Paleomagnetism and rock magnetism at Liblice–A personal view from a participant



The New Trends and Databases in Paleomagnetism and Rock Magnetism Conference held in Liblice, Czechoslovakia, from June 27 to July 2, 1988, was indeed a most memorable event. In ways seldom experienced at large International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) assemblies, the quality of two-way exchange between “east” and “west” was magical. For 5 days, “home” for most of the 68 participants was the baroque Liblice Castle, a remnant of 18th century Bohemian feudalism. The setting was serene, among acres of wheat produced by the local communal farm, located some 40 km north of Prague. Beyond the physical environment, the uniqueness of the gathering resulted from the demographic makeup of the participants. With small delegations from Scandanavia and the west—just four of us from the United States—the vast majority who descended on the castle came from the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and nearly every other eastern bloc neighbor. Even at IAGA in Prague just 3 years ago, where participation was more uniform, the sheer size of the assembly was to some degree an obstacle toward east-west communication and perhaps tended to promote western views only. Not so at Liblice; we were definitely on different turf!