An open letter to the members:


  • Waldo E. Smith


Back in the 30s and 40s when we old timers were interested in geophysics, it was especially for our particular field (geodesy, seismology, geomagnetism, meteorology, oceanography, etc.), which the NAS-NRC had grouped together for the U.S. participation in the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. Through the meetings and publications of the AGU and through the work of the more forward-looking members, the interrelationships of these individual disciplines began to develop. Geophysics took on a broader meaning. In the early 1950s when plans were initiated for the Third International Polar Year, the title became the International Geophysical Year. The efforts were to involve intensive studies of the environment of the earth in space, of the ocean floor, and, especially, in the Antarctic. The term ‘geophysics’ came into broad common usage. The modern-day profession of geophysicist had been born, and a member became proud to be called a geophysicist.