The Critical Issues program, part of the American Geosciences
Institute’s (AGI’s) Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding,
has just released the preliminary results of the “Defining Critical Issues”
survey which can be accessed from the Critical Issues program website.
The majority of responses to the web-based survey were from geoscientists in the
post-secondary academic sector. The most frequently
mentioned critical issues were climate change, water, energy, environment,
natural hazards, economics, and issues associated with agriculture, food, and
soils. When asked to select the highest priority issues, all cohorts chose
climate change. Those who described themselves as geoscientists, public, or
“other” chose water as the second priority issue, while decision makers
considered human population growth to be the second highest priority.
The aim of the web-based survey is to understand how the decision-making
community, geoscience community, and the public define the term “critical
issue,” as well as which critical issues are of top concern to each community.
The survey is deliberately short, broad, and unstructured in order to capture a
wide range of responses. The survey, which was launched on November 5, 2013,
will officially close on December 31, 2013, and a final report will be published
in January 2014. The Critical Issues program especially seeks additional input
from members of the public and decision-making community. The survey can be