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The Role of Geoscience in Thai Society by President of Geological Society of Thailand, Dr.Songpope Polachan in The Thai-Lao Technical Conference on Geology and Mineral Resources at Rama Gardens Hotel Bangkok

The Role of Geoscience in Thai Society Songpope Polachan Deputy Director General, Department of Mineral Fuels President of the Geological Society of Thailand 1. Introduction Asking any geoscientists what geoscience is about, what it works for the society, they will probably respond immediately with some answers while average people in public may not know or not have even heard of it. Geoscience is about study of the earth and its process. It contributes to the mankind by means of solving problems of matters related to geological process. Geoscience knowledge is applied for exploration of mineral, groundwater, energy resources and other industrial earth materials, constructions of dams, tunnels, and other infrastructures. Moreover, land-use planning and natural hazard prevention and mitigation require geoscience knowledge. The recent earthquakes in Haiti, China, and Chile, landslides in China, volcanic eruption in Iceland, Guatemala land collapse have probably triggered the realization of most scientists in the world in what role they are in the society. In the geoscientists’ behalf, what should they do raise importance and public awareness in geosciences and how do they contribute to the society? In Thailand, although geoscience involves in many important events or projects of the country while the Thai geoscience organizations and geoscientists are responsible for many parts of them, the current status of the Thai geoscience is still low-keyed in terms of public recognition. Is existing geoscience knowledge sufficient to provide the society? What are the Thai geoscience organizations and geoscientists’ role in the Thai Society? Do they need strategy or serious action? What is the challenge?