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On May 28th, 2018, Dr. Robert B. Finkelman from the Department of Geosciences of the University of Texas at Dallas was invited to visit the UNESCO International Centre on Global-Scale Geochemistry (ICGG).

Dr. Finkelman is well known in the world for his work in coal geoscience and medical geology. He was in charge of the coal quality activities in the U.S. Geological Survey until 2005 when he retired. He was co-founder and co-chair of the international Medical Geology Association.

During his visit, Prof. Finkelman made two presentations, "Applications of Geochemistry to Human Health" and "Coal as a Host and Indicator of Mineral Deposits", which gave an introduction to his research achievements in medical geology and geochemical study on coal deposits. In his talks, he used examples to show how the discipline of geochemistry provides insights into the impacts of natural environment on human health. His presentations showed the importance of geochemical survey results to the study of public health. He believed that the geochemical mapping results combined with the medical geological survey data can be applied to assess the risks of the natural environment to public health in key areas. Also, via substantive examples, Prof. Finkelman expressed that coal deposits across the world often contain other valuable mineral resources, the comprehensive utilization of which still demands more attention from the resource developers and administrators. Scientists from ICGG attended the lectures and made exchanges with Dr. Finkelman.

Dr. Finkelman also visited the Analytical Laboratory, the Reference Material Bank and the Exhibition Room of ICGG. He was impressed by ICGG’s achievements. He sincerely invited scientists from ICGG to take part in the next International Medical Geology Conference to promote the global-scale geochemistry. He hoped to strengthen cooperation with ICGG in the future, especially in the field of medical geology, to explore the potentials of the high-quality data of geochemical mapping, and to bring more benefits to human health.