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In May 1982, the AGU Council approved the following policy on the Union's role in advocacy on public issues.

The American Geophysical Union is an association of scientists, scholars, and interested lay public for the purpose of advancing geophysical science. The Union shares a collateral sense of responsibility to assure that the results of geophysical research are made available to benefit all mankind. The Union encourages its members to exercise their individual sense of responsibility in addressing political and social issues. Should they choose to act collectively on such issues, other organizations exist for such purposes. The American Geophysical Union, as a society, should preserve its unique position as an objective source of analysis and commentary for the full spectrum of geophysical science.