The 34th International Geological Congress broke new ground in several ways:
• It was the first IGC in recent times to be held over a shortened period of 5 days
• It was the first IGC where all Circulars were distributed only in electronic form
• It was the first IGC to host a world Young Earth Scientist (YES) conference
• It was the first IGC to formally take into account Ramadan and make appropriate arrangements for Muslim delegates.
In addition, the 34th International Geological Congress differed from previous Congresses by:
• Having majority representation from new world countries
• Having a major focus on the private sector – the sector which is by far the biggest employer of geologists around the world
• Having strong interest by politicians in the work of geologists that resulted in the first IGC Ministerial Forum
Judging from the buzz of excitement that was evident in the Geoexpo hall during programme breaks, delegates clearly made the most of all that was on offer at the 34th IGC.
When we bid successfully for the Brisbane IGC at the 32nd International Geological Congress in Florence, Italy, in 2004, we commented that the weather in August in Brisbane would “be beautiful one day, and perfect the next!” While the weather was beyond the control of the Organising Committee, I note with satisfaction that Brisbane’s August weather did indeed live up to its reputation.
The inaugural passing over of the IGC Presidential Cup to Dr Richard Viljoen – President of the 35th IGC to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2016 - marked the formal conclusion of the 34th IGC, and I wish Richard and his team every success for another great antipodean International Geological Congress in 2016.
Again I thank you all for coming to Brisbane and participating so enthusiastically in our Congress in the IGC spirit of Mente et malleo – “With intelligence and hammer”.
President, 34th International Geological Congress