Dr. Lucy Jones Completes the ‘EGOT’ Equivalent for Public Service in the Geosciences

This week, Dr. Lucy Jones, founder and chief scientist of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, received the The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences and The Geological Society of America (GSA) Public Service Award for her achievements in public service in the geosciences. With these two awards, she has received the five major geoscience public service awards. She was honored with The Seismological Society of America (SSA) Press Award in 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in 2015, and The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Ambassador Award in 2015. These awards, amongst others she has received, demonstrate Dr. Jones’ ongoing commitment to building community resilience and communicating the importance of disaster preparedness. 


In response to receiving the AGI award on October 9th, 2022, Dr. Jones stated, “I’m grateful not only for receiving this award myself but also for the fact that AGI offers it, because we have to acknowledge the contribution that scientists make in building public understanding. Especially in a time of climate change, we scientists need to be sharing information beyond our journal articles, and we need the larger public to understand geoscience as never before. For people to believe the science, Earth scientists must engage.” Her 2015 AGU award acceptance highlights this vital role for Earth scientists as well: “Especially as Earth scientists, much of our research could lead to a safer, more prosperous future, but only if it is used. I believe we have an obligation to ensure that the results of our research are not just heard, but understood by those who entrusted with the decisions that can protect our society and our environment.”


The award nominators have all highlighted Dr. Jones’ effective work at the Center and beyond to forward the goals of disaster risk reduction. Matt Hudson, 2022 GSA award nominator, noted that “Lucy Jones has spent her entire career creating and sharing scientific information with the goal of helping communities prepare for natural disasters. After 33 years with the [U.S. Geological Survey] … she launched her own center in 2016, which is now dedicated to this purpose.” To honor her achievements in science communication in 2015, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said, “Dr. Jones is a role model, not only for her scientific accomplishments at the [USGS], but also for her public service to humanity. Besides conducting leading research on earthquakes, she turns complex scientific concepts into plain English, educating the public so they can take action to save lives and property.” The 2018 SSA nominators also lauded Dr. Jones’ ability to communicate about disasters and earthquakes in a way that is “memorable, appropriate and actionable.” 


Congratulations to Dr. Lucy Jones on these honors and her outstanding, ongoing service to make our communities more resilient.