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The 200th birthday of John Lamont (1805–1879, Figure l) , a pioneer in the study of geomagnetism, was marked on 13 December 2005. Lamont founded the Munich Geomagnetic Observatory in 1840 and was a member of the group of scientists including Carl Friedrich Gauss, Alexander von Humboldt, Eduard Sabine, Jonas Angstrøm, Humphret Lloyd, Adolf Kupffer, Karl Kreil,and Adolphe Quetelet who composed the Gottingen Magnetic Union.They organized an international network of geomagnetic observatories [Barraclough et al., 1992].The present knowledge of the geomagnetic field and its secular variation is largely based on the data collected by the global network of geomagnetic observatories during the last 170 years.