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After the heady days of the 1960s, when geomagnetism and paleomagnetism provided crucial quantitative evidence for plate tectonics by establishing the geomagnetic polarity timescale, the 1980s may appear to be somewhat tame in the eyes of an average geophysicist. To such a person, the intervening 1970s may well look like a period of “;mopping up” after the big event has happened, and it may not be unfair for him or her to ask what significant discoveries in geomagnetism and paleomagnetism (GP) have been made since 1970. The practitioners in this field of research are individuals who carry out their work without a large degree of formal overlap, so it is not surprising that the same question about recent accomplishments has arisen also in the minds of AGU GP Section members. This question came to the forefront especially during the 1984 AGU Fall Meeting, when members spoke strongly (in private conversations) about a perceived decrease in National Science Foundation funding of GP-related research projects.