In the framework of the Centennial Celebration and Congress of the International Union of Soil Sciences that will take place on May 19-21, 2024 in Florence (Italy), Area Europa, together with the Universities of Bologna and Göttingen, is convening a panel dedicated to soil literacy, communication and citizen engagement as part of the the thematic session “Soil and humanity”.

The event aims at understanding and discussing how people can become more aware of the role of soil, its conservation, the importance of returning organic matter to the soil, the complexity (e.g. microbiological, chemical interactions), its fragility, etc., putting together soil education, citizen engagement and communication.

In order to make a step forward to achieve soil health improvements and to enhance earth system science societal impact, we will address the following questions during the event:

  • What are the key concepts related to soil literacy that can stimulate the collective imagination and allow citizens to connect their personal lives and experiences to the protection, conservation, discovery and love of soil as part of the earth system?
  • What are the appropriate and right contexts to develop and grow initiatives related to soil literacy and promote citizen engagement? What are the main barriers and challenges that need to be overcomed?
  • What can we learn from the system of living labs, experimental factors, urban farming and slow food networks?
  • How should we better design and deploy communication and education actions to achieve common and global goals?

If you are involved in any kind of such activities and interested in discussing how to stimulate public soil awareness and in creating professional connections in this field, please check the requirements for abstract submission here.