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Geology Uprooted! Decolonising the Curriculum for Geologists

Rogers, Steven L.; Dowey, Natasha; Lau, Lisa; Sheikh, Hinna; Williams, Rebecca


Steven L. Rogers

Natasha Dowey

Lisa Lau

Hinna Sheikh


Geology is colonial. It has a colonial past and a colonial present. Most of the knowledge that we accept as the modern discipline of geology was founded during the height of the post-1700 European empire's colonial expansion. Knowledge is not neutral, and its creation and use can be damaging to individuals and peoples. The concept of “decolonising the curriculum” has gathered attention recently, but this concept can be misunderstood or difficult to engage with for individuals who are not familiar (or trained to work) with the literature on the issue. This paper aims to demystify decolonising the curriculum, particularly with respect to geology. We explain what decolonising the curriculum is and then outline frameworks and terminology often found in decolonising literature. We discuss how geology is based on colonised knowledge and what effects this may have. We explore how we might decolonise the subject and, most importantly, why it matters. Together, through collaborative networks, we need to decolonise geology to ensure our discipline is inclusive, accessible to all, and relevant to the grand challenges facing diverse world societies.


Rogers, S. L., Dowey, N., Lau, L., Sheikh, H., & Williams, R. (2022). Geology Uprooted! Decolonising the Curriculum for Geologists. Geoscience Communication, 5(3), 189–204.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jun 15, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 8, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Oct 5, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 8, 2022
Print ISSN 2569-7110
Publisher Copernicus Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 3
Pages 189–204
Public URL
Publisher URL


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