The field of Earth Sciences has a fundamental part to play in addressing important issues facing society in the 21st century, commented Professor Stuart Monro, OBE, in his keynote address at the Maptek users conference in Pitlochry, Scotland.

Addressing delegates from Europe, Africa, UK, USA and Australia, he outlined the common dilemma: ‘We are hungry for material resources and energy, but the other side of the coin is our concern about the environment’.

Speaking to the conference theme of ‘Innovation - Past, Present and Future’, Professor Monro reflected on the history and nature of Scottish science, and whether it can maintain its position at the forefront of scientific innovation.

‘Meaningful discussion on this and other issues can only occur if scientists engage in public debate. Communication and transparency with the public underpins acceptance or otherwise of developing scientific ideas,’ Professor Monro concluded.

The Maptek conference, being held at Atholl Palace, features presentations to mining engineers and geologists on applications of Maptek Vulcan and I-Site products at operational mines sites.

Speakers will review what Maptek has contributed to the mining industry over the past 30 years, preview future developments, and explore new and innovative solutions to the challenges facing the industry today. The conference finishes on Wednesday.