Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Nominees for general secretary


  • Anonymous


There is no question but that the members and officers of the AGU have succeeded in making it the most dynamic and authoritative voice for the exchange of new geophysical information among the scientists of the world. This very success, however, has created both new opportunities as well as fiscal problems for the Union. For example, publication costs have been rising and the Union's reserve fund has been declining. Clearly a strong Union, capable of achieving its objectives, needs to be strong fiscally. However, this should not be viewed as an end in itself but only as a necessary part of the Union achieving its larger objectives. These larger objectives should be determined by the membership, to which I would try to be responsive. My own viewpoints on these objectives, however, are fourfold. The first is that the Union must structure its policies even more strongly to attract as members students and younger scientists and to consciously try to help build in them the excitement of discovery found in so many of our present members. Second, it is becoming apparent that an increasing number of geophysical problems will require a view of the earth as a whole and not as a collection of individual parts. This implies that in the future the AGU should be even more active in taking an international outlook and promoting more communications among scientists of the world. Third, for the Union to be of most service to its members it is important that it be selective in the information it makes available. Publishing too much information is both expensive to the members and serves to lower the standards of scientific endeavor. Continuing attention to the editorial policies is essential in order to provide Union members with the most useful information. Fourth, and finally, the vitality of geophysics requires direct contacts between researchers of all levels of experience. AGU-sponsored meetings help fill this important need, but continuing attention is needed to the promotion of the relative informality of the meetings and the open discussion of issues.