Is (earth) science only made for everyone who speaks English

Goldschmidt 2021 – Is (earth) science only made for everyone who speaks English?

The schedules

The video

The slide

The Narratives

Today I’d like to share a story from Indonesia, as two geoscientists from Institut Teknologi Bandung working in geothermal and eco-hydrogeology. I am presenting this drawing on behalf of my co-author, Pak Arif Susanto who can not attend this session. This talk was mostly derived from our restlessness seeing the practice of science in Indonesia that dominantly wrapped up with prestige.

Earth sciences is one of those sensitive field sciences that are closely needed to solve local problems within local physical and social settings. In the context of earth science, most researches in Indonesia are directed to understand the characteristics of geohazards. As we all know we are the capital of geohazards with: those volcanic eruptions, earthquake, tsunamis, and also floods.

Based on another paper that I publish with Olivier here and two other colleagues Juneman and the late Jon, we find that

  1. Although the number of open-access (OA) articles in the national databases (in this Garuda database) was higher than that in other databases, but the number of articles in English from international databases exceeded the number of articles in native languages from national-level databases.
  2. The geographical coverage of earth science papers was uneven between countries when the number of documents retrieved from closed-access commercial databases was compared to that from the other databases.
  3. international collaboration has occurred with the majority of research funding flowing from the northern hemisphere.
    • This will (automatically) determine: who is the first author, what language is used (not Indonesian),
    • the journal that published it (not Indonesian journal),
    • the first and second points have the potential to create more gap between science and the main stakeholders (local communities),
    • minimal references to articles written in Indonesian.
  4. We are now observing two themes that had gathered high attention: one is volcanism Mount Krakatau, the second is Mount Merapi and the second theme is tsunami.

However, the accessibility, readability, and usability of those articles for local communities are major problems in measuring the impact of research, although it may be covered by well-known international scientific databases. And with the growing movement of open access, we should redefine OA means both accessible documents and accessible language.

The sketchnotes

Session one

Session two

About the author

My current focus is how to provide the hydrostratigraphy of volcanic aquifers in Bandung area. The research is based on environmental isotope measurement in groundwater and morphometry. My work consists of hydrochemical measurements. I am using multivariate statistical methods to provides more quantitative foundation for the analysis and more insight into the groundwater behavior, especially its interaction with surface water. I use open source apps like R and Python to do the job. In my spare time, I also have a side project to promote open science in Indonesia's research workflow. One of my current focus is promoting INARxiv, as the first preprint server of Indonesia ( and serving as ORCID and OSF ( ambassador. Research interest: Hydrochemistry, multivariate analysis, and R programming. Blog:, (