Geoethics, social geoscience, professional ethics, geoscience education and communication, geoscience-society-policy interface are emerging fields at the intersection of geosciences, humanities, and social sciences. It is getting clearer that facing global anthropogenic changes is the most challenging issue of the XXI century and geosciences are at the forefront of serving society in defining problems and finding acceptable solutions. In this context, geoscientists should be fully aware of the value of their knowledge and social role, and of the ethical, social, and cultural implications of their activities: the best way for serving society for its safety and sustainable development depends on their capability of doing excellent science, understanding how the Earth system works, developing effective and eco-compatible technologies for monitoring and intervening, and to assure cooperative and multidisciplinary approaches to study and propose solutions to solve ecological problems, mitigate georisks, assuring minerals, energy and water to human communities. However, all these issues need to be considered also from new perspectives that include social and political considerations and take into account the impact of geoscience activities on human communities.
Although in the last ten years several books and articles have dealt with geoethics and social geoscience aspects, to date there is no scientific journal fully dedicated to cover these topics in a wide and organic perspective, capable to become an international point of high-quality reference, where the geoscience community can find insights, reflections, and proposals to look at the past, present and future activities from new cultural perspectives. In addition, scientific results and products coming from research in those issues are usually considered outside professional and institutional activities, and this greatly affects the possibilities of geoscientists to publish, especially those from low-income countries, for the enormous difficulties to cover costs (article processing charge and other publication fees) for their publications in most of the already existing journals. This limits the possibility to get a more inclusive discussion on topics that are perceived crucial for the next few years.
For these reasons, it is expected that an open-access, not-for-profit, journal on geoethics and social geoscience will help to fill the gap, pushing the geoscientific, humanities, and social sciences communities to find common grounds to develop new reflections, ideas and perspectives for addressing human challenges.