In the early seventies an American geoscientist, Dorothy Vitaliano, published an intriguing book titled "Legends of the Earth, Their Geologic Origins". It was the first important step towards a new fascinating discipline called Geomythology that today gathers scientists from all over the world intent to tracking myths and legends seen as actual geological events witnessed by various group of people in every time and place of the Earth. Since its conceiving, the founder of this new discipline hoped that it might aid in bridging the communication gap between scientists and the non‐scientists. She hoped to stimulate the curiosity of non‐geologist sufficiently to persuade them to seek further information about Earth. Following this idea, we present the study we performed to provide a theory that uses myths and legends to stimulate the curiosity of the man in the street about the planet we live on. We took in to account studies about the popularization of science with a particular attention to the Earth education and the environmental communication. We referred also to studies already performed to show how literary stories, including also myths and legends, can be considered a reliable way to express and transmit information, complementary to paradigmatic cognition. We suggested intriguing way to use myths in a classroom to attract pupils’ attention, rising discussion on how science today explains what myths tried to without scientific knowledge. Our research allowed us to conclude that it is possible to consider myths as charming tales and useful tools capable of representing information, creating meaning and enriching the knowledge developed by Earth scientists about the planet. The present study has been included in the first peer‐reviewed collection of papers focusing on the theme and titled Myth and Geology published in 2007 as a special publication of the Geological Society of London.

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Tracking myths to earth education

Tiziana Lanza   Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia

Aquiles Negrete   Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México

In the early seventies an American geoscientist, Dorothy Vitaliano, published an intriguing book titled "Legends of the Earth, Their Geologic Origins". It was the first important step towards a new fascinating discipline called Geomythology that today gathers scientists from all over the world intent to tracking myths and legends seen as actual geological events witnessed by various group of people in every time and place of the Earth. Since its conceiving, the founder of this new discipline hoped that it might aid in bridging the communication gap between scientists and the non‐scientists. She hoped to stimulate the curiosity of non‐geologist sufficiently to persuade them to seek further information about Earth. Following this idea, we present the study we performed to provide a theory that uses myths and legends to stimulate the curiosity of the man in the street about the planet we live on. We took in to account studies about the popularization of science with a particular attention to the Earth education and the environmental communication. We referred also to studies already performed to show how literary stories, including also myths and legends, can be considered a reliable way to express and transmit information, complementary to paradigmatic cognition. We suggested intriguing way to use myths in a classroom to attract pupils’ attention, rising discussion on how science today explains what myths tried to without scientific knowledge. Our research allowed us to conclude that it is possible to consider myths as charming tales and useful tools capable of representing information, creating meaning and enriching the knowledge developed by Earth scientists about the planet. The present study has been included in the first peer‐reviewed collection of papers focusing on the theme and titled Myth and Geology published in 2007 as a special publication of the Geological Society of London.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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