understanding of geosciences in today's triple crisis of climate change, mass extinction of biodiversity and need to address gross social injustices. The second report of the European Environment Agency "Late lessons from early warnings" arguing for the need a new ways of embedding the sciences in society to rise to the challenges was a harbinger of this gradual recognition and evolving practice also within the EGU community. 

There is hope, at EGU and well beyond.