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   Message from the Organizing Committee
  Dear Participants,
As the opening of the 32nd IGC approaches, all elements are close to be in place. We have been and are still working hard. The Committees have done their jobs with great enthusiasm. It has been a difficult task, because the Congress is immense and variegated: not the usual scientific conference to which we are accustomed. To understand the complexity of building this huge scientific program, you should consider the supranational character of the organization, including the Mediterranean Consortium, the GEOHOST Program, the GeoExpo, the Field Trips, the Publication Program, the Social Events, relations with the Press, arrangements for hosting so great a number of participants, and last but not least, finding the money to fulfill these commitments properly. We are very happy to say that the Italian community of the Earth Sciences has responded well to our request for collaboration.
The themes of the 32nd IGC are the “Renaissance” of Geology and its applications to mitigate natural risks and for the preservation of our cultural heritage. “Renaissance” – a must in Florence – means rekindling motivations for professional commitment and for the researches we undertake in response to the request of society, but it also means achieving more visibility and building awareness in the larger public of the key role of geological sciences in dealing with the complex problems that mankind is facing now. The 2nd IGC, which was held in Bologna, Italy in 1881, had as its primary objective the setting of internationally agreed classifications, stratigraphic rules and criteria for cartographic representations of geology.
The scope has been accomplished, in the sense that the complex process of establishing widely accepted rules was started. We are confident that the 32nd IGC will achieve its objectives, making the thousands of geologists from all over the world, who will participate with you, aware of the need to start a new “era” of Geology, and giving the highest possible public visibility to this event. We look forward to seeing you in Florence next August.
  The Organizing Committee of the 32nd International Geological Congress - 32nd IGC - representing the Italian Federation of Earth Sciences, the Italian National Research Council, the Italian Ministry of the Education, University and Research, the Italian Geological Survey (now Department of Soil Defense of the Agency for the Environmental Protection and for the Technical Surveys - APAT), the Italian National Academy of Sciences (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei), and other interested Italian government agencies, universities, scientific institutions and societies as well as organizations and co-operating countries in the Mediterranean area, under the scientific sponsorship of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has the honor of inviting you to participate in the
32nd Session of the International Geological Congress
Florence, August 20-28, 2004, at the Congress Center,
Fortezza da Basso, Viale Strozzi 1 - Firenze

The Congress theme is
From the Mediterranean Area Toward a Global Geological Renaissance
Geology, Natural Hazards, and Cultural Heritage
Under the High Patronage of
the Presidente della Repubblica Italiana
and the Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri of Italy