History

(Spanish version)

IMGA in its present form was founded in January 2004, but began as an idea ten years before in 1996 when a working group on Medical Geology was established by IUGS.

Its primary aim was to increase awareness among scientists, medical specialists and the general public on the importance of geological factors for health and wellbeing. It was recognised that the limited extent of cooperation and communication among these groups restricted the ability of scientists and public health workers to solve a range of complex environmental health problems. Below follows the history and emergence of IMGA in its current form.

1996
The IUGS commission COGEOENVIRONMENTestablishes a working group on Medical Geology

1997
The working group met at the 4th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry. The term "Medical Geology" was adopted.

1998
Workshop with working group in Uppsala, Sweden. Discussions on preparing a textbook on Medical Geology.

2000
A combined meeting and workshop held in Uppsala was attended by 50 people, and included a two-day seminar: "The Geochemical Environment and Human Health", resulting in a proceedings volume.
The International Geologic Correlations Programme established a new programme: IGCP 454 Medical Geology, jointly sponsored by UNESCO and IUGS. It was chaired by Olle Selinus (Sweden) and co-chaired by Peter Bobrowsky (Canada) and Ed Derbyshire (UK). The aim was to bring together scientists working on Medical Geology issues from the developed and the developing world, focusing on capacity building, training and exchange of information, research and laboratory experiences.
Bob Finkelman and Jose Centeno, both from the US, joined. They brought with them a short course on the health impacts of trace elements and metal ions that was later developed into the short course on Medical Geology

2001
Bob Finkelman and Jose Centeno presented a much appreciated one-day course on Medical Geology at the COGEOEMVIRONMENT meeting in Lusaka, Zambia and at the University of Zambia. It was decided that the short course would be brought to developing countries which faced critical Medical Geology problems. This proposal was supported by the International Commission on Scientific Unions (ICSC) who granted $50,000 in support of short courses in Medical Geology to be held in 2002-2003.

2002
The COGEOENVIRONMENT working group on Medical Geology was given Special Project status to operate directly under IUGS.
International meetings on Medical Geology were held in Chile, Russia, Netherlands, USA and Japan, also covering neighbouring countries and regions.
Medical Geology was marketed in different media and ideas of the book on Medical Geology were developed.

2003
Short courses in Medical Geology were held in Lithuania, Uruguay, Scotland, Brazil, Australia and Malaysia.

2004

In August 2004 in Florence (IGC) it was decided to establish IMGA with about 80 participants at this meeting.

Short courses in Medical Geology were held in Hungary, Canada, South Africa, Australia and India.
Medical Geology was part of the ICSU inititiative ”Science for Health and Well being” in Paris at the French Academy of Medicine.

2005.

Voting of all members in the working group on medical geology. 250 persons voted in favour of the new association, IMGA. None against. The vote was unanimous.

The 1st Hemispheric Conference on Medical Geology was organized in Puerto Rico.
Short courses in Medical Geology were held in Romania, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, USA, Egypt, Turkey, Ireland, Sweden and Puerto Rico.
The book 'Essentials of Medical Geology' was published by Elsevier.

2006

The International Medical Geology Association WAS formally established January 24, 2006. 

A special symposium on Medical Geology was held at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm
Short courses in Medical Geology were held in Portugal, Sweden, USA and Beijing

2007
The 2nd Hemispheric Conference on Medical Geology was held in Atibaya, Brazil
Short courses in Medical Geology were held in Uruguay, Mexico and Brazil.

2008
United Nations anounced Mediacl Geology as one of the themes of the International Year of Planet Earth
IMGA had several sessions and a short course at the 33 International Geological Conference in Oslo with 7000 participants.
Short courses in Medical Geology were held in Cyprus, Ghana, Bolivia and Norway

2009
IMGA was involved in 'Mapping GeoUnions to the ICSU Framework for Sustainable Health and Wellbeing' as full members, represented by Olle Selinus and Theo Davies.
IMGA, represented by Olle Selinus, was invited to the US State Department in Washington D.C. as part of a government delegation, where a lunch seminar in Medical Geology was held for the US and Swedish delegations.
The 3rd Hemispheric Conference on Medical Geology was held in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Short courses in Medical Geology were held in Uruguay and Bolivia

2010
'Medical geology – a regional synthesis' was published by Springer
A Swedish textbook in Medical Geology was published by Studentlitteratur for university students
Discussions ongoing regarding te establishment of an International Center of Excellence in Medical Geology in Turkey
Short course in Medical Geology was held in Ireland