European Earth Observation Program: “Positive Synergy” Between Science and Society



[1] Within the European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth Observation programs, a “positive synergy between science and society” comes across “very strongly,” according to Stephen Briggs, head of the program planning and coordination service for ESA's Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes. Briggs offered insights into the Earth Observation programs, including missions, data policy, and cooperation with other space agencies, during a 4 April town hall meeting at the European Geosciences Union's (EGU) annual meeting in Vienna, Austria. “One of the aspects that strikes everyone in Earth observation is the fact that when studying Earth science, it's not like looking at cosmology. We're looking at aspects of the Earth which inevitably have some consequence for society,” Briggs said, pointing to recent ESA satellite imagery of natural disasters, forest cover, ice sheets, and oceans.