grafika ilustracyjnaBehind us is yet another edition of the INHIGEO conference, organized for the first time in an online format. During this event a record number of papers was presented and speakers from almost every corner of the world gave a thematically rich overview of the history of geosciences. 

This is a brief summary of the 46th Conference of the International Commission on the History of Geosciences, which took place on July 19-22, 2021 in the beautiful interiors of the Polish Geological Institute-NRI in Warsaw. It was the first time that Poland hosted the INHIGEO Conference.

Thus, in the second half of July, in the middle of summer, more than 100 participants from 24 countries, during 12 scientific sessions, shared their knowledge about the origin of geological surveys and their founders, the history of the development of geological cartography, as well as the history of geological societies and mining. Biographies of prominent geologists were also presented. Nearly 60 scientific papers were delivered.


Podczas otwarcie konferencji dr Piotr Szrek, zastępca dyrektora PIG-PIB ds. badań i rozwoju odczytał list Ministra Piotra Dziadzio, Głównego Geologa Kraju, skierowany do uczestników konferencji

During the opening of the conference, Piotr Szrek, PhD, Deputy Director for Research and Development of PGI-NRI read the letter from the Minister Piotr Dziadzio, Poland’s Chief Geologist, addressed to the conference participants

The organization of such a big international conference was a great opportunity to propagate the achievements of Polish geology practically all around the world. The rich program of the Conference could not overlook the papers concerning the history of the Polish Geological Institute and the Polish Geological Society, as well as profiles of our Polish compatriots meritorious to geology.

Na potrzeby wydarzenia zostało zbudowane w sali im. Józefa Morozewicza w Muzeum Geologicznym PIG-PIB w Warszawie specjalne studio

For the purpose of the event, a special studio for online transmission was built in the Józef Morozewicz Room in the Geological Museum at the Polish Geological Institute-NRI in Warsaw

Konferencję poprowadził dr hab. Stanisław Wołkowicz prof. Instytutu

The conference was chaired by Stanisław Wolkowicz, Ph.D.

During the proceedings, there was also an open business meeting for INHIGEO members, which was open to all conference participants.

Uczestnicy konferencji INHIGEO podczas zdalnych obrad

INHIGEO conference participants during remote sessions

A big thank you to all conference participants, the acknowledgements sent and the reflections received after the conference. Among the advantages of attending the event in an online format, saving time and resources was most often cited. For people, especially the elderly, this was the only form of participation available. The guests of the meeting appreciated the opportunity to watch and listen to lectures at home, with good quality audio and video. As the main disadvantage of the conference organized in an online format, the lack of direct contact with other participants was indicated. Very often friendships are established during informal meetings that give rise to scientific cooperation, because nothing can replace a "face to face" meeting! Another disadvantage is the lack of field trips, which are an indispensable element of scientific development for geologists.


It will be our pleasure to again invite all persons interested in the history of geosciences to Poland, because in 2023 the INHIGEO conference will again be hosted along the Vistula River. We hope that by then the pandemic will have passed and the conference will be held in a stationary format, in Krakow. See you in two years!

The International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO) was established by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and is affiliated with the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPS). The founding congress of INHIGEO was held in 1967 in Yerevan, with Professor Kazimierz Maślankiewicz becaming the first Secretary General of this organization. About 300 members from 57 countries participate in the Commission’s work. Among 16 Honorary Senior Members there are three Poles, outstanding experts and promoters of geological sciences (Prof. Wojciech Narębski, Prof. Janusz Skoczylas and Prof. Zbigniew Wójcik). INHIGEO affiliated organizations in Poland are: the Polish Geological Institute and the History of Geological Sciences Division operating within the Polish Geological Society.

The primary objective of INHIGEO is to promote knowledge of the history of geological science development. In doing so, it seeks to stimulate and coordinate the activities of regional, national and international organizations that share goals. It also works to promote publications that illuminate the history of geological sciences. INHIGEO organizes an annual international conference, produces an Annual Record publication providing an overview of research in the Earth sciences worldwide, and presents the latest scientific literature on the subject.

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The conference was organized under the task: National cooperation in the field of geology and promotion of activities of the Polish Geological Survey in the years 2021 - 2023 and was co-financed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.


Translated by Tomasz Trzpil (PGI-NRI)