Among areas of broad scientific concentration, geophysics is unique in dealing with a high proportion of problems that have societal relevance. Clearly, oceanographcrs, hydrologists. seismologists, and members of every other section in the Union make substantial research contributions to areas that arc popularly called ‘relevant‘. Without this research it seems unlikely that we will have the means to cope with tomorrow's problems, yet today the support of basic research in many of these areas is deliberately being cut back by both government and industry. We have learned to accept such swings of governmental policy and are continually seeking ways to exert influence in order to effect a more stable future, but this problem is basically external.