Considerations in the development of a National Geophysical Data Policy
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©1981. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 62, Issue 27, pages 569–570, 7 July 1981
How to Cite
1981), Considerations in the development of a National Geophysical Data Policy, Eos Trans. AGU, 62(27), 569–570, doi:10.1029/EO062i027p00569.(
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
Science emerged when it became apparent that the images of the world and of environmental events, acquired through the senses and registered by the human brain in natural day-to-day experience, contained inaccuracies and subjective biases that interfered with the development of an increasingly complex society. Recognition of the need for systematic statistical verification of predictions and for unbiased reporting and recording of both successes and failures of predictions became the fundamental driving force in the development of the scientific method and scientific thought. It became apparent that in order to establish a repertoire of reliable information on cause-and-effect relationships, environmental exploration and documentation would have to be expanded from subjectively ‘relevant’ phenomena to others that bore no direct relation to, or had no effect on, the human organism. It was also realized that a merely passive, qualitative, random observation of environmental events did not yield sufficient information. Active, quantitative probing and systematically planned experimentation became a necessity; the empirical method was born. Our sensory systems needed extension to achieve higher accuracy in the acquisition of environmental information, and scientific instruments were developed to make the measurements required for a quantitative description of environmental events over a wide range of domains. Finally, it was realized that the use of exo-ontological documentation, data, and information systems (books, data repositories, computers, etc.) was essential for organizing experimental paradigms, for their statistical interpretation, for recording results, and, in general, for the development of an ‘objective truth’ about environmental events.