v15n3 — From the Editors

About This Issue

Elements has published more than 10 issues addressing different aspects of igneous petrology, volcanoes, and/or crustal magma systems. Even though most scientifically interesting igneous processes occur well below our feet, we humans, whether trained geologists or casual followers of current events (such as the currently spectacular show in Italy by Mt. Etna), are fascinated by volcanoes.

Volcanoes have played a central role in humanity’s cultural and religious practices. Our Japanese readers will be familiar with the importance of Mt. Fuji, considered a holy or sacred site to the Shinto religion. Climbing Mt. Fuji continues to be regarded by many as an important pilgrimage. Another modern example can be found in the vicinity of Mt. Bromo (East Java, Indonesia). This July, if you are in the region, you can watch the traditional Yadnya Kasada ceremony celebrated by the Tengger tribe. Every year, the tribe journeys up Mt. Bromo to offer sacrifices (in the form of produce, livestock, or money), which are thrown into the active volcanic crater as an expression of appreciation to the mountain gods for the tribe’s agricultural produce and livestock.

Volcanic eruptions often are recorded in the cultural oral history, or storytelling, of indigenous peoples. For example, the Eskimo peoples (Alaska, USA) have oral traditions of the 1783 Icelandic eruption that caused a “summer that never came” in the northern tip of Alaska. These stories ‘record’ the timing, observations, and the impact this eruption had on a region 1,000s of kilometers away! Sometimes oral history is anecdotal. Other times, cultural research of oral traditions can be an important tool for the geologist to unravel recent geological history. For example, seismologists have benefitted from Native American oral traditions to pinpoint the most recent (1700 CE) megathrust earthquake along the Pacific Northwest of North America. Likewise, some Aboriginal stories from the indigenous peoples of Australia have accurately described geological events as far back as 10,000 years ago (e.g., formation of Crater Lakes found in the Atherton Tableland). Clearly, close ties to the archaeological community and their research of indigenous peoples can aid a geologist who is trying to unravel a region’s geological history and/or advise local communities of present geological dangers.

Sitting at the junction between the Eurasian and African tectonic plates, the South Aegean volcanic arc has a long history of impacting on human communities. In this issue of Elements, the authors present a closer look at the igneous and tectonic processes that affect this region and also demonstrate the value of partnering with scientists from different disciplines to better understand past and future geological risks.

Propose a Thematic Issue of Elements

We welcome the submission of proposals for future thematic issues of Elements. The Elements proposal system is not especially onerous. It is as simple as developing a two-page proposal (see our website for details) and submitting it to the editorial team for consideration. That’s it! If you want feedback on your ideas or want guidance regarding your proposal, our editorial team is willing to work with you.

We will consider a WIDE range of topics, ones that …

  • are broadly related to mineralogy, geochemistry, and petrology
  • are interdisciplinary
  • represent established but progressing fields
  • would be of interest to a broad cross section of readers
  • haven’t been adequately or broadly represented by Elements before or that have advanced considerably since the topic was previously covered

We will select four to six proposals for inclusion into the 2021 lineup at our annual meeting, which takes place on August 18.

For full consideration, proposals should be submitted by July 31.

Information about how to submit a proposal can be found at http://elementsmagazine.org/publish-in-elements/.


This year, the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA), one of Elements’ five founding societies, celebrates its 100th year in operation. This is a remarkable achievement. However, the MSA is not the oldest participating society with Elements. That title goes to the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (MSGBI or Min Soc) which was incorporated in 1876. In 2018, the French mineralogical society (SFMC) celebrated its 140th and the German mineralogical society (DMG) celebrated its 110th anniversary. We congratulate all our participating societies (see table below) for their endurance and faithful service to us through times of war, economic downturns, and national upheavals! We wish them every success in the years to come.

With the readily available online access to journals and relative ease to communicate with one another via e-mail, telephone, or a variety of social media platforms, it is easy to erroneously slip into the mindset that learned societies are not important and that those membership fees aren’t worth paying. Nothing could be further from the truth. Learned societies play an important role in advancing the knowledge of our sciences and many publish internationally recognized journals that act as secure repositories of our scientific advancements. Many also promote and organize international meetings, short courses, and workshops that provide scientists the opportunity to meet with one another and to present and discuss current research. In many ways, learned societies act as caretakers of our science long after we have retired.

If you haven’t yet joined a learned society, we thoroughly encourage you to do so. Actively participate and contribute to the mission of the society.

And, if you haven’t renewed your membership … well … now would be a good time to do that.

Elements Participating Society Year Established Years in Operation
Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (MSGBI) 1876 143
Société Française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie (SFMC) 1878 141
Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft (DMG) 1908 111
Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) 1919 100
Swiss Society of Mineralogy and Petrology (SSMP) 1924 95
Meteoritical Society (Met Soc) 1933 86
Società Italiana di Mineralogia e Petrologia (SIMP) 1940 79
Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC) 1955 64
Geochemical Society (GS) 1962 57
International Association on the Genesis of Ore Deposits (IAGOD) 1964 55
International Association of GeoChemistry (IAGC) 1967 52
Polskie Towarzystwo Mineralogiczne (PTMin) 1969 50
Association of Applied Geochemists (AAG) 1970 49
Sociedad Española de Mineralogía (SEM) 1975 44
European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) 1985 34
International Association of Geoanalysts (IAG) 1997 22
Japan Association of Mineralogical Sciences (JAMS)* 2007 12
*The JAMS was established in 2007 by merging the Mineralogical Society of Japan (Est. 1955) and Japanese Association of Mineralogists, Petrologists, and Economic Geologists (Est. 1928)


Nancy Ross, Jon Blundy, John Eiler, and Jodi Rosso


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.