Policy on AGU’s Role in Advocacy on Public Issues

—Adopted by Council May 1982

The American Geophysical Union is an association of scientists, scholars, and interested lay public for the purpose of advancing geophysical science. The Union shares a collateral sense of responsibility to assure that the results of geophysical research are made available to benefit all mankind. The Union encourages its members to exercise their individual sense of responsibility in addressing political and social issues. Should they choose to act collectively on such issues, other organizations exist for such purposes. The American Geophysical Union, as a society, should preserve its unique position as an objective source of analysis and commentary for the full spectrum of geophysical science. Accordingly, the following policies should guide the AGU’s role as an advocate.

  • The American Geophysical Union has a responsibility to its members to adopt a position of advocacy on geophysical science issues based on their intrinsic merits and needs.
  • To the extent that the understanding and application of geophysical science is relevant to public policy, AGU as a responsible scientific association should make relevant information available to all parties interested in the issue.
  • As a scientific society, AGU should not take or advocate public positions on judgmental issues that extend beyond the range of available geophysical data or recognized norms of legitimate scientific debate. Public positions adopted by AGU and statements issued on its behalf must be based on sound scientific issues and should reflect the interests of the Union as a whole.

Procedures for Developing Union Positions

—Adopted by Council May 1982
—Most Recently Revised and Approved by Council June 2016

Process for Developing, Reviewing, and Adopting Position Statements

AGU has a process for creating, updating, and reaffirming position statements.  This process involves establishing a position statement expert panel, led by a Chair, composed of 10-15 experts identified by the AGU Position Statement Task Force, AGU Council, and AGU membership. Draft statements are provided to AGU membership for comment. After reviewing and addressing member comments, statements are reviewed by the Position Statement Task Force, Council, and AGU Board.