TEX is about an urgent need to be innovative in how our science, Earth and space science, connects to society. We face enormous collective challenges over the next several decades – challenges that include growing vulnerability to natural hazards, more and more difficulty getting the natural resources we need to thrive (including resources as basic as fresh water, clean air, and productive soil), and the challenge posed by our own unprecedented human impact on the entire Earth and Earth system.
As AGU approaches its 100 year anniversary, we are awed and humbled by these urgent challenges. But we have something to offer – 100 years of discovering and learning to discover position us to make an invaluable contribution to these urgent challenges.
To make those contributions, however, we have to get better at collaborating. Our science isn’t enough to figure out these challenges by itself– it will take collaboration between our scientists and policy makers, engineers, community leaders, architects, artists, and moral leaders. The innovative research of the last 100 years has to be matched by innovative collaborations over the next 100 years, and in the way AGU enabled that research, we can enable those collaborations. We need to find new ways to guide our science, do our science, and share the results of our science. We need to break down the division between the people who do science and the people who apply it, between the people who ask questions and the people who research answers, between the people who demand solutions and the people who build them. And we need to be mindful, always, of the full fabric of humanity and ensure we include those who have contributed the least and suffer the most.
In 2119, when someone speaks about our science, the “our” won’t refer to professional Earth and space scientists, instead, it will refer to all the people on the planet who have had the opportunity to participate in Earth and space science, and all the beings on the planet who benefit from it. That, and the thriving planet we nurture together, will be the AGU’s legacy from the next 100 years.
And TEX is a baby step toward that legacy.